It was high noon when Gus walked into the Psych office, dog tired. He'd spent most of the night and all morning standing in a line at the Buy More in Burbank to get one of the new StarLite cell phones. His buddy Chuck said he'd get him a great deal, and he had... but unfortunately didn't save him a spot in line and things got a bit hairy in the rush. However, after eight hours and one split lip, he’d gotten the phone.
As he opened the door, he wasn't surprised to find the shades drawn. Shawn was most likely here and working, as usual. Besides spending time with his family, it seemed to Gus that Shawn immersed himself in work. He'd asked Shawn about it but he ended up getting a noncommittal shrug and said he needed to keep his mind busy.
Gus had a feeling that it was more than that, a lot more. He shook the thought off, not wanting to think about it right now. Today was going to be spent at his desk, playing with every gadget, gizmo and app he could download.
Just as he entered the main part of the office, he noticed Shawn sitting motionless on the couch with his arms on his knees, and his eyes closed. There was no way his friend was sleeping, because the only way he could sleep is if it was under 40 degrees. So Gus wondered what exactly was going on.
"Shawn?" He asked tentatively as he turned on the office light.
Shawn's eyes shot open. For the briefest instance, Gus saw white irises before a blink brought his eyes back to their normal brownish-green hue.
Rubbing his eyes, Shawn squinted at him, from the sudden glare of the illuminated office. "Gus? I wasn't expecting you back for at least another half a day..." Shawn rose and stretched, as if he'd been sitting a while. "From the sound of your last text you were about to take a machete to your fellow techies." He could see that Shawn had detected his injury by the subtle sniffs in his direction. "Looks like they won buddy."
Gus snorted indignantly and sat down on the couch next to Shawn, admiring the phone. It had a bright blue casing, reminiscent of the Blueberry, and silver lettering scrawled in tiny letters on the back. "Dude, it was worth every bit of it. This has the most up to date technology of any phone. The camera is supposed to be state of the art too!" He immediately started putting in his new settings and selecting his home screen wallpaper. So many choices...
Shawn took a look at the phone with a raised eyebrow before scoffing and leaning back against the corner of the couch. "Why did you even need a new phone? Your other one was just fine."
He gave Shawn an annoyed look, "I still have it. I'm just going to use it as my Playa Phone."
"Again with the Playa Phone." Shawn mocked. "In case you forgot, you have a girlfriend. You don't need a playa phone."
Shawn went right for the jugular, as usual. Coraline and Gus had been officially going together for seven months and he'd never do anything to jeopardize their relationship. Plus the fact that Coraline, a centuries old vampire, could snap him like a twig if she wanted to.
Giving indignant sputters as he knew he'd been beat, Gus ranted loudly, "You can't just let me have my dreams Shawn!"
Shawn's shushing came too late, as a wailing cry of a cranky baby pierced through the office. The vampire winced at the noise, and Gus immediately felt ashamed for waking the baby up. He should have known Shawn was watching his daughter while Juliet was at work.
"Aw Felicity..." Shawn baby talked as he bent down and picked up the small bundle of blankets. "Did mean ol' Uncle Gus wake you? Yes he did..."
Despite being made out to be the bad guy, again, Gus had to smile at the scene of his friend and his baby girl. She had sandy blond locks with a little bit of curl and puggy baby cheeks that Gus could say, without embarrassment, he'd pinched more than once. Her eyes were the spitting image of Shawn's own, and in the five months since her birth, they'd darkened to their permanent greenish brown hue.
Remembering his phone, Gus tapped the camera icon to catch the ridiculous face Shawn was currently making. He'd show it to Juliet as soon as he saw her. That, and he'd keep it as blackmail for later. Shawn hated being caught doing something cute.
He tapped the phone once more and the screen flashed as the image was captured.
"Hey! No fair!" Shawn griped as he heard the small click of the artificial shutter sound.
"Suck it Shawn." Gus grinned widely, knowing that his friend couldn't retaliate with his arms full of baby. He looked down to see if he'd managed to get the full kissy face Shawn had been making, but there was something wrong. "What the hell?"
Shawn started to head over, curiosity outweighing outrage. "At least tell me you got her smiling." He leaned over to see what Gus was gawking at. His eyes widened and his mouth fell open in disbelief.
Gus imagined Shawn's shocked expression mirrored his own. It wasn't every day you saw a flying baby, or what looked like a flying baby.
Felicity was there, still wrapped up in her blankets. A gray button down shirt was also there, but any part of Shawn that wasn't covered in clothing... was completely gone.
"Thanks Strode. I'll come pick the bags up after my shift." Carlton Lassiter bid farewell to the station's coroner who'd been supplying him with the bagged blood he'd been drinking since being turned just shy of a year before. It was expensive, but since he didn't have to spend any money on food besides what Marlowe ate, it wasn't breaking his bank too much.
Carlton let the doors swing shut behind him and he headed down the almost new hallways of the SBPD. The builders had used some of the original specifications from the old blueprints, but added on improvements like monitors in the corners for announcements, computer stations for visitors and new cells for the inmates. The records room, which had been completely destroyed by the explosion that had killed three officers and destroyed the whole building nine months before, had been narrowed down to a few computers and maybe one or two filing cabinets. He had to admit, he liked the additions.
Looking up, he noticed Buzz McNab, who waved as he passed. Carlton gave him his own half-hearted wave as he continued on his way.
As he walked, Carlton's thoughts, drifted to his wife. Lately she'd been subtly putting some pressure on him to turn her. It was a big move but he'd promised her when she was still in prison that he would. However, after what he'd seen Shawn go through the last few months, he didn't know if he'd be able to deal with it.
Sure, Shawn looked and acted a lot like his old self, most of the time, but he couldn't hide how he was feeling from Carlton. It wasn't just because Shawn was his sire, it was the subtle shifts in scent, movement, and moods that tipped him off. It was a hell of a front the other vampire was putting up though, and if it worked for Shawn then Carlton wasn't going to call him out on it. For now.
The detective trudged up the stairs and realized he was getting a bit weary from the sunlight pouring through the windows. Fortunately though, he'd been given his own office after the rebuild of the SBPD and he'd already pulled the shades down earlier and was looking forward to a little bit of privacy and shade.
Carlton was almost there when a small commotion caught his attention and he saw Shawn and Gus rush into the station, ignoring the other officers and making a B-line straight for him. "Oh Christ what now?" Carlton mumbled and dropped his hand from the doorknob so he could address the two men approaching him.
"Lassie!" Shawn called and jogged up to him. He was holding his baby girl so he wasn't going terribly fast, but his trot seemed urgent.
When Shawn got within reach he thrust Felicity into his arms and Carlton had to grab her quickly. "Spencer, Guster wha−" His words were cut short when an extremely bright flash went off right in his face.
By the time his eyes cleared, he saw that Shawn and Gus were huddled over a little bright blue gizmo. "Spencer I don't know what the hell that was but don't include me in your little practical jokes."
A small laugh brought his attention to the baby and she was smiling up at him. For some reason she always found it funny when "uncle Carlton" was grumpy. Carlton vaguely wondered how something so adorable could come from Shawn and Henry's DNA.
Apparently Felicity's better half of the gene pool had overheard him and wandered over from her desk. "Carlton what's going on?" She asked coming up behind him. She noticed her daughter and made little raspberries in her direction.
Nodding in Shawn and Gus' direction Carlton grumbled, "Ask them. They're the ones flashing people." He realized what he'd said a moment after saying it and saw Juliet wrinkle her nose in mock disgust. "Camera flashes."
Juliet snorted and rolled her eyes at him before walking up to her fiancé and his friend. Reluctantly, Carlton followed. He was mildly curious as to what had their attention so captivated anyway.
"Alright what are you two up to?" Juliet smiled, but when Shawn looked up at her, the intensity of his gaze showed her it was no joking matter. "Shawn?" He angled, what Carlton now saw was a phone, towards them and on the screen he was able to see Felicity, his dark blue suit, but that was it.
Carlton passed the baby off to her mother and grabbed at the phone, but Gus pulled it away protectively. "I'm not going to steal it Guster! I want to get a better look." Reluctantly, the black man handed over the phone. Carlton turned the device every which way and tried to see if it was just a trick of the light, but no... he just wasn't there. "What the hell is this?"
"No idea." Shawn shook his head, mystified. "We just found out and had to see if it was the same with you."
Furrowing his brow, Carlton asked, "What do you mean the same with me?"
Carlton watched astounded as they swiped through at least thirty photos of what was apparently Shawn, but the only thing they saw was the objects he interacted with, and his clothes. Nothing more. Some of them were almost funny, floating objects and all, but the seriousness of the situation tempered the humor.
"This is impossible." Juliet lowered her voice so the other officers around them wouldn't hear. "I thought vampires not showing up in mirrors and pictures was a myth."
"It is!" Shawn stressed. "At least as far as I was told." He still looked unsure.
Carlton guessed it was something they would have to ask Mick St. John, their vampire detective friend from LA, or Josef Kostan, a wise yet vain four hundred year old vampire and mentor.
Suddenly, a disturbing thought occurred to Carlton as he watched them check out the pictures again. "Guster, what kind of phone is this?"
"It's a StarLite phone. Newest on the market."
"And how many of these are out there?" Carlton continued, hoping his theory was wrong.
Gus snorted, "Please! This is the most wanted phone out there. Actually just came out this morning. By next week half the world is going to have one of these babies, and I have one of the first." He smirked smugly.
Shawn's face went slack and Carlton knew his sire had just come to the same conclusion he had. "So, hundreds of people are walking around right now with a cell phone that makes vampires look invisible?" Carlton cringed as fear trickled through the air and Shawn's eyes paled. "We need to call them."
"Call who?" Gus asked, concern marking his face as well.
"Everyone. There's not much we can do about the phones already out, but we need to stop people from getting more. Maybe Josef could do something, get a hold of someone to stop this." Shawn balled his fists at his sides and closed his eyes in an attempt to calm down.
"Shawn," Gus said slowly. "I know Josef has connections and all, but we're talking about the entire world. This phone is going to be everywhere."
Carlton could tell Gus and Juliet were concerned that Shawn was over reacting, but he doubted they knew how important secrecy was to vampires. It kept both sides safe. Vampires safe from human hunters, and humans safe from vampires who would otherwise go on killing sprees but didn't because of their code. Now, all it would take for them to be ousted would be some schmuck taking a 'selfie.'
"We can at least warn them." Carlton sighed. "Doing nothing isn't going to help anyone."
"Oh my God, I have to call Coraline!" Gus grabbed his phone and quickly headed outside to make his call.
"Spencer," Carlton got the younger man's attention. "You should call Morgan. Let him know what is going on. He has government contacts and he could do something too. I'll call the others."
Nodding and coming back to himself, Shawn opened his eyes. He looked next to him at Juliet and his baby. "Things were going too good for us weren't they."
The statement almost broke Carlton's heart. He'd gotten a lot more respect for Shawn since they'd been turned and his sire had been through hell and back, but still the blows kept coming. "I suppose so Shawn." Carlton spun around and headed for his office, before he could say something, God forbid, endearing. There was no time for sentiments right then anyway. Things were going to change fast, and they had to be ready for it. He had the sinking feeling that being a vampire was about to become more of a liability than ever.