Shawn’s Norton was the only sound in the desolate wasteland of a town where the meet was scheduled to happen. He knew, as he parked, that he would be at a distinct tactical disadvantage but it didn’t really matter. In the end, he only needed the one little bit of leverage he had.
This wasn’t a hail mary pass.
This was a deal with the devil at the crossroads.
Shawn took a deep breath, mentally bracing himself as he absently tossed his keys from hand to hand. He really didn’t have any more time for stalling. There was only so much time before Jules and the others figured out that he had slipped his tail. And he needed every second of that time if he was going to make this work.
He only had one shot.
One chance to save everyone.
He swallowed hard, forcing the bile back down his throat. Methodically, Shawn double-checked his pistol, making sure it was fully loaded and cycling properly. His father had given him this particular gun years ago and Shawn really needed a bit of Henry with him if he was going to go through with this plan.
He forced himself to focus, to bury all his fear and anxiety and anger. Shawn locked it all away: emotion, connection, personality... Everything that made Shawn who he was, was squashed down into a little box and hidden away. When he opened his eyes again (he hadn’t even realized he had closed them), Shawn noticed his hands had finally stopped shaking.
All that remained was ice cold resolve, the SIG P226 tucked in the back of his waistband, and his keys left on the seat of his motorcycle.
Shawn’s gaze lingered on the little plastic pineapple keychain attached to the key ring. It had been a gift years ago, not long after they had opened Psych, actually. The little pineapple had been through a lot, smashes and crashes and chases and gunfights... It had been frozen, crushed, burned, and even microwaved. The keychain was a symbol of Psych and everything they had done with the SBPD. And now Shawn was about to pass it on...
It was a surprisingly long walk to the warehouse and Shawn had to fight to keep a lid on his emotions. It made the short stretch of abandoned lot feel like it was lasting forever. On TV, they were always stretching out this part; Shawn always thought it was only to heighten tension. But as the warehouse door swung shut with a groan behind him and he was surrounded by the sounds of many pairs of boots, Shawn decided that the TV shows were frighteningly accurate.
“Breskovic!” Shawn yelled, his voice sounding strange as it echoed through the empty space. He turned sharply to the left at the sound of shuffling and stomping boots.
“Mr. Spencer...” Breskovic drawled in his exceedingly creepy, rasping voice. Shawn tensed as he watched the old crime lord shuffle into view. “I believe we make deal now.”
“Where’s Gus?” Shawn snapped quietly, his eyes cold.
Breskovic’s face twisted into a slow half-smile as he casually gestured over his shoulder, his eyes never leaving Shawn’s. Two goons appeared beside Breskovic, harshly propelling a badly beaten Gus by his arms. Shawn ground his teeth, his eyes flicking over to check his best friend for injuries before returning to keeping an eye on Breskovic and his shifty goons.
“See, I take such good care of your little friend,” Breskovic mocked, giving Gus a hearty pat on the cheek. Shawn’s hand flexed, itching to reach for his pistol.
Not yet. It was still too soon.
Breskovic’s ministrations jarred Gus back to alertness and he lifted his head to stare at Shawn as though he were hallucinating.
“S-Shawn..?” Gus slurred.
“Hey buddy,” Shawn replied tightly. “How’re you feeling? You able to walk?”
It didn’t escape Shawn’s notice how much he sounded like his father at that moment and he marveled at it for a second. Good. He was going to every bit of Henry’s unbreakable nerve for this.
Gus’ mouth worked for a moment, his confusion resolving into anger as he stared at Shawn incredulously.
“I’m fine,” he finally grunted. “But what the hell are you doing here?! That bastard wants to kill you!” Gus’ voice had risen to a sizeable roar by the time he finished.
“I know,” Shawn said simply. Breskovic chuckled as Gus sputtered in frustration.
“Your friend is right to be angry, Mr. Spencer,” Breskovic taunted. “You come here so rashly to make deal... but what can you possibly offer me that I do not already have?” He finished in a voice deadly serious as the sound of numerous assault rifles being aimed reinforced his point.
They were surrounded. There was no way out.
Shawn glanced briefly at Gus, meeting his terror filled eyes. Pure ice pumped through Shawn’s system at the sight, his resolve becoming rock solid.
“Oh, I do have one bargaining chip...”
The tone was light, but Shawn’s voice was hollow and hard. Before Breskovic’s men even had time to react, Shawn whipped out his SIG P226 and pressed the muzzle to the underside of his jaw. Leveling a look at Breskovic, he pointedly switched off the safety and cocked the hammer, his finger poised over the trigger.
Breskovic did his best to look unperturbed, but Shawn could clearly see his pulse throbbing at his throat, pounding away like a jackhammer.
“You see, what you really want is me... Specifically dead,” Shawn stated with a hint of a sneer. “But you don’t just want me dead, you want to make me suffer first. And after all the effort you put into kidnapping Gus to use him as bait so you could make a deal... I bet it would piss you off if I were to just--”
Shawn paused dramatically, pressing the muzzle harder into his skin. Breskovic blanched.
“--off myself right here.... Alllll that work... for nothing! You wouldn’t even be able to enjoy the fact that I was dead!”
The entire warehouse became absolutely still, as though as single breath would bring the whole structure to the ground.
“I believe we are at an impasse, Mr. Spencer,” Breskovic said, all traces of his prior mockery and arrogance gone. “But I thought we are here to make deal...?”
“We are,” Shawn snapped. “You let Gus go and swear-- I mean really swear--” he emphasized the word with a twist of the muzzle into his throat. “Swear that this is over and that you will never again even breath too close to my family or friends or anyone in Santa Barbara!”
Shawn’s voice had become a snarl that was so unlike him, he almost didn’t believe the words had come out of his mouth.
“That... may be possible,” Breskovic replied slowly. “But what do I get in exchange?”
“Shawn, no!” Gus yelled in a panic, his voice finally returning to him. Breskovic’s face split into a malicious grin. “Shawn, you can’t!”
“This is a very... enticing offer,” Breskovic drawled, cutting Gus off.
“It should be,” Shawn said with a sardonic smile. “You get everything you want with the added bonus of having forced me into asking you to do it.” He squashed down any feeling of triumph as he watch Breskovic seriously consider the deal.
“My terms...” Shawn began when he was sure Breskovic would take the deal.
“More?” Breskovic asked mildly.
“Just the specifics,” Shawn assured him, ignoring the look of utter betrayal on Gus’ face. “You will swear that your business with me--and therefore anyone associated with me--is over. You will swear not to harm or in any way interact with my friends and family. That includes your lackeys and any other cretins you manage to dig up to do your dirty work too.... You will never come near my friends or family again!”
Breskovic merely raised his eyebrows in consideration.
“Gus goes free,” Shawn continued after taking a deep breath. “Immediately. He will take my bike and go straight home. After, and only after, I hear the motorcycle leave, I will lower the gun and.... you can do as you wish.”
For a second, there was only silence.
“Well, that sounds very nice... but what is to stop Mr. Guster here from bringing your little cop girlfriend and the pet dog right to us? He knows a little too much, even for such a very delicious deal.”
“Gus will swear not to tell the police what happened here and that no investigation will take place,” Shawn replied evenly.
“I won’t!” Gus cried futilely.
Breskovic just laughed.
“As if that is a reassurance!” he scoffed.
“It is,” Shawn’s voice was stony. “Gus swearing to do something is significantly more trustworthy and absolute. He’d die before breaking that vow.”
Breskovic glanced from Shawn to Gus, catching the despaired, reluctant acceptance in Gus’ expression that spoke volumes on how true Shawn’s words were.
“Do we have a deal?” Shawn asked tightly. “Remember, if you do not accept and comply by my terms, I will pull this trigger right now.” In his eyes, Breskovic saw only frigid resolve.
Shawn would pull the trigger. Without hesitation.
“We... have a deal,” Breskovic agreed finally. Gus cried out in pain and grief at his best friend, his brother, making a deal to trade his life to the devil.
“Swear,” Shawn snapped. Breskovic considered him for a moment before speaking.
“I swear on all that is holy to me to release the family and friends of Mr. Shawn Spencer... as well as the pitiful city of Santa Barbara... They will not be harmed by me or any associated with me, even if on my behalf. They are safe.”
“And,” Breskovic added lightly, “since you impress me with your stupid bravery... they will be protected from any of my... colleagues... and enemies as well.”
Breskovic’s eyes were intense as they locked with Shawn’s. With a subtle wave of the hand, Gus was released. He stumbled forward slightly, walking towards Shawn only to stop a few feet away.
“Gus...” Shawn’s voice was much gentler, his eyes speaking for him.
“Please Shawn...” Gus sobbed, shaking his head. “Please don’t make me do this...”
“I’m sorry...” Shawn said softly. “I need you to swear...”
Gus silently stared at his best friend, tears rolling down his cheeks as his whole body trembled.
“I swear,” Gus finally managed in a sob, “that I won’t tell the police and to make sure no investigation is made.” He spat out the last few words, glaring at Breskovic, who surprisingly enough did nothing to mock the gravity of the situation.
Shawn let out a small laughing sob of relief.
“Can you make sure to...?” he asked softly.
Gus didn’t need to be told, he knew Shawn well enough to know what he wanted.
“The keys are on the bike... Leave. Just keep driving ‘til you get back home. Don’t call anyone. Let them come to you...” Shawn trailed off as Gus nodded. “And... thanks for everything, man.”
“It’s been epic,” Gus replied, trying to stifle his sobs.
They didn’t need words to say goodbye. With one last fistbump, they said everything they needed to and more.
Gus paused to flick off Breskovic before stalking past the lackeys and out the door, not trusting himself to look back. Shawn didn’t let up his firm hold on the gun as he waited, holding his breath as he listened to his beloved bike roar to life one last time before fading as it disappeared down the road.
Drive safely, buddy... Shawn thought when he could no longer hear the bike. He turned back to Breskovic and let out a sigh of relief and resignation, lowering the gun.
They were safe.
“You know, Mr. Spencer...” Breskovic said solemnly as Shawn was quickly deprived of his weapon and forced to his knees. “I truly think that, had we met under different circumstances, we might have been great friends.”
Shawn met his eyes and saw only sincerity. Which was oddly disconcerting to see in the man who was going to torture and kill you. But Shawn’s life had always been weird like that, why would it change at the end?
“Maybe in the next life,” Shawn offered with one of his trademark grins. In all likelihood, the last ‘Shawn Spencer’ grin that would ever be seen, and it was given to his murderer.
“Maybe...” Breskovic murmured in agreement as Shawn was hit in the back of his head with his own gun.
As he lay there, looking up at the crime lord, Shawn almost would’ve sworn he saw a hint of a sad smile.
Then there was only darkness.