Shawn stumbled down the dark streets of Santa Barbara, alone and terrified. Not to mention he was in the worst pain he'd felt since, ever.
He did his best to keep pressure on the seeping wound. He didn't want to bleed out, or leave a trail for the murderers to finish the job. He wanted to see how bad the damage was, but the street lamps only illuminated him enough to make his formerly blue and white striped shirt currently tied around his waist look almost tar black.
Shawn wasn't sure how much further his injured body would carry him, but he hoped it would hold out just a little longer. Long enough to get to the only place he knew no one would find him. Not even his friends.
As he trudged on, Shawn reflected on how messed up his situation was, and how much he'd messed up the whole situation to begin with.
It all went so very, very wrong.
I really hate it when Gus is right...
Thirty Minutes Ago:
"Ow! What was that!?
"You, stepping on my toe!"
"Well it's dark, Shawn!" Gus griped as they felt their way along the hallway. "Why are we even here anyway? The police should be doing this and you know it."
"The reporter's girlfriend came to us, Gus." Shawn pointed out. "Besides, Pay Per View Wrestling isn't going to pay for itself, and Brock Lesnar is going against John Cena next week. You wanna miss that?"
"No. I just think there's a way to watch wrestling and not get arrested for breaking and entering. Other people do it all the time."
Footsteps in the room above them cut short Shawn's snarky reply as they both paused and tried not to breathe. The large Victorian house was in the richer and older part of Santa Barbara. Though the house may be big, but Shawn was sure the walls were paper thin.
They were already starting to hear voices as they ascended the stairs.
"Mr. Krumpin please. I swear I didn't tell anyone."
"Isn't that contrary to what you do? Aren't you supposed to tell everyone? That's what a reporter does right?"
The stair beneath Shawn creaked, and they both froze in place again. Shawn waited with wide eyed terror as Gus started to panic.
"I knew we shouldn't be here. I knew it, I knew it."
"Gus, have I ever steered us wrong?" he gave his best friend a hurt expression.
Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for Gus, the black man had long since been inoculated against Shawn's charms. "You mean besides Mexico?" Gus asked through slitted eyes.
Shawn tisked and finished climbing the stairs, keeping half his attention on his argument with Gus. "Why do you always have to bring up Mexico? I have no shame for trying to re-home an abused donkey."
"It was a mule, Shawn. Besides, there's plenty wrong with it when it's the Tijuana mayor's prize winning mule!"
"It needed to be back in its natural habitat!"
"Mules don't have a natural habitat, Shawn! They're man made hybrids that don't occur in the-"
"Shhhh." Shawn put his finger up to his mouth. He'd heard movement on the other side of the door but apparently Gus' super senses stopped with his nose, because he continued;
"Don't shush me, Shawn. You know how much I hate it."
"Hey, you hear that?" The Hispanic voice was coming from under the door five feet to their left. "It sounds like there's someone out there. We better hurry this up."
"Why don't you go and check it out if you're so concerned, Martino."
"I'm just staying, why are we wasting time with this reporter? Just kill the cabrón and get it over with."
This was sounding more and more like the reporter they'd come to find; a man named Ray Andela from the Santa Barbara Sunrise Press who'd gone missing the day before. His distraught girlfriend had showed up at Psych, begging them to look into her boyfriend's disappearance. She'd given them this house to start at.
It was the house of business man Gordon Krumpin, and it seems she was right.
With deductive skills that spot on, it seemed like she should have been a detective too. That or she'd already known where her boyfriend was and sent them instead of the police to go get him.
Shawn didn't like the thought of that. It was too close to a set up for him to be comfortable. "Gus, I've got a bad feeling about this."
"No no! I swear no one knows! Don't do it! The cops won't find out anything I-!"
A sickening smack cut off the man's words, and both men flinched, having enough experience to know, that the reporter wouldn't be getting up anytime soon.
"Go back downstairs, let's get out of here and call Lassie and Jules."
Gus nodded emphatically and they slinked backwards towards the stairs, and freedom, hoping that whoever was inside wouldn't come bursting out the door to meet them face to face. Just in case though, Shawn hit the speed dial for 911. He couldn't risk speaking to Jules and letting them know where he was, and had to count on the emergency number's tracking system to find them.
"Who the hell are you guys!?"
They both turned to see an officer half way up the stairs pointing his gun at them. The man had dark eyes, a long nose and short but gelled brown hair. He was also wearing a beat cop uniform.
"Wow, you guys are fast." Shawn whispered in a hurried tone, "You need to call in back up. I'm pretty sure they just killed a someone in there..." He trailed off.
Something wasn't sitting right.
The officer had gotten here before he'd even dialed. As efficient as the Santa Barbara police were, crime scene teleportation machines were a few years off. That meant the officer had been there before and had most likely heard the murder himself.
The officer moved closer, still tracking them with his firearm, and Shawn got a better look at him.
Two things about this cop caught his eye instantly; The first was his gun, which wasn't police standard issue. It looked like his personal weapon. That alone wouldn't trip his suspicions, but coupled with the fact that even though the man had the SBPD patch, he was missing his actual badge.
It was obvious, to him at least, that the officer did not want to be recognized.
Oh man, we are so dead.
To make matters worse, and as a credit to his own stupidity, he hadn't told anyone where they were going. He had to do something, fast! Using the element of surprise, Shawn sprung forward and pushed the cop into the stair railing, dropping his phone in the process but managing to get down the stairs.
"Gus run!" He hoped Gus was right behind him as he hit the door and opened it wide.
That's when something slammed him into the door jam, bouncing him out of the foyer, and rolling him down the front steps.
"Shawn!" Gus' cries barely register above gunshots that echoed though the area. Shawn saw some hitting the cement around him and he quickly scrambled to the bushes next to the steps. As the shock wore off and the pain set in he realized that his stomach is bleeding.
He'd been shot.
Just put one foot in front of the other, c'mon man. Shawn pushed himself to make it up the short walk of the small white house. Considering who lived here, the yard and house looked completely respectable, and not at all indicative of the eccentric owner. As he went up the sidewalk, he double checked the address in his memory, only once having spied it on a clipboard at the station.
Satisfied, he made his way to the door and knocked, leaving handprints of blood on the white door.
Loud barks sounded as lights came on in a clear path leading to the front door. Shawn saw the curtain in the window sway before the porch light came on.
Come on! Please let me in!
The last thing he wanted to do was to bleed out right on the doorstep. He gripped the railing tighter with his free hand, willing himself to keep standing.
Finally, a white haired, balding man stepped out, taking a good look at him. "Shawn? It's 3am and... is that blood?"
"Woody." He gasped out, before collapsing forward onto the surprised coroner.
The last garbled thing he heard before completely losing consciousness was Woody calling over his shoulder to someone inside the house. "Max! Looks like we got company!"
"The diseased is Ray Andela, age thirty six. Reporter for one of the local rags that keep popping up." Carlton pointed at the body with his pen. "Blunt force trauma. According to initial reports, he was meeting Krumpkin for an exposé of unsanitary cooking practices in area businesses. Sounds like BS to me."
Juliet looked up from the body long enough to correct him. "It's Krumpin. He owns at least one restaurant in town. It could be plausible." She watched one of the analysts bag the bloody candlestick holder.
"I'm just saying, who has a meeting at two in the morning to talk about washing your hands after you go to the bathroom?" He nodded to the door at the female officer interviewing Gordon Krumpin. "Let's get this over with."
Gordon was talking fast, and was clearly upset, but Juliet wondered who wouldn't be upset if someone was just murdered in your bedroom. "Mr. Krumpkin, can you tell us what happened?"
The man registered slight annoyance at the butchery of his name before he explained, "He just burst in and hit Ray on the back of the head! Never seen anything like it. The man was completely crazy!"
"Were you and the victim alone at the time of the break in?" Carlton questioned. Juliet hoped they'd have another witness, or it would be a very hearsay argument. One man would blame the other and they'd have to do some serious digging and waiting on forensic evidence to crack this one.
"Yes, we were alone! We didn't stand a chance. I'd be a goner too if they hadn't tripped my house alarm."
Carlton looked up from his writing. "Them? There was more than one?"
Gordon nodded, "Yeah! Him and his friend even attacked the officer who responded to my house alarm."
That caught Juliet's attention. "Did you recognize either of them?"
Gordon only shook his head, but the female officer responded, "Before he left, Officer Finley Terry said they took one of the suspects into custody. The other escaped on foot. We have units looking for him now. According to him, the perp might be shot, so he probably won't get far."
"Okay, let's go." Carlton led the way out and Juliet followed, keeping an eye on Gordon. Though he seemed shook up about the whole situation, something didn't seem right. Carlton thought so too or he wouldn't have mentioned it earlier.
As they were leaving, one of the techs was bagging up a phone that caught Juliet's eye. "Carlton look!"
Her partner glanced over at the unmistakable green cover of Shawn's phone. "Aw crap."
Juliet ran back up the stairs to the other female officer. "What's the name of the man in custody!?"
Gus sat on pins and needles in the interrogation room. He was waiting for someone to walk in any minute telling him they'd found Shawn's body and that his best friend was gone.
The last time he'd seen Shawn was after he'd burst from the bushes and ran down the street. The officer had gone to shoot him in the back, but Gus had screamed to run and pushed the shot out of the way at the last moment. That's when more officers showed up and he'd been cuffed and stuffed here.
He shuddered to think what would have happened to him if backup hadn't shown up. The officer's gun had been inches from Gus' head when the cruiser pulled up and two more cops stepped out.
The murder in the officer's eyes was unmistakable as Gus was put in the back of the cruiser, but the thing he wanted to know was; why?
Gus had no idea what had set his friend against the officer in the first place, but he tended to trust Shawn's judgment when it came to people, for better or for worse. He also was certain Shawn would never assault a cop if there wasn't something very wrong.
As it was, he'd been there at least a half hour and he hadn't seen anyone except the cop that ki- shot Shawn. Gus didn't ride to the station with him, but he sure was right on his ass as he got there. The officer had even tried to interrogate him, and wouldn't let him have his phone call.
However, after Gus had asked for his lawyer, he'd stopped and there was nothing he could do but wait and glare.
There's something seriously wrong with that guy.
The door to the interrogation room burst open a few seconds later, Carlton and Juliet rushed in, their faces flushed white in stress and fear.
"Get the hell out of here, Terry!" Carlton lashed out, at the man responsible for shooting their friend.
He quickly left, without another word.
"And don't even think you aren't getting questioned when we're done here." Carlton added for good measure before the door closed.
Gus stood up, the chains holding his wrists to the table didn't let him get far. "Juliet, Shawn is-"
"We heard on the way. They haven't found him yet." Juliet explained, and the soul crushing tension Gus didn't know he'd been holding on to lightened somewhat. "I'm going to go out. I've got to call Woody to examine the body, but I wanted to make sure you were okay." She un-cuffed him and grabbed out her phone before heading for the door.
"O'Hara do you think you need to sit for a while? I could call Strode." Carlton stopped her with his hand on her arm. Gus was glad he was watching out for her so much. It didn't take Shawn's observation when it came to seeing how close the two detectives were.
Juliet shook her head. "No. I have to do this."
Carlton nodded and took the chair opposite Gus as she closed the door behind her. He immediately started in on him. "What the hell did you think you were doing? Breaking into someone's house? You're lucky you aren't dead, Shawn could be dead, and a reporter sure as hell is dead."
Gus hung his head in shame. Flaunting just outside the law was Shawn's deal, but he'd gone along with it all the same. "We got a job from a woman named Vanessa Maestri. She said her boyfriend was missing and the cops wouldn't do anything about it yet because it had only been a few hours. Before he left he told her if he wasn't back to send help. She said he was going to the mansion."
Carlton wrote down the girlfriend's name and continued, "Did you know that the owner of the house is saying you and Shawn killed Ray Andela?" He leaned forward, seemingly gauging the reaction to the news.
Gus' heart dropped and the soul crushing tension returned tenfold. There is no way. No one would believe that, would they?
"That's a lie! We heard him get hit while we were outside the door."
"You see our problem, Guster? You were the ones breaking into his home! What would a jury believe? You guys just happened to break in during a murder?" Carlton stood and shook his head. "You guys really screwed up this time."
"You can't believe we killed that guy!" Gus protested.
"It doesn't matter what I believe, Guster. Even Officer Terry gave his initial statement said he showed up because of the tripped alarm."
Gus hung his head, realizing just how deep the crap was that he was in. "What if Shawn is found? What if he backs up the story? If we have the same story, it would give us credibility, right?"
"If we locate Spencer, we'll take his statement. If they match, that could help your case." Carlton admitted. "So we'll just have to make sure he is found safe and sound, won't we?"
"Somebody find that psychic and kill him!" Gordon shouted as he paced the room. He couldn't believe the stupidity of some people. All they had to do was shoot them, and it all would have gone to plan.
An older Mexican gentleman, his associate Martino Forester, stood to the side as the businessman berated the officer in front of him. Another woman, Vanessa Maestri, stood close by as well. She'd at least done her part by getting the pair of patsies to the house, but Officer Finley Terry was another issue.
"You couldn't hit the broad side of a barn could you Finley? All you had to do was kill them and Ray's death would have been written off as just another victim of breaking and entering. One. Simple. Thing!"
Officer Terry looked properly chastised, so Gordon let the issue drop for now. He'd probably have to kill the failure later, but for now he might still prove useful.
"Can you get to the one in custody? What's his name? Bruno?"
"Burton. Burton Guster. He's Shawn Spencer's partner, he's pretty cute, and gullible." Vanessa offered up when Officer Terry couldn't remember.
"Okay then. Now that everything has gone to pot, how can we get him and make it look like an accident?" Gordon asked snidely.
Officer Terry finally offered up some information. "He has friends in the precinct. Powerful ones, including the Chief. It would probably be easier to find Spencer and finish him off, if he isn't already dead."
If it were only that easy. Gordon frowned. The man was like a ghost. They'd followed the blood trail four blocks before it stopped completely. They figured the guy had probably gotten into a car. Seeing how Shawn's phone was currently in an evidence bag in lock up, it might have been a stranger's car.
They'd even checked all the hospitals, and still nothing. He could also be dead, and they're worrying for nothing. They just didn't know, and Gordon hated not knowing.
"Then what, amigos?" Asked Martino in his Spanish accent. "Just let the justice system eat his partner alive?"
Officer Terry nodded. "That's the plan. If Burton has no collaborative evidence, he's done for and his detective friends know it. I heard one of them say as much. If Spencer isn't found, it's his word against ours."
"Why not just kill him, eh? Slip in, one to the dome, pay a prisoner to take him out. I'm sure there's a caballero who has it out for these two that will be happy to do the job." Martino offered. "I could have it done within a day or two."
As tempting as the offer was to Gordon, it wasn't the smartest at the moment. It would look highly suspicious if the one suspect was ‘offed' before the day was up. "No, it would raise too many questions right now. We need them to focus on him so they'll keep their eyes off of us."
Martino nodded, seemingly understanding where he was coming from. "Then what am I going to tell the cliente Gordon? We're getting a shipment in today and the Mexican mob is nervioso as it is."
Ah yes, the clientele. The Mexican drug lords didn't pay as well as the African butchers that Julian Drake had in his back pocket. However, Julian and his front man Jerry Carp had gotten stupid and sloppy. It's why he's going to rot for life in a federal prison and Jerry was dead as a doornail.
It wasn't much for his operation to set up some legit businesses of their own and fill the power vacuum left in their wake. Besides, the price of getting the packages through customs as well as the money to ship them all the way across the Atlantic was ridiculous. Here, so close to the Mexican border, all they had to do was wait for their customers to come to them.
His competitor's fate was oddly enough thanks to Shawn Spencer himself, but Gordon couldn't afford history to repeat itself either. So he'd taken the initiative to kill those two painfully annoying birds with one stone.
He found a way to use the duo's weakness for jumping in head first against them.
"Tell them things are going according to schedule and not to worry." He turned to the officer, "Finley, stick close to the investigation. If they start getting close, come to Martino or me." He then addressed Vanessa. "You can play the grieving girlfriend. See if you can get close to Guster. Get him to open up and see if you can find any place Shawn might be hiding."
"You got it. I'll get him talking." Vanessa crooned before sauntering out.
Finley simply nodded and headed out as well. He knew he was in deep with Gordon at the moment and seemed smart enough not to dig himself deeper.
"Martino, when you call the buyers, also mention we'll be ready for their shipment as soon as they arrange payment." Gordon ordered, "As for me, I'm going to clean up my bedroom."
Woody hung up his cell phone and cast a worried glance at Shawn, laying just inside his doorway and still out cold. He'd barely had a chance to drag him inside before the phone had rung and he'd gotten order from Juliet to come in right away. He needed to examine the victim of a murder that Shawn was accused of.
"Shawn, a murderer?" He laughed to himself, as he walked to his bedroom and grabbed something plastic to put under his unexpected guest. "There's no way."
As he headed back to the living room, that little voice itched in the back of his mind. What if it were true? Should he go to the police? Is he in the house with a madman? It made sense now why Shawn came here instead of going to the hospital.
He was on the run.
A cold nose to his exposed ankle brought him out of his thoughts. It was his dog, Max.
He was a brown and white corgi mix Woody had rescued from a crime scene. The owner, hired muscle for one of the many gangs running in Santa Barbara, had been put in one of his body bags and hauled off. He'd looked down and he couldn't stand to see those soulful coffee colored eyes staring expectantly up at him. So, against his better judgment, and police regulations, he took the little guy home.
"I can't feed you right now, bud. I have to get Shawn on the couch." Bending over, he lifted Shawn off the ground with practiced ease. He'd had to lift ‘dead weight' many times before due to his career, and it kept him in fairly good shape.
However, it wasn't something he'd talk about when a date asks about his physique… again anyway. Telling a woman that you lift dead bodies around for a living is a one way ticket to Singles-ville; the place where you end up living with a stolen dog and an unconscious friend in your foyer.
Laying Shawn on the couch got a reactive groan from the psychic and it brought Woody's attention back to his bloody stomach. He slowly unwrapped the ruined shirt from Shawn's midsection. Out of habit, he did his best to pretend that Shawn was already dead. No malice intended, he just had an easier time in general not having a living person dependant on him to save them.
It's why he became a coroner in the first place; he tended to fall to pieces with the stress of having someone's life in his hands.
From what he could tell, there was no exit wound or blood on the back of Shawn, so Woody knew the bullet was still inside. From the looks of the hole it was either a .38 Caliber or a 9mm. He couldn't see the bullet off hand but from the look of the wound it might just have to stay in there for now or Woody would risk Shawn losing more blood.
He ran to the bathroom with Max hot on his heels to grab some clean towels. He needed to see the damage better to know exactly what he needed to do. "It's been a long time since I worked on a live patient." Woody explained to his dog as he grabbed some alcohol and peroxide from his medicine cabinet. "They never usually complain of silly things like bleeding out from a bullet hole."
Woody had gotten in the habit of explaining what he was doing when the dog was around. It wasn't like he believed the dog could understand him, but he seemed to respond to his voice, and it was nice to have someone to talk to that could answer back.
Max merely cocked his head and looked at him inquisitively before following him to the couch.
After cleaning away some of the dried and oozing blood, Woody realized the bullet went at an angle through his right side and he had no doubt that Shawn's pancreas and at least some intestines were hit. If he didn't get stabilized soon, bleeding out would be the least of Shawn's worries.
Perioperative shock if it hit the large intestine. Blood pressure loss if any arteries were nicked. "Damn it, I need more gear." He muttered. Either way it seemed he had to head to his office. He also couldn't leave Shawn here alone for long, or without letting his friend and patient know that he would be back shortly and not to move.
Woody patted Shawn's cheek, "Shawn! Shawn can you hear me?" After getting no response he went with plan B. He took Shawn's hand and squeezed the skin between his fingers. Shawn stirred and instinctively pulled his hand away.
"Shawn! Wake up!"
"Wha- Woody?" Shawn blinked, obviously not quite conscious yet. "Am I dead yet?"
"No, but if you don't get to a hospital soon you might be." Woody pulled back the bandage and pointed to his wound. Shawn looked at it groggily, seemingly surprised at how serious it was. "The bleeding stopped, but the internal damage could be extensive."
Shawn shook his head and even the small action looked painful. "No! No hospitals. They'll find me."
Woody's eyebrows rose. He never took Shawn to be paranoid, this must be really bad. "Who will find you?"
"A cop shot me." Shawn, tried to sit up more and gasped, his hand going to his stomach. "He wasn't there because we called. Maybe a hired guard, but why?" His eyes seemed to go far off. Woody had seen that look many times before.
"Shawn, you aren't making any sense, and you really shouldn't move."
The psychic moved to his side anyway, with a groan. "I think we were ambushed, Woody. If they know I'm alive, they'll be back to finish the job."
Woody wrung his hands. Shawn hadn't said anything yet that cleared him of being a murderer. In fact he'd confirmed that it really was a cop that had shot him as Juliet had said. He didn't want to be involved with aiding a murderer, but he considered Shawn a friend and knew he had to help if he could.
"I know some people. They can get you out of the country…"
"No." He shook his head. "Gus is in danger. They got him and it's my fault."
"Shawn, Gus is at the precinct being charged for murder." Shawn seemed to look visibly relieved and horrified all at once. "If they find you, they'll charge you too." Woody looked at his watch. He really had to go and meet the detectives at the precinct or they'd think something was wrong.
"What? Who's murder? The reporter?" Shawn asked, "Wait a minute, we were framed?"
"I don't know Shawn, but I have to go. Juliet asked me to come in and do the autopsy. I'll be back as quick as I can, with more supplies too." Woody explained. "Max will keep you company. I won't be long." He looked to the kitchen. Usually he'd offer a guest food but with the circumstances he figured Shawn would prefer hunger over septic shock.
As he went to rise, Shawn reached out and grabbed his arm, his features full of pain, but his eyes clearer than they had been. "Please, let me know what you find, and if you can, get a message to Gus. I don't know who the officer was, or if he was even an officer. Gus needs to be careful."
That seems easy enough...
"And don't tell anyone else I'm here."
...aaaand that won't be easy. Woody was almost certain that he'd crack like an egg if anyone asked him directly where Shawn was, but from what Shawn said, it was life or death.
With a sigh, Woody closed his eyes and nodded. "Alright, I'll try." When he opened them again, Shawn was once again asleep.
Oh my God, what did I just get myself into?
Juliet was livid when the coroner ended up arriving twenty minutes late. Especially after he'd given a lame excuse about how he had to thrown in a load of laundry at the last minute.
Juliet's heart was in pieces over the whole situation. As it was things didn't look good for Psych's case.
Their interview of Officer Finley Terry had yielded no new information. He kept claiming he was in the area and got a call about the house alarm. He was new to the force, so he hadn't recognized who Shawn and Gus were. He said Shawn attacked him and he shot in self defense.
She wanted to believe that Shawn and Gus were innocent, but it seemed the coroner's examination and the fingerprints from the candlestick were the only things that she could think of that could lead to clearing Shawn's name.
"For the love of God, Strode, when we tell you to come in right away, we don't mean screw the pooch and saunter in when you feel like showing up." Carlton gave the coroner a piece of his mind.
"Well, it's not like he's getting any deader, am I right?" Woody's grin disappeared when he realized his joke had fallen flatter than Carlton's pressed suits. "Well, let's get this party started."
As Woody started examining the body, those present; Chief Vick, Carlton, and Juliet, shared an awkward silence that could only be from waiting to see if your boyfriend, and co-worker had killed the man in front of you.
"Did you notify Henry?" Chief Vick asked, breaking the horrendously awkward silence.
Juliet nodded. "He's on his way to talk to Gus. The lawyer isn't coming for a few hours."
"Good. Let me know when he gets here. I need to speak with him before he goes off to search for Shawn. I don't want him arrested for obstruction of justice while his son is AWOL and possibly seriously injured."
Juliet took a deep breath, trying to keep her composure. Her boyfriend is gone and no one had any idea where he went, if he's alive, if he's hurt, or if he's a murderer. A hand slipping into her own and squeezing it reassuringly was the only thing keeping her emotions tethered and professional.
Woody seemed to have notice the exchange and paused his work to address her. "I'm sure Shawn will be fine. You know how he is."
Wow, from Woody that was almost, actually, comforting. Juliet gave him a smile.
"I mean, being shot in the gut is painful, but with the proper medical treatment it is completely treatable."
Juliet's smile was instantly gone.
"What? No one said he was shot, let alone in the stomach." Chief Vick pointed out.
"Well, no I mean… there's no way I could know something like that, right?" He chuckled nervously. "I was just giving an example. Don't mind me." Woody put his head down and was now concentrating really hard on his work.
If Juliet didn't know better, she'd think Woody was hiding something. She narrowed her eyes at him.
"Would you just stick to the autopsy and keep your opinions on Spencer to yourself?" Carlton grumped, seemingly done with the coroner's odd behavior.
A few minutes later he seemed to have finished. "Alright, the victim was struck from the front by a long, blunt, object with an edge. Maybe a bed knob or a…" Woody trailed off when he looked to his left and saw the candlestick in the evidence bag. "Or one of those."
"Wait, did you say he was hit from in front, not the back?" Carlton clarified. Juliet remembered Gordon's accusation as well. He said Shawn had approached and hit Ray in the back of the head. Not the front.
"For sure. The killer would have had to have a ten foot reach to make this wound on his front from the back." Woody confirmed, "Though, I still wouldn't rule out a circus performer with a freakishly long arms."
The three officers stared at him in shocked disbelief. How could he be so clueless at a time like this? She was two seconds away from giving the out of line coroner an ‘O'Hara style' ass chewing.
"I mean, I'd believe that before I believed Shawn did this, am I right?"
It seemed to hit them all at once that Woody's attempt at humor, albeit inappropriate humor, was his own worry for Shawn showing through. There was no telling for sure with him, but that's what Juliet was going to chalk it up as. It was hard to read the man on the best of days, but at least he seemed to have a good heart.
Juliet looked at her watch. It was almost 5am. She should get Gus to a cell so he could get some sleep, and see if Henry needed anything before they headed out to talk to Ray's place of employment.
Being a newspaper they were most likely open already.
"Alright, keep me informed detectives… and Mr. Strode, let me know if you find anything else in your examination. We need to be sure we have the right culprit." Vick gave him a serious stare before leaving.
Juliet and Carlton followed right after, leaving the coroner to his work.
If there was a hell, Henry Spencer felt like he was in it. Not only was his son missing and presumed injured, he had to watch Gus make bedroom eyes at the victim's former girlfriend. So much for a relaxing morning of fishing…
"I just hope your friend is going to be okay." Vanessa stated, leaning closer to Gus while sitting on the edge of the interrogation room table. "Where do you think he could have gone? Especially if he's hurt."
Gus smile faltered and he looked at Henry, probably realizing how inappropriate he'd been by the look on the elder Spencer's face. "Uh, I'm not sure. Everyone he would have gone to for help is here."
She was getting too nosy for Henry's taste.
"Look, no offence lady, but why are you even interested? I'm sure you can wait for news at home just as well." Henry stated roughly. He had to get Gus back on track, and it would be neigh impossible with a pretty face around. "I need to talk to Gus. Alone."
If looks could kill, Henry figured he'd be six feet under ten minutes ago with the one Vanessa gave him. "Alright. I'll go." She walked to the door and winked at Gus, "Goodbye, I'll see you later."
Henry waited a minute after she was out the door to start talking to Gus. He'd gotten the scoop on what happened before the woman had walked in, but hadn't gotten to discuss anything about Shawn, and what Gus saw when he'd disappeared.
As soon as he stepped in the door, Karen Vick was already telling him to let the police handle everything, they'd find him soon... blah blah blah. He thought with as many times as Shawn had been in trouble, and with how many times he'd gotten that same lecture, that she'd know it wouldn't do any good. Shawn was his son, and his responsibility.
He was going to find him.
"Gus, are you sure you saw Shawn get shot?"
"Yes, I'm sure. There was blood on the ground leading to the bush when I came out, then I saw Shawn run for it."
"Well, did you see which way he went?"
Gus leveled his gaze on Henry, "This is Shawn we're talking about. Since when does seeing which way he went mean he actually kept going that way?"
"Fair enough." Henry rubbed his head, unsure of what to do next. He never thought that all the training in stealth and staying under the radar would backfire so badly as to have him running from the law and leaving himself high and dry while injured.
He looked over to the door just in time to see it creak open and Woody stuck his head in. "Is now a good time?"
"No not really Woo-"
"Great! I'll only be a second." He scuttled inside, looking over his shoulder then running to the two way mirror, cupping his hands to see if anyone was on the other side, watching. "Okay, I think the coast is clear."
Woody pulled Henry over to Gus, and leaned in. Henry hoped whatever the coroner wanted was worth it, and not just another creepy anecdote about his last autopsy.
"I know where Shawn is."
Dumbstruck, Henry was at a loss for words. Of all people, why the hell would he know?
"OH MY GOD! Where is he? Is he okay!?" Gus tried to stand, but he was still cuffed to the table.
"Ssssshhhhh! Seriously, you never know who is listening." Woody chastised Gus, "He's in hiding. He told me not to tell anyone where he was, but he's okay and he swears he didn't do it." He looked at Henry, seemingly hoping that the worried father would take his word as gospel and just let it go.
He was wrong.
"Of all the selfish, hard headed, stupid things my son has asked you to do, this is the one that you decide to listen to?" Henry grabbed Woody by his white coat and pulled him closer.
"I can't Henry! I promised. Besides, I have to go. Shawn is currently doing his best impression of Mr. Orange from Reservoir Dogs, and it really isn't pretty." Woody chuckled nervously, taking Henry's hands from his clothes.
"Wait, wasn't that Steve Buscemi? Didn't he get away clean?" Hope blossomed in Henry's chest.
"No no no. Steve Buscemi was Mr. Pink. Tim Roth, is Mr. Orange." The coroner corrected.
Who the hell was that?. Shawn and Gus had made him watch that damned show a few years prior and he had a hard time keeping everyone's characters and color names straight.
Gus piped up, "Wasn't Mr. Orange the cop that got shot in the stomach."
Henry's jaw clenched and he whipped to face Woody, who pursed his lips nervously.
"Strode, you're telling me that my son is shot and bleeding out at your house while you're standing here making movie references!?"
"Well when you put it that way it sounds horrible and insensitive."
"That's it. I'm going to kill you myself." Henry lunged for him again but Woody backed away quickly to the other side of the table, behind Gus.
"Henry, please trust me when I say it's for Shawn's own good. He thinks that a cop may be in involved in this and if they know where he is they'll kill him or Gus to hide what he knows." Henry stopped and Woody took advantage of the pause in the attack. "If he's right, you may also have someone watching you."
Henry shook his head, not wanting to believe Woody, or believe how much danger his son was in if he was right. "Do you have any proof of this? Any at all?"
"The way that Shawn acted at the house. Something about the cop set him off." Gus paused, looking Henry in the eye. "He was scared Mr. Spencer. Real scared."
Looking down, he finally let it sink in. If he rushed in and saved the day, he could be putting Shawn in danger of being discovered. He wouldn't be surprised if the Chief had put a tap on his phone just in case Shawn called too. So even if the honest cops found Shawn, the one or ones that wanted him dead would find him that way too.
On the other hand, if he didn't do something, Shawn could very easily die of his wounds anyway, and then where would they be?
Henry simply nodded his consent. He didn't trust himself not to call out this whole plan as bullshit and force Woody, kicking and screaming if necessary, to take him to Shawn so he can see how bad he was with his own eyes.
"I have to go. I'll meet you back here after I'm done, then we can see what we can find out. I promise I'll take care of him as if he were my own son… if I had a son. I have a daughter you know. I'm even 80% sure that she's mine." Woody beamed and hurried out the door.
Gus watched him leave, no doubt reflecting on Woody's words, as Henry was doing himself. "That man's life a whole lot of messed up."
"Yeah, tell me about it."
Shawn had woken up a few times since Woody had left. There was a burning sensation that was steadily growing from the bullet wound, and Shawn knew that was a very bad thing. It was too early for infection to really start, but the fact that Shawn hadn't felt the need to go to the bathroom since it happened didn't bode well.
Woody's dog sat nearby, contently chewing on a small rawhide. Blissfully ignorant of the agony he was enduring.
He remembered his shoulder wound, and how his shooter had said he'd picked the specific area so the bullet would incapacitate him, but not kill him. The pain kicked back up slightly before big storms, but for the most part he was fine and the arm had healed nicely.
This though, there was no describing this.
"If I live through this, Max, I'm going to invest in Kevlar everything." The dog didn't acknowledge his words besides changing the side of the bone he was chewing on. "Thanks, good talk."
Shawn laid his head back down, deciding to try and keep his mind distracted from the pain. He decided to run the whole incident, minus the shooting part, though his head while questioning every decision he had made last night.
Had he reacted too quickly to the perceived threat? Why would a cop be protecting Gordon Krumpin? Who was the "Martino" that he'd been talking to?
He hoped Woody would get some answers, and some evidence, to exonerate him. He couldn't believe after all he'd done for the SBPD, that they'd accuse him of murder. Even if they'd done the same thing to Carlton only a few years prior.
Footsteps on the porch and the door opening caused Max to spring into action. As Woody entered the house, Max was jumping high enough to get a good sniff of the bundles he had in his hands.
"Oh no, these aren't for you." He moved the bag out of the way and set it next to Shawn in the living room. "I brought pain killers and some more gauze. I wasn't able to get any anti-biotics. Dead bodies don't usually have to fight infections."
Shawn's face scrunched in confusion, "Then where did you get the pain killers?"
"A gentleman never tells." Woody said cryptically as he lifted the caked on bandages over the bullet wound.
"AH! Damn it aren't you supposed to leave those on to stop the bleeding?"
Woody took that time to gently prod his stomach around the wound, despite his protests. "Well I could leave them on, but then I wouldn't be able to tell you that you're leaking peritoneal fluid from your intestines."
"I'm leaking what?"
"Peritoneal fluid, bowel juice. It is going to cause swelling in your abdominal cavity and can lead to infection if not treated." Shawn swallowed heavily, trying not to be sick. "Besides, I'm pretty sure that the bullet and the fact that you're bleeding from the stomach will cause you infection before that."
He turned his head towards the back seat of the couch before he got any ‘self pity' stuck in his throat. This whole thing was probably, sort of, a bit his own fault. Mostly Gus' for not stopping him. Shawn just wished he would have checked into things more, which usually leads to better outcomes. At least for him.
"Did you find anything out?"
Woody nodded as he wrapped the wound back up with clean gauze. "I found out that Chief Vick looks really good in a blue pantsuit."
Shawn cleared his throat.
"OH! About the case. Yes, the wound is from the front, not the back so they knew that Krumpin guy was lying about how it happened."
"What about the cop? The one who shot me. Did you find anything out about him?" Shawn had tried to place his face, but it was summer and there was a new crop of transfers that he hadn't gotten to take the time to know yet. It was very possible the officer was one of those people.
"Nothing besides he's new."
"New enough not to have a name badge?" Shawn asked, but Woody only shrugged.
"I'm not sure. Once I'm done here I'm going to meet your father for some legwork at the victim's job." He took out a syringe and flicked it to get the air bubbles out, before sticking Shawn in the arm. "Okay Shawn, this is Fentanyl, it only lasts for a couple hours, but hopefully we should have something by then."
He nodded, it was literally killing him to sit this one out, but it seemed Woody was trying his hardest. "Thanks Woody, for everything."
The coroner beamed at the praise. "No problem Shawn. I don't have many friends, and I'd hate to lose one so soon." He leaned in and gave Shawn a bear hug.
"AAHHH!" He shouted before Woody really had time to squeeze.
"Oh right! Gunshot, sorry..."
It was past 6am when Officer Terry watched the two older men go into the Santa Barbara Sunrise building. He'd seen the coroner around before, but didn't know why a medical professional was interviewing suspects, and hanging around the case more than he was.
It was too much of a coincidence to ignore.
He quickly dialed on his phone, waiting for the familiar voice to answer. "Hey pendejo, you're interrupting the shipment so this better be some good news." Martino stated.
"Let Mr. Krumpin know I have a lead on the location of Spencer. I'm going to go check it out and I'll let you know if it pans out to anything."
"You better come back with something. The boss is not happy with you." There was a sound in the background of the phone. It almost sounded like knocking. "I gotta go, something's up."
Martino hung up and the officer shrugged. There was enough guns in that place if something went down, but Martino act like it was too important and he had bigger fish to fry.
He smiled to himself. If losing Shawn put him on the outs with Gordon, catching him and looking the hero might just get him back in the boss' good graces. The worst thing that could happen was that Shawn wasn't there, but if he was, Finley would pull the trigger as soon as he saw him.
I'll just say I found him and he was fleeing the law. Who knows I might even get an accommodation.
He laughed at the irony and used his onboard computer to look up the address for one ‘Woodrow Strode.'
Henry was waiting for Woody when he pulled up to Santa Barbara Sunrise Press. It was hard to find and was practically a hole in the wall place, not much bigger than Psych's office was. Inside, there were a couple people at crammed desks, with one near the center of the floor very obviously empty, and one separate office that Henry supposed was the man in charge.
He headed straight there and knocked.
"Come in!" A hurried voice called to them.
Inside the room was a very small desk and a balding man sitting at it. He sighed heavily and waved them in, seemingly annoyed with their presence. "Look guys, I've had enough officers talking to me today. I do have work to do here."
Woody raised his eyebrows, "How do you know we're cops?"
He glanced to Henry, and back to Woody. "You're kidding me right?" Woody couldn't argue with that. Retired or not, Henry's presence screamed ‘COP.' "Hurry it up would you? With my lead reporter gone I have a lot less time to dilly dattle."
Woody was giddy. He'd always thought it would be so cool to lay down the law and question a suspect. I gotta make up a sweet detective name.
"Well sir, my name is… Max…" Oh my gosh, how do Shawn and Gus do this all the time? "Bark…ing…ton. Yep, Max Barkington and I'm here with- "
"I'm former detective Henry Spencer and this is Woodrow Strode, the coroner for the SBPD." Henry said, getting to the point and crushing Woody's dreams of detective glory. "We're here to ask you a few questions about Ray Andela."
"Okay, shoot, but make it quick." The man sat in his chair and looked up at Henry expectantly. "The name is Charles Wright by the way."
Woody, being closest, shook his hand, "Thanks for your time! I really like your paper. I read it every morning on the toilet."
Charles crinkled his nose in disgust, but Henry ignored him and continued. "We need to know what Ray was researching exactly. Why was he over at Gordon Krumpin's house?"
The reporter leaned forward, motioning them to come closer. "I don't know if you guys heard, but the consensus is that Krumpin is into some big time weapons dealing. Now, before you get too excited, no one can prove it. Ray though, he was sure he was on to something. Then yesterday, Krumpin calls up and says he wants to talk to Ray and give an exclusive interview."
"And Ray believed him?" Henry asked.
Woody agreed. "That does sound too good to be true."
"Ray would do anything for a story." The man shrugged, "It's not like we're swimming in scandals like that every day."
Henry continued, seemingly hoping for any scrap of information the man could give him. "I don't suppose there's anything else you can tell us? Do you know if he found any conclusive evidence?"
Charles shook his head. "No, other than the rumors and what Ray was working on, I don't know much more than that. He hadn't shared any of his notes with me, and I gave whatever was at his desk over to the detectives this morning."
Despite getting a small amount of useful information, it seemed like they were at a dead end. They'd have to make a lot more progress, and fast. "Alright. Strode, you stay with Shawn for now and make sure you call me if you see anything suspicious. I'll try to find Ray's girlfriend to see if he told her anything about the case."
A scoff brought their attention back to the reporter. "Ray? Have a girlfriend?" Charles' belly laugh caught the attention of everyone else in the office.
Apparently the man didn't do that much.
"You've got to be kidding me! Reporting was his life. He didn't have time for girlfriends. He said so himself when Grant over there tried to set him up with his sister."
"Then who the heck and I spend a half hour talking to last night in the interrogation room?" Henry blurted out.
Woody had no idea what Henry was talking about. The only people he'd seen him talk to was Gus and himself. "You don't remember who you talked to last night?"
Oh my gosh, he's gone senile.
Woody spun the former detective to face him. "Henry, do you remember my name? What day is it?"
Henry roughly pushed him away. "What the hell are you doing Woody?"
He pushed forward again and checked Henry's eyes to make sure it wasn't a concussion. "Shawn said this might happen in your old age. Poor guy, can't even remember who you talked to last night." Maybe it was just stress, his veins were really starting to bulge on his forehead.
The elder Spencer slapped Woody's hand away and put his finger right up to the coroner's nose. "First off, you are years older than I am. Secondly, I was talking about the woman who left before you came in. She claimed to be the victim's girlfriend. She's the one that hired Psych to go to that house in the first place!"
Looking at the clock, Charles let out a long suffering sigh and stood. "Look, I've already talked to three people about this in the last hour. I don't mean to sound like an asshole, Ray was a good reporter and a friend, but news doesn't stop just because someone dies. I have deadlines to meet."
"Hold on a second. Three people? You've talked to three other people?" Henry confirmed and locked eyes with Woody.
Something was definitely up.
"Yeah. A couple of detectives showed up right as we opened the doors, and about ten minutes after that a uniformed officer came up and asked me the same questions."
"That didn't seem suspicious to you at all?" Henry asked incredulously.
"Not really." Charles shrugged, "I just figured he didn't get the memo that the other two were coming."
"Did you get the officer's name?" Woody asked, he knew most of them by sight, if not by name with all the time he spent in the precinct break room when between bodies.
Charles shook his head, "No, he wasn't wearing a visible badge, but he was about 5'9" with slicked back hair and a large nose."
Not that Woody put his nose into other people's business all that often, but it was sounding like there was something fishy going on at the SBPD.
Even though he was a coroner he knew that officers who forgot their name tags or badges could get seriously reprimanded. If he didn't have his name tag, you could bet that it was on purpose.
"No name tag..." Suddenly, Woody remembered something important. "Hey Henry, Shawn told me the officer that shot him didn't have a name badge!"
"Wait," Henry paused and squinted his eyes, seemingly at nothing. "Gus said the officer who shot Shawn had been hanging around the interrogation room. I hadn't seen him but Gus said he'd felt threatened just by the guy's presence."
Woody watched Henry as he seemed to piece a few things together. Shawn often did the same thing, and he wondered if maybe Henry was a little bit psychic like his son but a more cranky, bossy, and uptight version...
"Get in the car Strode, we're calling this in and getting to your house." Henry ushered him to the door. "I've got it."
"Sure thing partner!" Woody chirped as they hurried towards the door to save Shawn.
Despite his wild streak and occasional love of danger, Carlton Lassiter liked order; Items needed to be in their place, and he was happiest when things went according to plan.
So far, things hadn't gone according to plan.
The plan had been that they were going to check up on one of the murder victim's leads. Before he died, there were two things Ray Andela was going to investigate. Gordon Krumpin's house, and one of the seemingly endless supplies of warehouses that State Street has to offer. In his opinion the entire warehouse district should be made into a parking lot. The only people that rented or owned them in Santa Barbara seemed to be scum of the earth needing a place to conduct shady business.
With that point of view, he should have been more prepared when they showed up and the bad guys started shooting as soon as they knocked.
Bedlam rained down upon them as three men, with seemingly endless supplies of bullets, shot Carlton's car to smithereens. Luckily for them, he'd forked out some of his own money to have his police cruiser fitted with bullet proof glass and a few armored panels in the doors.
Goddamn it I'm going to be paying this one off until retirement.
"Get down!" Juliet shouted to their back up and they fired back at the perps, countering their barrage of bullets with some well aimed shots of their own.
Some smoke gas canisters, and shouts of pain, later... and the gun battle was over sooner than Carlton thought possible. Two men stumbled from the front of the warehouse, hacking their lungs out.
"HANDS IN THE AIR!" One of the back up officers shouted, keeping his rifle on the subdued pair.
"Don't shoot, chotas!" An older Mexican yelled and kneeled on the ground. Carlton saw the second man immediately copy him, so he assumed the Mexican was the leader of the group.
The detective jumped forward and cuffed him first. "You have the right to remain silent-"
Both his and Juliet's phones rang simultaneously. Just when I was going to show him who's boss. Carlton grumbled in annoyance as he pushed the detained subject off to another officer to finish up. He saw that it was Woody calling him.
Christ on a cracker what now?
"Henry slow down, I can't understand you." Juliet, already on her phone, put her finger in her ear to drown out the sirens and shouts around them.
That answered who called her, so Carlton answered his own phone, hoping to get an explanation as well. "What, Strode?"
"Well, good afternoon detective." The coroner's overly chipper voice was like nails on a chalkboard.
"What. Is. It. Strode?"
" Well, you see, I... um- OW! No hitting!" Woody shouted through the phone. "Shawn is at my house, ya see."
"Of course he would be." Nothing was turning out easy with this case, so why would that? "You're harboring a dangerous fugitive, and you're telling us this now?" He asked through clenched teeth.
"There's an officer, Terry. He's got it out for Shawn and might be working with that Krampus guy. He had to hide out."
"Krampus? You mean Krumpkin?" Carlton corrected.
"KRUMPIN!" Juliet shouted exasperatedly at him. He could hear Henry say the same thing on Woody's end of the line.
"We gotta go get Shawn, and need you guys to meet us there. He's hurt, bad."
"On our way, Strode." He hung up and turned to his partner, but it seemed like she'd gotten the same news.
She shoved her phone in her pocket and headed towards the car. "Shawn's in trouble. Let's get going."
"Shawn? Shawn Spencer?" The leader of the group asked from the sidelines.
Both detectives turned towards him, "What the hell would you know about it?"
Even though the man was connected to the same case, having gun dealer know Shawn's name put a chill up Carlton's spine. Either he'd seen Shawn, or was more involved in things then he was letting on.
The man laughed hard, "You may have caught us here homes, but that hombre is as good as dead."
Juliet's face drained of color and she looked to her partner. "Carlton..."
They didn't spare another second. Juliet and Carlton ran to their car and sped out of the parking lot to Woody's house as fast as their tires would go.
When Shawn woke, he saw Juliet.
She was dressed in a ball gown and was dabbing his head with a cold, damp cloth.
He was burning up, no doubt his gaping stomach wound was the cause of it. However, the cold sensation felt so good he didn't question how his girlfriend even knew where he was, let alone how she got there dressed like that.
"Mmm…. Jules that's nice."
Juliet smiled, and opened her mouth to say something, but all that came out was a whiney bark.
The louder noise startled him awake, and he realized that the sensation he felt wasn't Juliet with a cold cloth, it was Woody's dog licking the sweat off of his forehead.
"Aw… come on." Shawn groaned. The corgi mix jumped back enough that Shawn could see the empty food bowl now laying next to the couch. "I'm sorry, Max. I can't get up to feed you."
The response elicited a louder, more determined bark.
"Hey, give me a break," Shawn groaned. "I'm the one who's shot here."
Suddenly, Max happy face faltered and his jaw seemed to clench. He looked to the door with his ears straight up and tail down.
"What is it?"
A rumbling growl, almost too large sounding for such a small dog, reverberated through the room.
Someone was outside, and that someone wasn't Woody.
Shawn tried sitting up to see if he could see anything. Through the morning sun coming through the blinds, he saw the outline of a tall figure with short cropped hair. As the figure turned, he saw a large nose...
He pictured the officer on the dark stairway who'd shot him. He'd had a big nose too, in his mind he lined up the officer, with the man outside. It was a perfect match. They'd found him.
Oh my God, no.
A phone. He needed a phone, but his was gone and he didn't see a landline anywhere. He didn't have time to look for one either, and had to get up to hide. Now.
With clenched teeth, Shawn pushed himself off the couch and quietly wrapped the sheet he'd been laying on around his torso. He hoped it wouldn't bleed through before he could find a place to lay low.
When he took off the sheet, something underneath it caught his eye. It was a body bag, in his size.
Woody must have put it under there to save his couch from getting bloody... Shawn didn't even want to think of any other reason it could have been there.
"Damn it." He grumbled and went low to keep out of sight, slowly dragging himself down the hallway and heading to the main bedroom.
Hiding in the closet is cliché, but there was no way he was going to be able to out run anyone if he went outside.
Maybe they don't know I'm here for sure and won't look too closely.
The door started to crack from the impact just as he reached the master closet.
To Max's credit, the small dog hadn't barked yet to give away their position. Shawn hoped the he could sense the seriousness of the situation. He also couldn't leave him out in the open either. He'd have to take him inside.
Shawn pushed the door open and agonizing pain nearly dropped him to the floor. White hot flashes of agony seemed to spike his temperature even more and the blood loss was making his knees weak.
A lick on his leg spurred him on and he recovered enough walk inside. He motioned to the dog, "Come on boy, in here." Max followed him in the closet and he shut the door.
He managed to keep himself upright by leaning against the side of the wall. It was very crowded in there. He saw a familiar teddy bear head that took up a lot of room, and also a man sized corgi outfit, complete with tail.
"Oh Woody. You sad, lonely man."
The crash of the door popping open made him jump and look down. The sheet was soaking through, way too fast. Shawn knew he didn't have much time, and as far as he knew, no one but Woody and Officer Shootypants knew he was there.
"SBPD! Come out Spencer!" There was a crash from what Shawn could tell was the hallway, and another closer than that.
He's kicking open doors! There had to be something that he could use to defend himself, but the only thing around was clothes. Shawn looked at the hangers, but they were all plastic, and if he broke one to create a weapon, it would make a lot of noise.
Then, he remembered the teddy bear head and got an idea, but he'd have to do it now; He was losing too much blood to wait to be found.
"Max, I'm sorry if this gets us killed." He whispered to the dog.
The banging stopped and he heard running in the hallway, then through the door. He could see the silhouette outside. The officer aimed at the closet door, and was going to shoot him through it. Shawn had figured that was what he was going to do, so he pushed with all the strength he had left and the doors flew open. The force pushed the officer back just enough that Shawn could lift his arms and shove the giant teddy bear head onto him, backwards.
"You son of a bitch! I can't see!" He flailed wildly, his hands trying to get purchase on the felt and failing.
Max, headed for the officer's feet and attacked them while Shawn grabbed the gun from his hand and pushed the officer over. Unfortunately with the action he shoved himself to the floor as well. He landed on his side, hard and knew that he was not getting up.
The warm feeling of the blood soaked sheet a testament to that.
Finally, the officer got the head off and kicked Max, hard. The dog yelped and ran out of the room, barking.
"Oh, real nice. Do you murder... baby kittens too?" Shawn groaned, making sure to keep the gun on the officer, but it was getting so heavy.
With a sneer, the officer nodded in his direction. "You gonna keep that on me till help comes? I'd say you don't have more than five minutes before you pass out and I get to kill you."
"I'll shoot you... before I even... start to nod off."
The officer laughed. Full out laughed in his face. "Really? What do you think is going to happen? Let's say you shoot me, and unarmed cop. You're gonna die anyway so who will be left to tell them what happened?"
"You made a mistake somewhere. Jules and Lassie will find it." His shaking hand stilled as his resolve grew. "You're the one who's screwed."
Some fear began to seep into the officer's features as Shawn propped his arm up with his other elbow, the gun still aimed at him. The edges of his vision were already getting blurry, but at least he'd have a clear shot.
Come on someone. Please.
He felt his consciousness waning. It was now or never. Kill or be killed.
He tightened his finger on the trigger.
"No, wait!" The officer lunged for the gun, and the shot rang off.
Henry and Woody pulled up in his truck less than ten seconds before Juliet and Carlton popped the curb in a bullet ridden Crown Victoria, ending up half on and half off of his lawn. Henry 's eyes widened at the condition of the cruiser.
"What the hell happened to you guys?"
"Don't ask." Carlton seemed to be ignoring the horrid condition of his usually pristine vehicle.
Woody, however, didn't seem the least bit interested in the shot up car, or the fact that his lawn had tire treads half way up his boulevard. He was too busy looking up at the house with a contemplative stare. "I don't remember leaving those lights on, and I don't think Shawn can get up to flip them."
All four froze and looked at each other as a distinctive "POP" resounded through the house. They all took off at a run as their back up began flooding the street with sirens and lights.
Henry, followed closely by Woody, took the steps to the porch two at a time. The front door was closed, but His son was in there and he'd be damned if a door was going to stop him. He charged, ignoring the warning cries from both detectives to wait.
This is going to hurt.
He lowered his shoulder and rammed into the door...
...which proceeded to fly open at the slightest touch, sending him skidding across the tile floor and into a table with a lamp. He managed to stop himself from flipping over the table, but just barely.
A dog was immediately yapping at his feet, and Woody scooted by him to pick the animal up. "Oh, Max. Are you okay? How's my Maxie?"
"Henry, are you alright?" Juliet helped him to his feet as three more officers secured the area.
"Damn it Spencer, we tried to tell you the door was already broken in!" Carlton sniped as he hurried by, heading quickly towards the sound of the gunshot.
"I have the key too." Woody produced a silver ring with an obvious house key.
After making sure Henry was alright, she moved to follow Carlton to the back bedroom. "You two, stay here, and keep that mutt out of the way!"
"Like hell." Henry followed them down the hall.
"I'm fine with just waiting right here." Woody held Max closer to himself and true to his word, stayed put as more officers, including Buzz McNab, stormed the house. "They went that way!" The coroner pointed to his bedroom, and the other officer's joined the pursuit.
Carlton rounded the corner to the bedroom ahead of him, gun drawn. Juliet had her firearm drawn as well and they both leveled their weapons on the man standing in the center of the room.
Henry rounded the corner and saw Finley Terry was pointing a gun at Shawn, ready to fire.
"Terry stop!" Carlton commanded and stepped aside into the room, giving Henry a better view of the carnage.
Shawn lay between the closet and the bed, sprawled out and bleeding heavily from his midsection. Blood trails led out of the closet in both Puma shoe prints and paw prints. Not to mention all the blood smears and a giant bear head in the middle of the bed.
Officer Terry himself looked worse for the wear. There was a steady stream of blood coming from his left shoulder. An inch down and the man would have been done for.
"He tried to kill me Lassiter! I got a tip that he was here, and when I showed up knocking he tried to murder me too!"
"Bullshit!" Henry launched himself at the officer, punching him square in the jaw, knocking the officer back before the gun was leveled on him.
Buzz grabbed Henry from behind and held him tight. He may not have been able to beat the crap out of the officer that almost killed his son, but at least his words would hit home. "The blood is coming from the closet you moron!" Finley's eyes flicked to the open pair of doors. "For someone hell bent on murdering you, it seems a bit off for them to hide in the closet first!"
Carlton inched forward, reaching out his hand. "Give me the gun, it's over. We're taking you in." Grabbing out her cuffs, Juliet tossed them to her partner, who caught them easily in his free hand. His gun never wavered from it's target.
"But I-" Officer Terry started, licking his lips in panic, obviously trying to find any way out of the lies he'd buried himself in.
Henry watched as the officer's eyes hardened.
He knew that look.
"NO!" The elder Spencer shouted as Finley switched his sights back to Shawn and pulled the trigger.
Henry's ears popped as Carlton's gun went off almost next to his ear. The bullet hit Finley in the head, causing his own shot to go wild and hit the floor less than a foot away from Shawn's own head.
Carlton rushed forward and kicked the gun out of the man's hand as Juliet grabbed the offered cuffs and secured his hands behind his back. They both knew it was all for nothing, but it was standard procedure; Just in case Finley wasn't dead before he hit the floor.
Even though he was.
Buzz finally released Henry's arms and he grabbed Shawn's hand, desperately feeling for a pulse, and gratefully finding one. It was weak, but it was there.
"Get the medics in here!" He shouted and Juliet was suddenly at his side.
"Is he okay? Henry, is he alive?"
"Yeah sweetie," Henry reassured her, "He is."
Everyone in the room, despite the emergency paused, and looked at Carlton.
"Can you imagine breaking this news to Guster?" He quickly explained. "He'd be a mess, right?"
Juliet and Henry shared a look, but didn't press the older detective, or his emotional deflections.
Two Hours Later:
Woody walked through the mess that was his house.
His door was kicked in, all his bedroom doors had foot sized dents in them, his bedroom carpet was full of blood and ruined, and he had two bullet holes in his bedroom walls with one in his floor for good measure.
Best of all though, his dog was fine, and the whole situation had made Woody look like a complete badass.
Even the hottie neighbor next door he'd been trying to catch the eye of for weeks came over to see what was up with the gunshots, and the officers, and the chaos.
She met his eye when he'd walked up and asked if he was okay.
He was sure that meant she was interested.
He was never that good at reading women.
"Max, last night was awesome." He leaned over and pet his dog on the head before he walked into his guest bedroom and grabbed another body bag. It wasn't the best fit, but his other one had been used on Finley Terry.
Dying in the coroner's house was an irony that oddly tickled Woody's funny bone.
As for the fake girlfriend and the business man ringleader, he'd been told that McNab and Dobson were on their way to grab them and bring them in for questioning. There was talk about getting Gus out of lock up tonight too.
It felt really good to be a part of the team today.
Body bag securely stuffed under his arm, Woody pulled on Max's leash lightly. "Come on. Let's see if Shawn needs some company at the hospital."
Two days later:
Shawn was in and out of consciousness. He remembered snippets of his dad, Woody, and Juliet coming in to say hello. Carlton even came once or twice, which was cool of him.
However, when he woke to find his best-est friend alive and well, sitting patiently next to his bed, he couldn't help but smile.
Gus perked up. "Hey. How you feeling?"
"Like I'm missing a hundred feet of intestine." Shawn baited.
Gus seemed to have caught his intentions, but said it anyway. "Shawn, the human body only has about twenty feet of small intestine... and you only lost one foot."
Shawn pursed his lips. No one had told him that much. No spicy tacos or Quatro Queso, Dos Fritos for a while anyway, but he was glad to be alive.
"I heard what happened with the cop." Gus said timidly. Seemingly unsure as to how he would react.
He wasn't sure himself. He was glad to not be dead, but it was still his mess up that had gotten them in this situation in the first place. "Gus, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for you to-"
Gus held up a hand, "Shawn, believe me when I say, that I will lord this over you for as long as I can..."
"...but for now, you need to get some rest." Gus got up and stretched, "I'll be back in a bit. The food in the prison was terrible and I need me some Red Robin."
As much as he wanted to deny it, he really was getting tired.
With a weary, but amused snort, he asked, "How'd you get out anyway? Did you crawl to freedom through 500 yards of sewer pipe just to come see me?"
"That's disgusting, and no they let me out. The girlfriend confessed to her part for a plea bargain, and Krumpin is going down."
That's good news. He smiled and nodded before meeting Gus' gaze. "But you would have though, right? To see me?"
It seemed to take Gus a moment to figure out what he meant, and snorted in amusement and raised his fist for a bump. "You know that's right. Shawshank Redemption style."
Shawn bumped their fists lightly. "That makes me Morgan Freeman..."
It must have been painful for Gus to give up that one, seeing how Morgan Freeman ranked just under Sydney Portière and Rupert Grint in his actor repertoire. Shawn saw the slightest lip quiver before he sighed in defeat, "Yeah, you get to be Morgan... but just this time."
Shawn smirked and settled into his bed, closing his eyes. "Thanks, Gus."
He heard the sound of Gus turning to leave, and a moment's pause before...
"Uh, Shawn. Why is there a body bag under your pillow?"