“So there were three seconds left, the whole room was looking at me like they knew it was impossible, but then right when the other guy was going in for the last tortilla chip, I¾ ”
A sudden knocking made Shawn stop his story as he and Gus both look towards the Psych office door.
“That’s probably Cassie,” Gus said cheerfully before he hurried to get the door.
Shawn leaned back in his chair, listening to the couple exchange happy greetings. Gus had told him about his new girlfriend, a receptionist at Central Coast that he’d gotten to know fairly well. From the way his best friend described her, Shawn could guess that things were getting pretty serious.
Gus muttered something, making Cassie giggle, quickly followed by footsteps heading back towards Shawn. He quickly straightened in his chair, fiddling with the post-it notes on his desk nonchalantly.
Gus, however, wasn’t fooled. “Oh stop it. I know you were listening.” He passed Shawn, heading towards the bathroom in the back of their building. “I’m going to be right back out. Please, please don’t say anything to scare her, Shawn. I like her. A lot.”
Shawn did his best to look offended. “Dude, I can’t believe you’d even say something like that. I would never offend your date.”
He heard a snort, then the click of the bathroom door closing. Immediately, Shawn jumped out of his chair, scrambling out towards the front of the Psych office. Sitting in what Shawn liked to call “The Waiting Area”, which really only consisted of a group of chairs and two People magazines from 2007, was a woman probably in her early thirties. She was dressed nicely in a green blouse and a knee-length denim skirt. Her hair was a rich dark brown that just reached her shoulders.
Shawn cleared his throat to get her attention and grinned. “Hi, I’m Shawn Spencer,” he said. “Psychic detective extraordinaire and best friend to one Burton ‘McFly’ Guster.”
Cassie stood up to shake his hand, laughing slightly. “You call him McFly?” she asked.
“Only when I feel the urge,” Shawn said. “And you must be the lovely Cassandra?”
“Cassie,” she nodded. “He’s told me a lot about you. You guys have been friends since you were kids, right?”
“Well, I’d like to believe that we’ve been friends for centuries. In past lives and the like. I can remember running around London with him many years ago, and opening a pub called the Slaughtered Lamb. Or maybe I just dreamed that after we watched that John Landis movie marathon. Hm. But if you’d like to sit down, I want to run over a few things with you.”
Cassie looked confused, but she sat back down in the chair, watching Shawn expectantly. “What kinds of things?”
Shawn ignored the question. He slid into the chair across from hers, clasped his hands together and watched her intently. “How many dates have you been on with Gus, Cassie?” he asked, his tone as serious as he could manage.
She raised an eyebrow. “Uh, probably six or seven now. Why? Did he say something about me to you?”
“Oh he’s only said good things about you, but that’s why we’re having this little chat. Six or seven, huh? Sounds like it’s building into a serious relationship.”
Cassie nodded. “I’d like it to be, yes.”
Shawn considered this answer, nodding slightly to himself. “Yes. Well then. I’d just like to run over a few ground rules with you,” Shawn said. “First of all, don’t keep him out too late. I know he might say he doesn’t mind grabbing a drink across the street after that late-night movie showing, but really, the man has two jobs. And a cranky, tired Gus makes nobody happy. Have him in by 10:30 on weeknights, no later than midnight on weekends.”
Cassie’s jaw dropped a little bit. Shawn could practically hear the ‘is this guy for real?’ statement that was very likely running through her head. Before she had the time to ask the question aloud, Shawn decided it was best to continue.
“Next rule. I’m going to claim Wednesdays and Sundays as indefinitely my time with Gus. No dates allowed on those days. Well if you call me at least three days in advance we can all do something together." Shawn paused to think about this. “Sundays are always good for group activities. You can have Tuesdays as your day, I suppose. Unless you want Thursdays, because I’m good with those too.”
Cassie was still looking at him as if he had declared that Bigfoot was having a barbeque across the street and they were all invited. But she managed to swallow her disbelief and keep a straight face. “Why do I only get one day?”
“Well, I have seniority in the Gus department. I’m the only one allowed to have two complete Gus days, except maybe his parents. But only because without them, there wouldn’t be a Gus at all,” Shawn pointed out. “You have to get a few more relationship hours in before you qualify for a second day.”
Cassie nodded slightly, starting to catch on. “Tuesdays are good with me. Any more rules?”
“Oh yes, a few more. Psychic visions often come at inopportune times, and you can expect Gus to receive calls, and sometimes visits, from me in the middle of the night to drag him off to solve a case,” Shawn told her. She nodded, and he was pleased to see she was starting to smile slightly, finally able to get some amusement out of the conversation, and not just sit there in shock. “Also, if we do have a case, it trumps your Tuesday rule. You can still meet him for coffee or something, or have a quick lunch with him, but unless we don’t have any leads or aren’t meeting again until the next morning, the case takes priority. We need to make money some time.”
“So what happens on the other days of the week?” Cassie asked. “The ones you and I don’t have claimed.”
“Ah. Those work on a first come, first serve basis, or occasionally personal preference. Every now and again Gus can choose who he wants to hang out with on these other days, but sometimes I might have to butt in and tell him the better choice,” Shawn explained.
“The better choice?”
“Say you want to bring him to see a chick flick starring Patrick Dempsey, and I want to….well anything would be better than a chick flick starring Patrick Dempsey, actually. I can immediately decide for him that going to that movie would be a bad choice and he should go and do something with me.”
Cassie coughed to try to cover up a laugh. “Is that it?” she asked.
“Yep, I think that’s about it.” Shawn heard the sound of a toilet flushing and he stood up from his chair. Gus would probably spend a minute or so washing his hands, so he still had time to make it back to his chair before his friend even realized he’d ever left.
“You guys really are close, huh?” Cassie laughed.
“Practically brothers. Actually, we’re platonic spouses. I’m considering ordering us matching rings, but I just can’t find a pair that matches both of our eyes. It’s really a shame.”
“Well, Cassie, have a nice date. Remember, it’s a weeknight, so he's got to be home by 10:30. I’ll even call him and make sure he’s there,” Shawn said. He gave her a quick wave before sprinting back to his desk, jumping into his chair just as Gus came back into the room.
Gus took one look at his friend and sighed. “You gave her the rules, didn’t you?”
Shawn smiled. “Well of course I did, buddy. Any girlfriend of yours should know we’re a package deal and she’s got to work on my schedule.”
“Shawn,” Gus groaned.
“Oh relax!” Shawn got back up and patted his friend on the shoulder. “I like this one. She took it all very well. Unlike that last one who just got up and left after I explained which days were mine and which one she could have. She clearly would never have been able to handle a deep relationship with you.”
“Well, what’s going to happen if I actually get into a really good relationship with Cassie?”
“Don’t worry, dude.” Shawn grinned and patted his shoulder again. “I’ve already got my best man speech planned out.”