"And where exactly do you think you are going Shawn?" Henry Spencer called; not bothering to look up from the paper he was reading.
A clap of thunder boomed overhead, and Shawn froze, his snorkel in mouth and flipper midair. He silently pulled the snorkel from his mouth. "I was just going over to Gus's," the boy admitted casually, pretending the full array of scuba equipment he was wearing was normal.
Henry sighed and put down the paper. "Do you hear that noise out there Shawn?" The elder Spencer pointed to the sky just as another thunderous boom shook the house. "This weather is crazy. And what happens when the weather gets crazy?" Shawn shrugged and looked at him blankly," The people get crazy." Shawn rolled his eyes."Just, take that stuff off and come watch TV with me," Henry nodded towards the couch, "I think there's a fishing tournament in Miami that channel 8 is covering." He grinned. Shawn hesitated, refusing to follow his father to the couch. Henry bit back a growl. "Just get over here." Shawn's flippers smacked loudly against the hardwood with each step, causing Henry's knuckles to whiten as he gripped the remote.
Shawn flopped down next to him, arms crossed, elbows resting on the blue and yellow floaty he had around his waist. Kicking his feet up on the table, Henry chuckled. "One day kid, you'll learn to appreciate fishing." Shawn remained silent, but Henry caught his son's slight role of his eyes. With a click, the fishing tournament was flashing in their living room.
"Boggy Everton, 7 time national Bass fishing Champion has just recieved-". A large crack of thunder and a flash of lightning heralded the sound of a tree falling. The TV shuddered and went black with the rest of the house. Henry swore loudly, and Shawn sat quietly on the couch, grinning like the Cheshire cat.
"I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!" The rabbit kept hopping further out of reach as Shawn grabbed after it. It ran through a field of pineapple trees, and Shawn made a brief mental note to return to frolic amongst the pineappley heaven later. Right now he had a bunny to catch.
Shawn screamed for the bunny to wait. Finally it stopped hopping and paused as he caught up. He was breathing hard, and as Shawn put his hands on his legs to catch his breath he realized the pineapples were now upside down. Shawn smiled; now he undersood why his pineapple upside down cake was never up to snuff. He had been buying pineapples that had been grown the wrong way.
Shawn grabbed the bunny by the shoulder-since when do bunnies have shoulders- and spun it around to face him. He froze. Yang.
"You are so not Thumper." He said quietly, trying to remember why she had been let out of prison.
She shook her head sadly, "That's the rabbit from Bambi Shawn. We were playing Alice in Wonderland silly."
Instinct took over, "I've heard it both ways."
Yang giggled and then turned serious. "Do you know where she is Shawn?"
Shawn shook his head. "I already played that game with you. Twice."
Yang frowned. "Do you know where she is Shawn?" She repeated.
Shawn's eyes widened fearfully, "Where who is!" He screamed, his arms flailing frantically.
Yang smiled, her lips curling back to reveal sharp canines. He frowned, if her smile hadn't been so unbelievably creepy, she might have looked vaguely sorry for him and his confusion.
"Shawny, you have to find her," Yang nodded to him.
"Who!" Yang giggled. "WHO!" He screamed as Yang faded to blackness.
A small puff of wind hit Shawn behind the ear, causing the hair on his neck to stick up like needles. "Me," a masculine and digitized voice said from behind.
Shawn wheeled around, nose to nose with the black mask and fedora of Yin. Shawn stopped breathing.
The fabric of the mask pulled as Shawn imagined Yin's face contorting into a smile.
"Boo," the voice hissed. Shawn screamed.
And screamed, waving his arms frantically as he tried to run from his foe. But he couldn't, he was suddenly tied in place, under a pier, as a clock chimed unseen above his head.
Yin stared at him silently for a moment before he started to speak again. "Shawn? Shawn! SHAWN!" he screamed, the digitization gone, as Yin impersonated Gus. Shawn thrashed violently.
"Shawn!" Gus moved back slightly as his best friend came too, removing his hands from Shawn's shoulders. He stepped back to allow his friend to get up.
Shawn stifled what sounded like a whimper as he took in his surroundings. He rose to his feet quickly and moved towards the fridge.
Gus watched him silently for a moment as Shawn yanked a bottle of water from the fridge and chugged it.
"You ok?" Gus asked tentatively. It was a stupid question and they both knew it.
"Fine." Shawn answered curtly, staring at the window where the word 'Psych' was written on the window. Or more specifically, just left of it, where an 'O' had been painted earlier that year. "Just fine."
Gus rolled his eyes. "Shawn." He advised warningly.
"It's nothing Gus." Shawn said, his temper irrationally short. He ran a hand over his face and through his hair and frowned. He glanced in a nearby plate as a makeshift mirror. His hair looked bad. He puckered his lips as if to pout. Shawn sighed. He didn't have the energy to care right now.
"Everything is not ok Shawn." Gus scolded, his tone ordering Shawn to cut the B.S. "Ever since that spy case with Nadia three weeks ago you haven't been sleeping," Gus raised a finger, "And you told me to call Chief Vick to notify her that we were busy with other clients and would be unable to assist with police investigations until further notice-which is obviously a lie since we have had zero cases in the last three weeks," he added another finger, "And something weird happened between you and Juliet at Declan's that you refuse to tell me about-and I know you've been screening her calls, AND, your hair looks horrible." Gus finished.
Shawn leaned his head against the fridge, "Go for the hair. Way to kick a man while he's down Gus," Shawn commented humorlessly.
Gus puckered his lips in a frown, biting back a legitimate retort. "And on top of everything, I expect better banter out of you Shawn."
Shawn let out a breathy chuckle, and nodded. "That at least is true," he nodded towards Gus, his usual doofy smile firmly in place. "But my hair always looks amazing. Let's go get smoothies."
Shawn grabbed his jacket as he headed towards the door. "Want me to give you and your hair a minute alone?" Gus asked dryly.
"Yeah, that'd be great buddy." Shawn nodded, sprinting for the bathroom.
Shawn sipped on his pineapple smoothie quietly as he and Gus stood watching the waves crash against the pier.
"This weather is getting crazy," Gus commented.
Gus, "The storm rolling in is suppose to be huge…"
"Man, are you really trying to have a conversation about the weather?" Shawn finally scoffed.
Gus bristled, "Well at least I'm attempting to have a conversation Shawn," he said accusingly.
Shawn sighed, "That's fair," he conceded, taking another sip of his smoothie.
Gus frowned. He hadn't just won that one had he? In all their years as friends, he couldn't remember a single time Shawn Spencer had rolled over that easily.
Shawn pushed off the pier railing and turned to head back towards the psych office. "Crap." He muttered.
"My dad's truck is parked outside." Despite his tone and irritation, Shawn started back towards the office.
"She kissed me," He confessed quietly.
Gus frowned, a knot of dread growing in his stomach as he asked a question he was sure he knew the answer to, "Who?"
"Jules. At Declans. While you were off biding on the hotel," Shawn waved his hand, trying to play it off nonchalantly.
He was failing miserably.
Gus put his hand on Shawn's arm, stopping them just outside the Psych office. "Shawn, what did you do?" Gus scolded.
Shawn's eyebrows shot up in surprise, and he stomped his foot like an indignant six year old, "I didn't do anything!" He ran a hand over his head, replaying the scene he hadn't been able to get out of his head," I wished her a good trip and next thing I know she was…" he paused, "She kissed me." Shawn looked at his friend in confusion, his eyebrows knitted together.
Shawn opened his mouth to answer when the door to Psych swung open.
Henry looked between the pair irritably, "Shawn, you need to find a better place to hide your key. Keeping it under the fake pineapple on the stoop won't cut it. You know that kid." Henry turned from the door and walked further into the office. "And this place is a sty!" he yelled over his shoulder.
Shawn rolled his eyes but followed his father in.
"And hello to you too father," Shawn answered smartly. Shawn's eyes darted to the file in his father's hand and his tone shifted instantly. "No. I told Chief Vick I wasn't available."
"Technically, I told Chief Vick that WE weren't available," Gus said from behind him.
Shawn clenched his teeth. "Either way," he shot a meaningful glare towards Gus,"…we aren't available."
Henry ground his teeth and slapped the file into his son's chest. "You haven't had a case in weeks Shawn. Believe me, I've checked. You can take this case, and you will." Shawn opened his mouth to argue, "I don't care what your personal issues are right now son. There is a little girl missing. And with no body there's a chance this girl is still alive. Karen wants all available personnel on this case; and you Shawn, happen to be very very available. "He stared at his son darkly until Shawn's hand came up to take the file from his dad.
"Fine." Shawn conceded icily.
"Good," Henry nodded, "Now get your jacket and get your butts down to the station.
"On one condition," Shawn said sharply, a grin playing over his face.
Henry felt his face start to boil. "And what might that be," he spit out, his teeth clenched.
"You treat me and Gus to pineapple smoothies on the way over." Shawn shook his drink,"I'm all out." Henry rolled his eyes, "And the spirits require constant hydration in order to be…properly…lubricated…" Shawn shook his head. Gus raised an eyebrow; it wasn't often Shawn botched his delivery.
Henry blinked disbelievingly at his son, speechless. "Yeah…fine…I'll,"he shrugged," get you a smoothie."
"Great!" Shawn said, with extra enthusiasm, eager to forget his last line. He shook his head as he walked out the door; he really was off his game.
Henry glanced silently at Gus as they watched Shawn walk away. "Whats with him?"
Gus shrugged. Even with Shawn's confession about Juliet, Gus was pretty sure he was far from getting to the bottom of that mystery.
Crime Scene: The House of Mr. Adam Jordan:
Shawn sipped his new smoothie loudly as Gus drove. "This is just the preliminary report that was filed when the girl, Millie Jordan, was reported missing by the butler." Gus read.
Shawn sipped the smoothie again, "The butler did it."
"What Shawn! Don't be ridiculous! You haven't even seen the crime scene yet!"
"What? Dude, it is ALWAYS the Butler." He paused, "Usually with the candlestick. Occasionally in the library."
Gus glared at him.
"Of course I'm not completely ruling out the revolver or the billiards room yet either," Shawn added to placate his friend.
"Shawn, there isn't even a butler in that game."
"Sure there is; Butler Mustard."
Gus frowned, "Ok, I know that you know that's Colonel Mustard." Gus shifted the car into park as they pulled to a stop at the house.
Shawn popped out of the car, smoothie in hand. "I've heard it both ways." He shrugged.
"Shawn! Gus!" Buzz waved at them as they approached his position guarding the front door. "Are you on this case?" He asked happily.
"That we are," Shawn said cockily. Gus nodded. "What can you tell us Buzz?"
"Oh well, not much to tell just yet. Millie Jordan is seven. Parents are divorced; her father got custody. She goes to a private school for gifted kids. There's no sign of a struggle, no blood, nothing overturned, and the alarm wasn't triggered, which is why it took so long for Mr. Jordan to realize his daughter was gone."
Gus frowned, "How long has she been missing?"
Buzz winced, "Since mid afternoon yesterday. The last person to see her was her piano teacher who was with her till three."
Shawn listened to Gus question Buzz as he sipped his smoothie. As a member of the forensics team opened the door to the house to leave, Shawn froze as he saw a long head of blonde hair in the main foyer. Lassie and Jules were inside. He felt his stomach twist into one giant knot. He bit down on his straw.
"Thank you so much for the info Buzz." Shawn clapped the big man on the shoulder. "Tell me; is there a back way into this place?"
Buzz frowned then nodded, "Through the garage, right over there," he pointed. Buzz waved as they walked away, "I'm glad you two are back!"
Gus waved politely back at him as Shawn hurried off towards the garage.
"Shawn, what's wrong with the front door?" Gus questioned.
Shawn sighed, "Nothing buddy." Gus glared at him, "What? This entrance onto the crime scene will be much more interesting." Gus stopped walking and crossed his arms over his chest.
Shawn sighed. "I…Jules is in there." His shoulders slumped. "And I can't…I –I don't…"He licked and bit his lip, "Gus, I don't have the slightest clue what to say to her."
Juliet wheeled around quickly, feeling her stomach knot nervously. She could have sworn she heard…she gave the room a quick once over before she let the disappointment wash over her; he still wasn't here. She turned back to Carlton to find he had also froze, one hand on a clipboard of notes, the other slowly reaching for his gun. Juliet felt a large irrational grin start to spread over her face. Only one person could make her partners trigger finger that itchy.
"Did you hear…" Carlton muttered quietly, poised for action. His eyes darted around the room as he listened intently for a millisecond before relaxing. "No. No, Spencer is not here. He is not working any cases with us until further notice," Lassiter repeated the words to under his breathe. Juliet felt the knot in her stomach tighten as he repeated the mantra; that had been Chiefs response when she had asked why Shawn had seemingly disappeared. Lassiter closed his eyes as he smiled and inhaled deeply; the last three weeks at work had been like a vacation.
Juliet felt her heart sink into her stomach at Lassiter's words. She didn't know why Shawn had asked Vick to stop putting Psych on cases a few weeks ago-Shawn hadn't responded to any of her voice messages-but she had a suspicion that the timing between their kiss and his request was more than a coincidence.
Buzz walked towards them with a big dopey smile on his face, "Guess who's here!" He said excitedly.
As Lassiter's face fell in disappointment Juliet's split into a large grin; Buzz didn't even have to say their names, both detectives knew who had made Buzz so happy.
Just then she heard Shawn's voice again, drifting in from one of the other rooms.
"Yes, this pineapple smoothie is quite amazing. There's this lovely new vendor down near our office. It's so strange, the stand is called Ernie's but the guys name is Roger. Vietnam vet with some nasty burn marks; nice guy. And the smoothies taste light and fluffy like they have been kissed by a pineapple angel," he paused, and Juliet felt heat rise to her face. He was the same as ever, goofy and obsessed with his prickly yellow fruit. "Or perhaps a pineapple fairy. I've always had this theory that Tinkerbell-"
"Shawn, nobody wants to hear your theory about pineapple and Tinkerbell."
She turned the corner into the room in time to see Shawn give Gus an angry glare. She frowned; Shawn Spencer did not look like himself. His face was pale and almost gaunt, he had definitely lost some weight, not enough to garner attention from an average acquaintance, but if she noticed Gus had to have noticed too. She felt her eyebrows pull closer together; it wasn't like Gus to miss things with Shawn. Both of them had their backs to her as they talked to a beat cop in front of the fireplace, giving her another second to take in his appearance. His shirt was wrinkled; obviously slept in, possibly for multiple nights. She felt a lump form in her throat. His hair. It looked obviously, horribly disheveled, not in its usual cute and quirky way. If there was ever a red flag that something was wrong with Shawn Spencer, her immature but always impeccably groomed psychic, it was definitely that. She paused. Since when had she considered him her psychic.
She didn't have long to consider this, as suddenly Shawn wheeled around. "Jules!" he exclaimed, his voice raising an octave higher than usual when he saw her. "Howw aarre youu?" he asked over enunciating. Biting her lip, she tried to swallow down the fear his antsyness was causing in her. There was an edge of panic in his eyes, and in the split second he managed to actually meet hers, Juliet was pretty sure she saw a flash of fear and guilt. She paused in her tracks; this new, terrified, almost ill looking Shawn was one she had never seen before. Juliet could hear her heart pounding in her ears as his gaze fluttered over her. It wasn't in the teasing way he had three years ago, or even the awkward but unapologetic way he had looked at her after everything that had happened with both Yin and Yang. It was different in the worst way imaginable. Juliet O'Hara felt her heart sink down to her toes.
"You're blonde…again…"Shawn noted awkwardly. Juliet swallowed, trying to pull forth the same strength that had allowed her to wish him luck on his first date with Abigail after the Yang case and found that she couldn't. Feeling like she had just been doused by a bucket of cold water she nodded numblly instead. Had she really thought she could waltz in and talk to him about what had happened between them she wondered briefly. Yes, she had. After hearing his wired confession to Gus from the survelience van, she didn't understand why he was reacting this way. He wanted this. They both wanted this. So why did he look like he was looking for any oppertunity to run?
Gus glanced between her and Shawn. She could sense some unspoken agreement passing between them. Gus's look hardened as he turned back to her.
"Oh! I'm having a vision!"Shawn declared loudly. He blinked rapidly around the house, "I have to go over there!" he pointed up the stairs and sprinted up them two at a time.
On instinct, Juliet moved to follow Shawn. Gus blocked the doorway.
"So Juliet, how was your trip?" Gus asked pleasantly, his normal smile plastered on his face. It didn't quite meet his eyes, and Juliet sighed, understanding moments too late what signals Shawn and Gus had sent each other wordlessly. Gus was running interference. And there was a good chance Shawn had just faked a vision to avoid talking to her.
"Your timing is just awful."
Shawn's words from two years ago rang loudly in her ears. She really did have the worse possible timing when it came to him.
"I didn't…I broke up with Declan." Juliet admitted under Gus's scrutinizing eye. "I never went on vacation. I've been here; working for the past three weeks." The slightest of smiles pulled at the corner of Gus's lips; apparently that had been a good answer. A tidal wave of realization crashed over her and she felt her cheeks burn. Gus knew. Of course he knew. Juliet sighed.
They stood silently for a while. Gus still blocking the doorway, her making no effort to pass.
"How is he?" Juliet finally whispered, looking Gus straight in the eye.
Gus drew himself up to his full height before deflating slightly. He cast a glance up the stairs to make sure they didn't have a psychic listening in before he answered.
"I don't know." Gus admitted. And Juliet was grateful that there was only the slightest hint of an accusation in his short sentence.
She nodded and went back to analyzing the stain on her shoe as Gus rocked back and forth ever so slightly.
"He's having nightmares," Gus added; so quietly Juliet wasn't sure she had heard correctly until she saw the grave look on Burton Gustards face. She took a moment to really survey him too. Just like with Shawn there were rings under his eyes. Gus was worried and exhausted.
"I…" Juliet trailed off, her voice cracking. Gus looked down at her sympathetically.
"It's not your fault Jules." She couldn't quite hide her flinch at his use of Shawn's name for her. It was only Shawns. Gus seemed to understand this too.
"He has a lot going on Juliet."Gus shifted awkwardly. "He didn't even tell me about what happened between…." He paused, and both of their faces turned a deep shade of Scarlett, "well…he didn't tell me until today."
Shawn sighed as he ascended the last of the stairs, breathing heavily. He would have to treat Gus to another pineapple smoothie later…with Gus's credit card but still. He ducked his head into a room. Definitely not the victims.
He sighed as his thoughts turned to Jules again. He would have to explain things to Gus eventually…as soon as he had them worked out. She'd kissed him. She had a boyfriend who she was about to take a LONG-seriously two weeks, who had that much vacation time!-vacation with. And she had kissed him. In the house of the boyfriend with whom she had been about to take said ridiculously long vacation with. A boyfriend, who despite a ridiculous name and even more irritating ability to show him up at every turn, Shawn actually liked. He ran a hand through his unkempt hair and checked another room. Also not the victims. There was also the fact that He had been lying to her for years. That he himself had no idea how much of their relationship was built on lies vs. the truth vs. half truths. That kiss itself had felt like a lie…no…that was being dramatic. That kiss had been amazing. But throughout the whole thing all he had been thinking was…oh…victims room!
He entered the pink and flowery room and sighed. Oddly generic. In fact the only thing remotely unique was the ridiculous amount of stuffed animals in the room, the majority of which were puppies. He squinted, was that a unicorn sticking out of the heap of animals? He scanned the rest of the room quickly and frowned. Right before he had run into Jules, he had been talking to a cop. He frowned and held his hand to his head. Pictures had lined the fireplace behind the man; there were 13 pictures. Eight had been of Millie and in 5 of those pictures Millie was holding the same blue teddy bear. Shawn pursed his lips as he scanned the room. No Teddy bear in sight. Odd. He had a sinking suspicion that that little tidbit would end up in his next 'vision' to Lassie and Jules.
Shawn cringed; even the word 'vision' made him sick now. He couldn't do it. Even if he wanted to, he couldn't be with Juliet O'Hara and lie to her about being a psychic. He groaned and sank against the wall. If he even wanted to entertain the possibility of a real relationship with Jules then he had to come clean…of course she could also be hurt or betrayed or angry if he told her and she might tell Lassie. Who would tell the chief-assuming of course that Lassie didn't just shoot him himself-who would then proceed to carry out the threat she had issued five years ago and Shawn would see the inside of a prison cell for the lies he had told. He sighed and pulled one of the many stuffed animals close to his chest. So what if he was tampering with a crime scene; they could add that to his bill. Shawn leaned his head against the furry critter and closed his eyes. He hadn't slept through the night since Juliet had kissed him. It had been all nightmares and guilt. Every time he closed his eyes he either replayed the moment; the taste of all the lies he had ever told on his tongue, or he saw Yin standing by the pier, close enough that he could have reached out and grabbed the bastard. He felt his fist clench tighter around the stuffed animal in his arms.
Abbigails face briefly joined the swarm of images in his head. Yin had tried to make him choose between Jules and Abby. Abbigail had been his girlfriend so all logic would indicate that saving her would be an easy choice; that leaving Jules behind would be a regrettable but necessary sacrifice for the woman he loved. Only it hadn't been. Not rushing to Jules side was one of the hardest things he'd ever done. But nobody knew that; and yet somehow Yin had. Shawn shuddered; more than one of his dreams in the last few weeks had centered around Yin using Jules to get to him again. And that wasn't an option. He would never in good conscience put her in harm-he still got knots in his stomach when he thought about that stupidly constructed plan with the Hitchcock films; he'd been cocky and arrogant and thought that he was untouchable-that she was it had nearly killed her. No, if Jules as a friend from the police station was good as bait then Jules in a serious relationship with him would be too much to pass up. He'd already had this discussion with himself over and over. The only way to ensure that she wouldn't be put in the middle of that game again was to keep her at arms length. He sighed. That had been so much easier though when he hadn't been working with her. Or at least it had been easier, before she'd started kissing him. He banged his head back against the wall.
This case was gonna suck.