For Whumpathon 2015.
Location: Psych office
Whump: suffocation, stab wounds
Toolkit: rope, knife
Villian: McQuarrie (aka Garth Longmore)
Set after episode 4x09 "Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark"
This is my first Whumpathon attempt. Let's hope it goes well.
"No, Shawn, I'm not going to drive you to a murderer's house!" Gus slammed his car door shut and drove away, leaving Shawn on the sidewalk. Shawn knitted his eyebrows. Why was Gus bailing on him? Okay, maybe using his pharmaceutical case for storing chocolate was a bit much, but it certainly didn't mean he should completely abandon him. He was just about finished with the last bar anyway.
He began to walk back into the office, where Gus had just stormed out of. Maybe Gus was just being paranoid. It had only been a few weeks since he had gotten shot...but Shawn felt fine. He was a little bit more careful when he went to follow a hunch, but, other than that, things were normal.
He opened the door to the Psych office and walked inside. Sighing, he locked it behind him. Both Gus and his dad would kill him if he didn't. They didn't want anybody to be able to walk up behind him when he was alone in the office.
Shawn tossed the chocolate wrapper in the trash as he yawned. It was only three in the afternoon, but he felt exhausted. He was ready to crash on the couch when he felt a searing pain in his left shoulder.
The doctor had warned him about this. There was some small nerve damage where he was shot, so he got some pains sometimes. Though Shawn was pretty sure that it was supposed go away by now.
Then he realized something. It didn't feel like nerve damage at all. No, it really felt like something quite different. Maybe something cool and thin impaling him.
Then he turned to see the person behind him who was wielding the knife.
For the past few weeks, Carlton Lassiter had been having the best and worst days of his life. It had been what he's always wanted - a Spencer-free police station. No psychic visions, no jumping around obnoxiously, no stealing of coffee. No yells, no distractions. And while this was exactly what was right, it felt wrong.
The station was quiet, yes, but too quiet. Carlton had to admit that Spencer brought a certain sort of life to the place, and, without him, it was gone. Yes, they were still solving cases, but it was the first time everyone noticed how much they missed Spencer, how much they'd needed the comic relief.
It had been weeks since the recovery of their beloved psychic, but the Chief was forced to put him on temporary leave due to protocol. It would be another week before he could even step foot inside the SBPD to try to get a case.
And that was why Carlton Lassiter sat in the station, at his desk, staring at his darkened computer screen, his coffee forgotten on his stack of paperwork. Things just didn't feel right.
"Carlton," He heard a voice, but didn't acknowledge it. "Carlton!"
The urgency in his partner's tone snapped him out of his thoughtful fog.
"What?" Carlton sat up straight in his desk chair, waiting for whatever news Juliet had to tell him.
"Prison transport called," She said softly. "Three guards were found knocked out, and one is missing. We're assuming he was paid off. McQuarrie escaped."
No, no, no, no, no! He did not work so hard to put this guy away just so he could escape. The worst thing was that he had only one motive. No family, his girlfriend breaking up with him after finding out what he'd done...yes, there was only one thing left. And it wasn't good.
"Carlton, we haven't been able to reach Shawn or Psych," He was standing up at her words. "I've got Gus on the phone -"
"Guster!" He barked as he ran to his car, Juliet close behind. "When was the last time you saw Spencer? And where?"
"Um, I left him at the Psych office," Carlton heard the shake in his voice, but he didn't have time to deal with it. "About fifteen minutes ago."
"Son of a bitch," Carlton muttered. A lot of life-threatening things could be done in fifteen minutes. He'd be damned if he let this guy get to Spencer again. Just a few weeks earlier, he had nearly been too slow. He wouldn't have even been able to rescue him at all without Henry Spencer. But now they had an idea of where it was going down immediately, and he wasn't going to let all of his skills go to waste. Maybe he hadn't done well enough as a detective before, but he knew he was a skilled marksman and could pull off a rescue. Just as long as he could get there in time. Police lights blaring and sirens wailing, he and his partner sped away.
The knife had hit the still-healing scar of his gunshot, so it wasn't a complete surprise when Shawn let out an earsplitting scream. Blood gushed out of the wound as Longmore pulled the knife out.
"Hey dude, um, I know that you're angry, but can't that be resolved by that ice cream you were talking about?" Shawn's voice shook. He still had his confident-sounding stalling skills, but memories of his kidnapping flooded his mind. He knew he shouldn't mess with him. He'd beaten Rollins thanks to Lassiter, Juliet, his dad, and Gus, but Longmore was only taken out of the picture because Rollins wanted him to be. And Rollins wasn't the one who shot Shawn. Plus, the man had somehow hidden in the office without him noticing. Not cool.
His quip was answered with a slice of the knife on his arm.
"Shut up," Longmore growled. "You know exactly why this is happening. Though I think I need to resort to other means for now."
Shawn's eyes widened at what he pulled out. It brought back horrific memories.
"Shh..." Longmore whispered as he kept his hands around Shawn's throat. "Shh..."
His dad and Lassiter were both outside, talking to his other captor. If only he could yell out, turn their attention inside the store, let them know that he was there...if only he could yell.
Before he knew it, Longmore had taken the rope and put it around Shawn's neck. Suddenly, he couldn't breathe, his snap back to reality not quick enough to take one last breath. His throat made sounds of suffocation, his lungs not able to get oxygen. He heard his dad yelling at him in his mind, telling him to not stop fighting.
He reached his hands up to pry the rope from his neck, but Longmore just quickly slashed each arm with the knife. The only good part was that he had to let go of one side of the rope to do this. He gulped the air that could now get through his body. The burst of air gave him just enough strength to break free of Longmore's grip.
He quickly ran to his desk and grabbed the first thing his hand could find. He had to support with the chair, but he succeeded in hitting Longmore with the object.
"Really?" He exclaimed forgetting the danger for a second. "How did I even get the Chief's glass fish? She would never let me leave with it..."
Then he was stabbed in the leg.
Shawn cried out and slumped to the floor. Blood smeared across the desk, chair, and floor. It was coming from his shoulder, arms, and leg, so that was something to be expected. His neck ached, and bruises were probably already forming. He groaned as his head hit the desk. That was the last of the fight in him - he could never do it again.
Longmore grinned as he knelt down.
"You know, most people would be satisfied with this," Longmore just watched as Shawn lay there, not struggling anymore. "But I'm not 'most people'."
With that, he plunged the knife into Shawn's stomach.
He didn't know long he stayed there. All he knew was that it had been a while since Longmore left, and he stayed there, bleeding out on floor of one of the few places he considered safe. He'd accepted it already, he knew there was no way to escape it, and there was no reason for anyone to be looking for him.
/Wait.../ Shawn thought. Longmore had to have escaped. He was supposed to be in prison. And victims are supposed to be notified when their attackers get out, whether it be through an escape or a release. They'd look for Longmore. Shawn just hoped that he'd be found.
He waited for sounds, any sounds. Five minutes had passed when he heard sirens.
/Finally/, he thought. He would be saved.
Then the door opened.
There was no way that that was the police, they were at least five minutes away. His blood ran cold as he realized who it must be.
The click of the gun confirmed his suspicions. Of course he'd come back, even after leaving him to bleed out, his thirst for revenge dictated the way he'd stabbed Shawn. Longmore wanted him to suffer, so he stabbed him in a way that would make him bleed out more slowly. But he must have realized that the police would find him soon, so he'd returned to finish the job more quickly.
"I'm not going to be that criminal, Shawn," Longmore whispered. "I'm not just going to shoot you and be done with it. I'm sure you're familiar with this gun."
Shawn's eyes widened. Longmore held a .45 auto, but not just any .45 auto. It was the same one from that early, early morning, all those weeks ago. The sight made him reach up to his left shoulder, even though there was so much pain, not just in his arms, but everywhere. His body was on fire, no, not just his body, but his mind. He could feel the bullet in his shoulder again, he could feel the duct tape around his wrists. He began to breathe heavily, just as he had done while running in the forest. He felt Rollins hit his head with the phone. He felt the cool metal of the gun while lost in his memories. Then he realized something. Everything he'd just felt was a memory...except for the gun. That was still there.
He opened his eyes one again to Longmore holding the gun to his neck, the same way Rollins had when he was still in the chair. He realized that the police could never get there in time.
Not with the way Longmore was smiling.
The man was smiling, just watching Shawn relive his worst memories, and being happy that he's caused it.
And Shawn just knew that he wouldn't hold back. He was preparing for the worst, just waiting for the moment when a single sound would ring out, the sound that would seal his fate.
He heard it seconds later, but he felt no pain. Then he heard something else, something that made him happy, something that made him smile.
"SBPD!" A voice yelled. "Put your hands where I can see them! Hands!"
5 minutes earlier...
Carlton sped towards the boardwalk where the Psych office was. Apparently Spencer's apartment was close enough for him to have walked home in the time that Gus had left him for, but he didn't have time to take that chance. He and his partner had to get to Psych.
They had a team of black-and-whites behind them, but he couldn't stop his hands from gripping the steering wheel so tight that his knuckles turned white.
If Spencer was even half as wounded by this guy as he was the last time, Carlton wouldn't hesitate to put a bullet through him.
"Come on..." he growled. Traffic was heavy, and, even with police lights, it was taking too long. Then he was opening the car door.
"What are you doing?" Juliet asked, although she still slid over to the driver's seat to replace him as the driver.
"This is taking too damn long," With that, Carlton bolted down the street. They were only a few blocks away from the Psych office, so he could get there before the traffic cleared. He would take this son of a bitch down on his own if it was the best way to save Spencer.
He slowed as he reached the door two minutes later. The traffic was already clearing, but the extra time could be necessary. He didn't want to startle McQuarrie into shooting, if he hadn't already.
He opened the door as quickly as he could without making noise. He poked his head around the corner.
The tip of McQuarrie's head was visible just above Spencer's desk. He didn't see Spencer himself, but the blood pooling from the area gave him a pretty good idea of where he was.
Carlton crawled over to the doorway past the entrance and raised his gun. He had to be extremely careful. If the shot went through McQuarrie, it would take him down. But he had no way of knowing Spencer's position. What if it hit him too?
Then he heard the very distinct sound of a gun cocking. He had no time. He had to take the shot or Spencer would be killed for sure.
His shot rang out and he began to yell as he rushed toward McQuarrie's fallen figure. As he put cuffs around his wrists, Juliet burst into the office, along with some other officers and the paramedics.
Then he looked at Spencer.
This was not good.
He'd never liked waiting rooms.
It wasn't so much the fact that it was waiting to know if someone was going to survive or not as opposed to the idea of just waiting. Like a ticking time bomb when you didn't even know if it would blow or not. There was nothing you could do to stop it, no way to know ahead of time, no way to avoid the inevitable.
In a way, it reminded him of his relationship with Victoria. He knew that they were grasping at straws, the writing had been there for longer than it should have been. Perhaps they were in denial. They had both wanted to work it out, but between the stress Carlton got from his job and the worry that Victoria couldn't get rid of, they couldn't deal with each other after work. And so they'd gotten separated and, eventually, divorced.
But there was no drawing this out. Only waiting.
"Family of Shawn Spencer?" A voice said. Henry, Gus, and Juliet had been there from the very beginning, while Carlton had come only after analyzing the scene. It had taken a little longer than usual without his partner, but he didn't dare say anything about it. He had to admit that he was shaken as well, though it was obvious that Juliet was more so than him.
"Mr. Spencer has contusions around the neck as well as rope burn," the doctor began. "He also had several cuts and lacerations on his upper body. There were also three stab wounds, on his shoulder, thigh, and stomach."
"Is he okay?" Henry asked frantically. "Can we see him?"
"Yes, and yes," the doctor replied with a small smile. "He does have a bit of a road to recovery, but he will be just fine. The position in which he was on the floor prevented extremely severe blood loss."
Carlton stayed behind while the others rushed to see Spencer. He had nearly failed again, but it was much worse this time. He couldn't stop the attack before it happened even though they knew where it would probably happen. Would Spencer blame them for not getting there in time? Juliet might not have thought of that, but she had a much closer relationship with the man. He, however, was more focused on his work, and he cursed himself from the moment he saw the condition of the man on the floor.
That was why he left as soon as he realized the one thing he needed to do. The next thing he knew, he was reloading, taking aim, and firing his gun at the targets in the shooting range. At first he was confused. He only saw one bullet hole at the center.
When it was brought closer, he saw that he had managed to shoot dead center every single time. This was why he came down. He needed to make sure his skills were up to a standard that he had set for himself, but he also needed to relieve the stress that he wasn't a good enough shooter.
It was just bad luck that the prison truck had been broken out of mere minutes away from the Psych office. It wasn't his fault. He couldn't have gotten there more quickly.
Somehow, shooting and thinking began to clear his mind, and that was what caused him to return to the hospital. He didn't even know what Spencer thought yet, but, if he didn't forgive Carlton, it would be okay. He had already forgiven himself.
So he entered the hospital room. Spencer was hooked up to an IV and a ventilator. Bandages were wrapped around his arms and there were surely more on his chest and leg, creating bulges. Gus and Juliet were sitting next to the bed while Henry stood by the window, staring aimlessly.
He knew that there was only waiting now, but it would all be okay. Because the bomb had been disarmed.
It had been dark for a while. He couldn't see or feel anything, but he could hear.
Shawn heard yelling, he heard wheels, and heard an engine, and he heard beeping. The logical part of his brain was screaming hospital, but he was still scared that Longmore had done something. Couldn't that beeping be a bomb? Couldn't the engine be a stolen car? Maybe he was imagining it, but he felt an extremely calloused hand on his arm. The kind of callous you get from years of hard work.
Then he heard a gruff voice. It was familiar, but it wasn't Longmore. And so he relaxed. He wasn't in danger anymore, was he?
"You're going to pull through, kid," the voice said. It was his dad, he realized. And his dad would never lie to him about something so serious.
He heard another person, probably Gus, start to ramble in the silence. Maybe it was a good time to let them know that he was listening.
He put all of his energy into opening his eyes. It was harder than he thought it should be. It took a few moments to get them to budge. Then he felt a floaty feeling. He was on pain medication, so that must have been why he wasn't able to accomplish his task easily.
He eventually succeeded in opening his eyes, but he closed them immediately when the light flooded in. It was too bright for him to handle after being out for so long. But that was no longer his biggest concern. He felt something in his throat. He didn't usually feel something in his throat, did he? That alarmed him, and he began to try to pry it out.
"Relax, Spencer," So Lassiter was there too. "It's a ventilator. It's helping you breathe."
He opened his eyes and saw his dad, Gus, Juliet, and Lassiter crowded around his bed. Though Lassiter was hanging around the edge.
They talked for a few minutes. Shawn was caught up on what had happened to Longmore. He hadn't been dead when Lassiter shot him, but he died on the way to the hospital.
"I should probably go get the doctor," Henry nodded at his son. "You did good, kid."
If he had meant that because he hadn't died, then Shawn wasn't going to bother giving a sarcastic reply. He was pretty glad that he hadn't died as well.
"I'm going to go get a coffee," Juliet said. "Gus, you want to come with me?"
Soon enough, Lassiter was the last one in there. He was about to leave when he stopped.
"Hey, it's good to see that you're okay," Lassiter said. "Shawn."
"Thanks for saving me," Shawn replied. "Carlton."
I couldn't resist that last bit where Shawn and Lassiter said each other's first names. I needed the Shassie bonding.
I hope you guys liked this Whumpathon entry!