One gorgeous summer day in Santa Barbara, Shawn strode up the boardwalk towards a frozen yogurt shop, his best friend right beside him.
“But everyone loves them, Gus!” Shawn was objecting.
Gus rolled his eyes. “Define everyone. Because I can only think of about two people who don’t threaten you with bodily harm when you get up and start announcing those silly awards.”
“They’re not silly. And Woody always thinks they’re fun!”
“Shawn, this is the man who eats lunch on the autopsy table,” Gus tried to reason.
His friend just shrugged it off and pushed open the shop door.
As they walked inside, the man behind the counter smiled and waved. “Why hello there, Shawn! Hi, Gus!” he greeted happily. “So good to see you again; it’s been a while!”
“I like places where they know my name,” Shawn elbowed Gus. “How’s it going, Joe?” he replied enthusiastically, waving back. “Gus and I decided to come visit again for Christmas.”
“His name is Lester,” Gus corrected, following Shawn over to the soft serve machines. There were only two other customers in the shop, who seemed to be college students based on their ages and the books spread out on the table in front of them, but neither looked up as Shawn and Gus passed them.
Normally, Shawn would have spent five minutes debating with Gus over which flavor was the best to choose - after which he would fill his cup with every single option available - but he didn’t get a chance this time. Just as he was turning to Gus to start their usual discussion, movement at the glass entrance caught his eye.
“Gus, duck!” was all Shawn had time to say before two men dressed in black and wearing ski masks stormed inside, each waving a large handgun at the room’s occupants.
“Everybody down!” the shorter of the two yelled. One of the students screamed and there was the screeching sound of chairs scooting quickly across the floor as their occupants scrambled to obey. “You!” the criminal pointed his gun at the man behind the counter. “Give us all the money in the register and safe. Now!”
Lester had his hands raised and nodded slowly. “I... I can get you the register cash but I can’t access the safe.”
“Well why not?” the man yelled.
“Didn’t they read the sign on the door?” Gus muttered under his breath to Shawn.
“They’re robbing a froyo shop,” Shawn whispered back. “They’re obviously not that bright.”
The two friends were still crouched behind the short counter that separated a row of booths from the soft serve machines. Shawn turned to crawl towards the edge but Gus grabbed his arm.
“I don’t think they know we’re here,” Gus hissed. “Call Lassiter.”
“Why can’t you call Lassiter?”
“Because you used my phone to test out that stupid internet thing about waterproofing it, Shawn,” Gus hissed back. “Remember? You still owe me for that. Now do it before that guy hears us!”
Shawn rolled his eyes but pulled out his phone. A moment later, he grinned. “Lassie!” he whispered happily. “So glad you answered!”
“Spencer, I don’t have time for your shenanigans. I’m finally about to get lunch with my former partner - if you’re good for anything, it’s that you brought O’Hara with you on this trip,” the head detective snapped.
Brow furrowing, Shawn shot Gus a sideways glance. “You wouldn’t happen to be at your new favorite sandwich shop, would you?”
“Pulling up. Why are you whispering?”
“Uh, because Gus and I might be getting froyo next door. And there might be two armed robbers in here too.”
Lassiter’s exclamation was interrupted by an even angrier voice from the other side of the shop. “What are you doing? You pressed the silent alarm!”
Shawn peeked around the corner as Gus gulped. Lester had his hands raised and was backing away from the counter as the robber aimed a gun at him.
“Lock the door!” he snapped, then turned his attention back to Lester. “Now, where’s the safe?”
“In... in the back.”
“Then let’s go.” He glanced over at the door, where his taller partner stood after having locked it. “Stay here and make sure no cops come in. And make sure those two don’t try any funny business,” he added, gesturing to the two students.
After the robber and Lester had disappeared through the doorway into the back room, Gus grabbed Shawn’s arm and scooted quickly along the floor to the small bathroom at the back of the public portion of the shop.
Shawn glanced down and realized the phone call was still connected. “Oh, hi, Lassie,” he said, putting it back to his ear.
“Spencer!” To say Lassiter was perturbed would be an understatement. “What are you doing?”
“Just getting away from bad guys, talking to you, not much. Oh there’s a bad guy by the door, just so you know. He’s got a big gun and lots of extra bullets so I don’t think you’ll get in without him hurting anybody. At least not anytime soon.”
“We’re working on it, Spencer. Just don’t do anything stupid and get anyone killed, okay? And stay on the line so we can hear if anything changes.”
Shawn suddenly grinned mischievously. “I don’t know, Lassie. That’s usually the most fun. The ‘doing anything stupid’ part, anyway. But you know what could keep me out of trouble? I have some announcements that I need to make. Can you put me on speaker?”
“Okay, fine, I can do it to just you,” Shawn shrugged. He grinned at Gus, who was rolling his eyes heavily.
“Shawn, you’re going to get us killed. If not by the robbers, then by Lassie when we get out of here.”
“Well, Lassie threatened to shoot me if I did this again, but seeing as how he isn’t here in the person right now, I seizured the opportunity.”
“‘In the flesh,’ Shawn.”
“And it’s ‘seized,’ you idiot,” Lassiter added. “Tell Guster to talk some sense into you.”
“Please, everyone, I've heard it both ways,” Shawn scoffed. “And no can do, Lassie. I have awards to announce!”
“What? Shawn!” Gus smacked his friend in the arm. “You were supposed to do it later when you drag everybody to the hotel ballroom. Don’t think I didn’t notice the extra charge on my card.”
“Well, things aren’t working out that way,” Shawn shrugged. “Anyway!” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of index cards. “Best Standalone Shorts,” he read. “Gus, does that mean a pair of pants that can stay up by itself?”
“It’s Best Standalone or Short. And how long have you had those in your pocket?” Gus demanded.
“Shh, Gus, you’re interrupting.” Shawn turned his attention back to the card and continued. “Ooh, there were lots of winners here - and that’s only third place. We have ‘Celebrate Good Times, Come On!’ by Emachinescat, ‘Night Thirty-Nine’ by shutterbug, and ‘Smash That Snowglobe’ by apple jacks jules. Second place is just as full, with ‘Starfish’ by stuckinpasttimes, ‘Vacation’ - which is chapter 3 of ‘A Psychic and a Pharmaceutical Salesman Walk Into A Bar’ - by Redwolffclaw, ‘Coffee Break’ by Collegekid06, and ‘The Booth at the End’ by ZedPM!”
“Please tell me there aren’t ten stories in first place,” Lassiter snapped over the phone.
“Nope, just one.” Shawn grinned at Gus, who rolled his eyes. “First place would be DinerGuy and ZedPM’s story, ‘C is for Cookie and Carlton... and Concussion.’”
“What did you say?” Lassiter snapped. “Did you just utter my name in the same sentence as the word ‘concussion’?”
“Don’t worry; there were cookies, too,” Shawn assured him. “Now, moving on to the Best Episode Tag or Missing Scene category, we find ‘Night Thirty-Nine’ by shutterbug in third place, ‘Jerky Shawn’ by dragonnan in second, and ‘We Are Men of Action - Lies Do Not Become Us,’ also by dragonnan, in first.”
He moved the top card to the back of the stack, read the next card, then looked at Gus. “Remember that Friday the 13thmarathon we wanted to have? These are a lot like that... at least, I think they are. Best Horror or Supernatural awards go to the following: third place to ‘Ghostly Encounter’ by Singingpurplerose, second to both marniewings’ ‘Book of Days’ and Redwolffclaw’s ‘No Such Thing as Psychics,’ and first to ‘Masterpiece’ by Syncop8ed Rhythm.”
Gus snatched several cards from Shawn, then leaned in to speak on Shawn’s phone. “My turn now.”
“Oh for the love of justice,” Lassiter sighed. “You too, Guster?”
“Well, standing against the wall is boring,” Gus explained, shrugging at Shawn. “And I kind of like doing these every year.”
There was a heavy sigh from Lassiter’s end of the line. “Fine. But only because I won’t hear the end of it if I don’t let you.”
Shawn clicked the speaker on and lowered the volume. “If we whisper, they won’t hear us.”
Gus cleared his throat and read, “Third place for Best Mystery is awarded to ‘The Long (and Longer and Longer) Day’ by DinerGuy. Second place goes to both ‘Elementary My Dear Gus’ by PineappleMaster and ‘Beyond the Strange Chance’ by ladipretender, while first is split between ‘A Very Risky Proposition’ by aakira and ‘Jack and Jill Went Up The Hill...’ by JR88fan.”
“Ooh, put Juliet on the line for this next one!” Shawn exclaimed, reading off of the next card in his friend’s hands.
“What is it?” Lassiter wanted to know.
“Best Romance,” Gus supplied.
“She’s not here right now,” Lassiter replied. “She’s talking to the chief about this situation. Just read the stupid list already.”
“It’s not stupid,” Shawn defended. “Our fans have worked very hard on these stories, thank you very much.”
“Can I read now?” Gus wanted to know. At Shawn’s nod, he did so. “All right, looks like JWGrace came in third with ‘On the Turning Away,’ Syncop8ed Rhythm’s ‘Sweet Dreams’ and aakira’s ‘A Very Risky Proposition’ tied for second, and dragonnan won first for ‘I Would Do Anything for Love, Even That.’”
“I wonder what ‘that’ was,” Shawn mused. “I just hope it wasn’t dying.”
It sounded as if Lassiter had dropped something. “What?” he asked quickly.
“Lassie, the spirits tell me you weren’t paying attention just now,” Shawn chided. When there was no answer from the head detective, Shawn chuckled. “At least I know you care a little bit about us. But no one died - not in real life anyway. These are fictional accounts of one or more of us dying in some way or another that some sickos decided to write. I just hope I went heroically,” he added after a brief pause.
“Best Deathfic doesn’t sound like a good award,” Gus shook his head. “But that award did go to several authors... third to Psychrulz for ‘Too Little, Too Late,’ second to Vindicata for ‘Running Up That Hill,’ and first to Redwolffclaw for ‘An Occurrence at the SBPD.’”
“Uh... are you crying, buddy?” Shawn asked.
Gus pursed his lips and tilted his head back and forth. “You know I’m a sympathetic cryer, Shawn.”
“What? Who else is crying?” Shawn shook his head. “You’ll like this next one better: Best Alternate Universe, which is where authors label their stories ‘AU’s and change our lives up a little.” He snatched the third card from Gus and dodged the ankle kick his friend directed his way. “That category has two stories in third place, which are ‘Yesterday's Just a Memory’ by PineappleHead and ‘Make it Through the Night’ by catlover5040. Then second place just has one, which is ‘No Such Thing as Psychics’ by Redwolffclaw, and first does too - ‘The Patron Saints of Liars and Fakes’ by tjmack1986.”
“That must be your patron saint,” Lassiter groused. “Are we done?”
“Nope!” Shawn sounded pleased with himself.
“Then talk to McNab. I’ll be right back.”
There was a shuffling sound on the other line, then the rookie’s voice came over the line. “Uhhh... Shawn?”
“Buzz! Buddy!” Shawn greeted. “Lassie doesn’t want to talk to me right now.”
“Well, he is kind of busy with this hostage thing,” Buzz defended.
Shawn sighed. “Yeah, I guess. Hey, so do you want to hear the next awards category?”
“Yes!” Buzz happily agreed. “I was wondering when you were going to do these again!”
“I would fistbump you through this phone if I could,” Shawn grinned. “Oh well.” He looked back down at the cards in his hand. “Let’s see... next is Best Crossover, which is where writers imagine what would happen if we met other people they really like... I wonder if they write all these stories about other people too?”
“So, who won?” Gus prompted.
Shawn cleared his throat and continued. “This year, the third place winner is a crossover with Doctor Who called ‘When Harry Met Shawn’ by DTS. Second place goes to two different crossovers - ‘The Booth at the End’ by ZedPM, which crossed over with, you guessed it, The Booth at the End, and ‘No Such Thing as Psychics’ which is Redwolffclaw’s crossover withMoonlight. And silverluna won first with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie crossover called ‘Keepsake.’”
Gus quickly snatched up the card below the one Shawn had just finished. “Best Banter! Shawn, they must know you well,” he remarked. “Third place,” he continued before Shawn could say anything, “is awarded to ‘Necessary Sacrifices’ by Redwolffclaw, and second... oh, wow, that’s a lot.”
“What?” Shawn leaned over. “Who votes six stories into second place?”
“Let’s hope they knew what they were doing,” Gus muttered.
“Guys?” Buzz’s questioning voice came through the speaker. “Who won second?”
“Six people,” Gus replied. “And those six winners are ‘As Fate Would Have It’ by Kirei, ‘A Very Risky Proposition’ by aakira, ‘Handlebars’ by Vindicata, ‘Nightmare at the Museum’ by DinerGuy, ‘Shawn Takes A Shot In The Back’ by Psychrulz, and ‘Jerky Shawn’ by dragonnan.” Gus took a breath. “Thankfully there is only one in first place. That would be ‘A Very BAMF! Lassie Fic’ by Texasartchick.”
“Ooh!” Shawn exclaimed. “Time for bad guy awards! Since we can’t give one to the two guys out there - and really, they don’t deserve it if they hit a yogurt shop and don’t read signs -”
“Shawn, you never read signs,” Gus muttered.
“We’ll give out four awards here,” Shawn continued, giving Gus an indignant look. “Two stories are in third place for Best Bad Guy or Original Character: Dr. Timothy Newton from ‘Two Dead Guys and a Girl’ by Moondragon23 and Joe Thug from ‘Torture Tutorial for the Creatively Challenged’ by Syncop8ed Rhythm.”
“Those don’t sound like very happy stories,” Buzz remarked.
“Well, they are awards for best bad guys,” Shawn shook his head. “The other ones are better though. Our second place winner is Triplets from ‘Jack and Jill Went Up The Hill...’ by JR88fan and first place is Potter and Phoenix from ‘Beyond the Strange Chance’ by ladipretender.”
“Meanwhile,” Gus cut in again, “Most Psych-like Story, or the award given to a story that is closest the way our lives usually go, has an interesting winner arrangement. Three stories in third place, which are ‘Family Jules’ by SnydersofHanover, ‘C is for Cookie and Carlton... and Concussion’ by DinerGuy and ZedPM, and ‘Two Dead Guys and a Girl’ by Moondragon23. The two in second place are ‘A Spencer Family Christmas’ by DinerGuy and ‘Shawn Takes A Shot In The Back’ by Psychrulz. And the only one in first is ‘Born This Way’ by Redwolffclaw.”
“Hang on; sorry, guys,” Buzz interrupted. “Lassiter needs me.”
“Don’t hang up!” Shawn exclaimed, but it was too late. The line clicked and went dead. “Ummm...” he looked over at Gus. “I’m going to just... call Jules.”
A moment later, the junior detective answered. “Shawn, are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he replied. “Buzz just hung up on me.”
“Can we talk to you?” Shawn asked. “Gus and I didn’t finish the awards yet.”
She sounded just a little surprised. “Those again?”
“Well, our fans are still writing!” Shawn defended himself. “Plus don’t you think they’re at least a little fun?”
“Maybe a little,” she gave in.
“Good! Because I have some categories to tell you about!” Shawn exclaimed.
“Shh!” Gus put a finger to his lips.
“Wait, where are you?” Juliet wanted to know.
“Hiding in the bathroom. So, Most Psych-like Title,” Shawn continued without missing a beat. “We have two stories in third place, both ‘C is for Cookie and Carlton... and Concussion’ by DinerGuy and ZedPM and ‘Cheaters Never Prosper, and Neither Do Idiots’ by Olivia94. ‘Gus‘ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very, Very Bad Day’ by Syncop8ed Rhythm in second, and ‘Nightmare at the Museum’ by DinerGuy in first.”
“Was there a monkey?” Gus wanted to know.
“Probably,” Shawn nodded wisely. “Who can resist such furry adorableness? Hey, Jules, can we get a pet monkey?”
“No, Shawn,” she replied with a good-natured sigh.
“Well, he couldn’t have held a flashlight to Gus anyway,” Shawn shrugged it off.
“Candle,” Gus muttered. A moment later, he exclaimed, “Wait! Are you calling me your pet?”
“Well…” Shawn made a face. “Oh, hey, but speaking of our best friendship, the next award is the American Duo one! For this category, we’re awarding third place to ‘Maturity Comes With Age by Destiny’ JoRayne Adams and ‘Running Up That Hill’ by Vindicata, second place to ‘Everything to Lose’ by Psychrulz and ‘Gus‘ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very, Very Bad Day’ by Syncop8ed Rhythm, and first to ‘Elementary My Dear Gus’ by PineappleMaster.”
Looking at the next card in his hand, Gus spoke up. “Similar to that is the SBPD Award, but this one is about how great the department is,” he amended. “Like you, Juliet.”
“Aw, thank you, Gus.”
“The third place award here goes to ‘On the Turning Away’ by JWGrace, second place to ‘Psychics, Detectives and the Powers of Magic Head’ by MissingSomething, and first place to ‘A Very BAMF! Lassie Fic’ by Texasartchick,” Gus finished.
“Check it out!” Shawn was reading the next card. “The authors who won the You Astound Me Award describe the amazing relationship that Lassie and I share.” He grinned. “The third place winners are ZedPM with ‘The Shawn Who Cried Wolf’ and Syncop8ed Rhythm with ‘Torture Tutorial for the Creatively Challenged.’ The second place winner is Vindicata with ‘(When) Darkness Hides Your Sense of Place,’ and first place is DinerGuy with ‘Nightmare at the Museum.’”
“Wasn’t there one about your dad?” Juliet wanted to know. ‘Something about a hat?”
“You are correct, m’lady,” Shawn told her. “The How Many Hats? third place award goes to ‘A Spencer Family Christmas’ by DinerGuy, second place to ‘Born This Way’ by Redwolffclaw, and first place to ‘Suffer the Night’ by dragonnan... What’s wrong, buddy?” he added, noticing the look Gus was giving the next card.
“The Boo-Boo Award,” Gus showed him.
Shawn paled. “Oh. That one.”
“I still don’t like it,” Juliet stated. “I never have.”
“Me neither,” Gus sighed. “I don’t get why these people like to beat us all up so much. At least it’s fictional. Now let’s see. Third place is awarded to... way more stories than should be allowed. ‘I Suck at Summaries’ by JR88fan, ‘Masterpiece’ by Syncop8ed Rhythm, ‘Psychics, Detectives and the Powers of Magic Head’ by MissingSomething, ‘Necessary Sacrifices’ by Redwolffclaw, ‘The Shawn Who Cried Wolf’ by ZedPM, and ‘Torture Tutorial for the Creatively Challenged’ by Syncop8ed Rhythm.”
“And that’s just third place?” Juliet didn’t sound convinced.
“Yes,” Gus answered. “Second place is ‘Cheaters Never Prosper, and Neither Do Idiots’ by Olivia94, ‘Sand Surf and Stings’ by AwesomenessISmyGame, and ‘I Would Do Anything for Love, Even That’ by dragonnan. First are both ‘Jack and Jill Went Up The Hill...’ by JR88fan and ‘The Torturer's Game’ by Nikers13.”
“That doesn’t sound very pleasant. I want no more of it!” Shawn was frowning unhappily. Then, realizing he hadn’t heard anything over the phone in a few moments, he glanced down. “Hello? Jules?” There was no response and he sighed in frustration. “Gus, my battery died,” he whined.
“I told you to charge it every night,” Gus chided. “Now what do we do?”
“Well, next year, I’m coming up with something else, that’s for sure.” Shawn shook his head as he pocketed his phone and continued, “Everyone gets mad when I do it live but then things like this happen.”
“What was left?” Gus wanted to know.
“Four categories,” Shawn supplied, flipping through the last few cards in his hands.
Suddenly, there was a loud crash and several gunshots from the other side of the door. The friends grabbed each other nervously.
“What was that?” Gus asked, tightening his grip on Shawn’s right arm.
Shawn blinked then shook his head. “I don’t know buddy...”
There was a brief pause, then they both scrambled for the stall in the far corner of the room. Shawn slammed the door and locked it. When he turned, Gus was standing on top of the toilet seat, with a hand on the wall to steady himself.
“Gus... what are you doing?”
“They’ll see our feet if we’re on the ground!” Gus defended his actions.
“Do you know how many germs are on that wall?”
“I don’t care, Shawn,” Gus hissed. “It’s better than getting shot.”
Just then, the door to the bathroom began to open, and Shawn jumped up beside his friend.
“Move over,” he whispered hoarsely, trying to find space for his feet and teetering precariously in the meantime.
“There is not enough room for both of us - Get off my toe!”
Shawn could hear a footstep on the bathroom tile, and he motioned frantically for Gus to be quiet, nearly toppling off of his perch as he did so.
There was silence in the small room for a moment, then a gruff, angry voice could be heard from the other side of the stall door.
“Spencer, get out here this instant!”
The two friends exchanged a look, then Shawn jumped down and unlocked the stall. “Oh, hi, Lassie!” he chirped.
If looks could kill, Shawn would have been a goner. Then Lassiter just shook his head and turned on his heel. “I’m not even going to ask.”
“But aren’t you curious about the last three categories?” Shawn asked, running to catch up with the detective.
Shawn frowned. “But...”
“No,” Lassiter snapped. He pointed to where Juliet was talking to the two students. “Go talk to O’Hara. She needs to take your statement.”
After Lassiter had walked off, Shawn sighed to Gus. “But... I need to finish these.” He glanced around the room, and his eyes lit up. He hurried over to his girlfriend. “Jules!”
She looked up from her conversation. “Not now, Shawn,” she shook her head.
“But I need you to read something,” he held up one of the index cards. “Please?”
“Shawn, I’m busy.”
“Oh, it won’t take long,” he assured her, ripping the top card into several pieces. “Here!”
Juliet sighed but accepted the slip. “Most Wanted WIP?” She leveled a look at him. “Seriously, this right now?” Then she sighed. “Okay, well, it looks like third place in this category -”
“Wait!” Shawn put out a hand, then cleared his throat and continued loudly. “May I have your attention, everyone? My beautiful girlfriend has something to say.”
She shifted self-consciously. “Only because you’re making me.”
“Yep!” Shawn grinned.
“The third most wanted works in progress are ‘Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Snare’ by SydneyWoo, ‘...And Other Wilderness Pursuits’ by silverluna, ‘One Life to Live and to Lose’ by JillianLuvPsych, ‘Open Up and Say... (Murd)Ahh’ by JR88fan, ‘Conduit’ by NoirCat, and ‘Simon and Simon and Psych’ by dragonnan.” She handed the scrap of paper back to Shawn. “There you go.”
“Thank you, Jules.” Shawn bowed and then turned to one of the students. “Your turn!” he announced, handing the young man another torn piece of a card.
“Umm...” The kid blinked confusedly at Shawn.
“Just read. Right here,” Shawn pointed.
“Okay, uh, the second place in that category are... ‘Postcards From The Edge’ by Psychrulz, ‘Psychics Are People, Two” by DinerGuy and ZedPM, and ‘Broken’ by Syncop8ed Rhythm.”
“And first place is ‘Where There is a Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth’ by dragonnan,” the second student read quickly before Shawn could turn to him.
“Splendid!” Shawn applauded. He then turned and surveyed the room, his gaze falling on one of the officers, who was taking photos of the broken glass and bullet casings on the floor of the shop. “Oh, hey! Dobson! Long time no see!”
The cop looked up and offered a small wave. “Hey, Spencer.”
“Do you want to help?” Shawn asked, waving the remaining cards in the air. “I need someone to announce Best Reviewers.”
Dobson shot Juliet a look, but then nodded. “Okay, fine.”
“Great!” Shawn skirted the shards of glass and handed off one of the last cards.
“Right.” Dobson cleared his throat then read off of the card, “Third place for Best Reviewer is JR88fan, second place is dragonnan, and first is silverluna!”
Shawn was in the middle of another round of applause, joined by a smattering of others, when he caught sight of Lester exiting the back room.
“Joe!” he exclaimed. “You’re safe!”
“Sorry, Shawn, guess it wasn’t the best visit back,” the man apologized, coming over to join the him. “Can I do anything to make it up to you?”
An “oh no” came from where Gus was still standing near Juliet, but Shawn ignored him. “Yes, actually!” he exclaimed happily. “Read this!”
“...Read it?” Lester took the card Shawn was waving in his face. “What is this?”
“Oh, just a little something I like to put together every year,” Shawn explained. “It’s an award announcement.”
“Okay...” The man looked over the card’s contents and then read aloud, “The distinction of Best New Writer goes to Vindicata.”
“Whoohoo, yeah!” Shawn waved his arms at everyone else in the room, trying to get applause going. Gus and Juliet joined in, followed slowly by the few officers who were also there and the two students. Shawn then patted Lester on the back. “Great job, man. Thanks!”
Once the man stepped away, continuing towards the exit, Shawn held up the last card. “And last, but certainly not least, we have the award for Best Overall Writer!”
There was a small sigh as everyone looked back Shawn’s way.
“And that winner is...” he drew it out, “dragonnan!”
Everyone applauded again, then turned back to what they had been doing with an audible sigh of relief.
Gus was the last to finish applauding. “Well, that actually ended up being fun,” he admitted.
“Except for the hostage part,” Shawn commented. “I thought you were going to get shot for a minute there, buddy.”
“Me?” Gus yelped. “What about you?”
“Do you see this gorgeous face?” Shawn pointed at his nose. “They wouldn’t have dared.”
“They might not have,” Gus grumbled.
Shawn caught the threatening look his friend was sending him and sidestepped away. “Uh, I’m going to just wait outside. See ya, Gus.”
One gorgeous summer day in Santa Barbara, Shawn strode up the boardwalk towards a frozen yogurt shop, his best friend right beside him.