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Story Notes:
Hello, there! Yet another project that isn't the one I'm supposed to be working on! ;-)

Actually, I've had this one stored back for a while now and just never got around to posting it. But now, here it is. I decided to write this after rewatching Scary Sherry: Bianca's Toast. After all, how would Shawn answer Alice Bundy's fateful question?

A classic Fozzy song seems like an appropriate enough answer.

That song provided the title and quite a bit of the plot, so be sure to give it a listen if you fancy getting a little deeper into the heart of this story.

Also, this story is set sometime during one of the first four or five seasons; there's really not a specific time frame, I'm afraid. I labeled the genre as Drama or Horror because apparently---Well... You'll see.

Disclaimer: I do not own Psych, nor do I own any of its characters, settings, trademarks, or related material. Psych and all related materials are the property of their respective owners. The plot and original characters of this story are my intellectual property. I am not associated with Psych, its creators, or any involved parties, nor am I associated with any other media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

They were never supposed to catch him. That wasn't part of the plan. Of course, watching his best friend die wasn't part of the plan either. Falling in love wasn't part of the plan, lying to the entire world was never part of the plan... Becoming this thing, this person, was never part of the plan.

What was he now, anyway? What kind of mutant abberration? A wolf's head? He shook the thoughts out of his mind and stared down at the edge of the building. How tall was this thing, anyway? Five floors, six? What are the odds of survival for a fall that high? Would he die, or just break a leg, or become comatose? He wasn't sure. But he wasn't going to take any chances. He turned.

The barrel of a gun stared back at him. Above the single empty black eye was a set of blue eyes above a green tie.

"Lassie," Shawn said. "Just the man I wanted to see."
"Put it down, Spencer," Lassiter said quietly.
"Where are the SWAT guys, Lassie?"
"Downstairs. It's just you and me."
Shawn smiled. "Just you and me, huh?"
"Spencer, you know that I will shoot you. Please don't make me."

Shawn smiled wider and thought of Gus.

*********************

It had started out so simple. Go in, grab the evidence, and get out. One piece of mail; that was all the proof they'd needed. Go in, grab it, and get out. It should've been easy. It should've been simple. Shawn had been swiping people's mail for years.

Only most people didn't have their mail slot rigged to a high-tech alarm system. And most people didn't have a small private army of hired ex-KGB mercenaries at their disposal. And most people wouldn't look at a man in the eyes and put a bullet in his head in cold blood.

And that was probably the worst thing.

The man didn't care about being caught. He was flagrantly evil and he knew it. He enjoyed it. The man didn't fear jail, prison, supermax, Gitmo. He didn't fear death at all. The man who had shot Burton Guster was more than just a cold-blooded killer: he had ice in his veins.

But Shawn...

Shawn was all fire.

Shawn felt the fire of rage consuming him from the inside out at the second that the circle of blood appeared on his best friend's forehead. He felt himself burned up, eaten away into ashes, with the embers curling into a dull roar. Embers bent on destruction. To destroy what had destroyed him already.

*********************

Because, after all, it's really quite simple, the man had said in the SBPD interrogation room in his thick Muscovite accent. How do you really kill a man? You don't kill his body---no, that's not good enough. A man's body may die, but the spirit---a man's spirit will linger, will survive. A man is not dead until his spirit is dead. So how do you truly kill another human being? How do you kill him so utterly that he can never come back no matter what happens?

The old, battle-scarred remnant of the Soviet era superiority, stubborn and dignified, proud to the verge of a stereotype, leaned in to whisper. You do not kill the man at all, that's how. Bothering with the man himself is a waste of time. No---to kill a man, to truly put him into suffering and death for all times---you simply take away what matters to him most in the world.

That is how evil prevails, how evil controls. That is how a man holds power over other men: by making the threat of utter destruction on a man, and then following through with that threat on the one thing that the man holds most dear. Once the masses realize that you are capable of ending everything, ending it all---that's when they're willing to bow the knee. That's when they will do anything, not to escape the fate themselves, but to sacrifice all for the sake of their closest loved ones.

This man you're asking me about, the one whose body I ended...that was just a message. Nothing more. The man is physically dead because he needed to die. Now, I go away to wherever your FBI sends me, yes? But I don't care, because the other man---the man who put me here---he is dead. I killed him---I killed him by murdering his spirit. If I go to your American prison after all these years, if I go there and my body dies, so be it. My spirit is calm.

I still have won. I still have prevailed. I alone survive.


*********************

Shawn knew he'd only have one chance. One chance to end the old man's life, to snuff him out the way he'd extinguished Gus' short existence.

One chance, and Shawn was going to take it no matter what the cost.

He remembered that someone had once asked him, "What would you have done, Shawn? If it was your best friend. What would you have done?"

And now he knew. Now he knew for certain.

He knew what he had to do.

*********************

He'd taken his one chance, when the Santa Barbara police were handing the old man into FBI custody. He was a crack shot; it had been easy.

Or at least it should've been.

That's the problem with high-powered rifles, tall buildings with plate glass windows, and unpredictable human beings.

Metal projectiles, when sent full-force at a high velocity hurtling towards a target, will usually not stop at a barrier made of mere human flesh. No; often, wood or even metal is not enough to stop the bullet. Stone or concrete will do, but even then there's a risk of ricochet.

Shawn knew when he'd planned all of this out that there might be casualties, friendly fire, collateral damage. He knew. He was prepared. He was willing to do whatever it took to avenge his best friend---his only friend, his almost-brother practically since birth.

He was wiling to sacrifice everything for Gus.

Except her.

Why she'd stepped into the path of the fatal bullet at just the last second, he'd never know. She looked like she was trying to assist the scrawny-looking FBI agent with the prisoner, and Shawn's fiery blood ran icy cold before stilling in his veins. Because he'd already pulled the trigger just a split second before she'd shifted, and just a split second later, she was gone.

The last part of her that he saw was her silky blonde hair stained red with blood and brain matter.

She dropped out of his field of vision and, beyond the halo of her blonde hair, he could see the old man's face clear as day, could see the tiny circle of blood that the bullet left in his forehead after passing through Juliet O'Hara's head and entering his skull.

The expression on the old man's face was not at all what Shawn had planned. Shawn had expected anger, or fear, or at the very least, a hint of defeat. But instead, the old man's face bore a peaceful understanding, a calm and placid expression.

A face of victory.

And at last, Shawn finally understood. He had lost. He had lost everything.

He had won the battle with the old man, but he had lost the war for his own life. Shawn Spencer had killed the old man's body, but Shawn Spencer's spirit was, at last, really and truly dead.

Shawn Spencer was gone.

*********************

Shawn stared down the barrel of Lassiter's gun. "I know you'll shoot me, Lassie," he whispered, throat hoarse. "I welcome it." He stepped forward, lurching on unsteady legs, until his forehead was pressed against the ring of cool metal. He waited for the moment when the blessed end would come.

He waited.

But the end didn't come.

"Pull the trigger, Lassie!" Shawn commanded wildly, feeling his mind and senses growing more unstable by the second. "Kill me already! I want to die! Kill me!"

Lassiter recoiled, dropping his gun like it was a vicious animal ready to tear him to shreds. "You're already dead," the detective hissed.

Shawn began to laugh. He began to laugh, and laugh, and laugh harder, until his very bones shook. "You're right, Lassie. I died a long time ago."

He reached into his pocket. It was time for Plan B. "Do you know what the great thing about plans is, Lassie?"

Lassiter backed away. "Spencer. Come with me. Come peacefully." His voice was thick, choked. "I'll let you pay your respects to O'Hara before I put you away."

Shawn smiled. "You're going to put me away for life, Lassie? Make me sit and rot and regret everything I've done?" He lifted up his left hand, extracting the small object from his pocket. "I don't think so."

Lassiter's eyes widened. "Spencer..."

"Recognize this, Lassie? You should. It's from your own collection."

"Spencer, put it down."

"You should've shot me when you had the chance." Shawn lifted the object to his lips. His teeth pulled the pin from the grenade clenched in his left fist. "Run, Lassie! Run!"

*********************

Lassiter did run. He raced for the door, for the stairwell that would take him back to safety---maybe.

But how far can a man run in eight long seconds?

Can a man outrun death forever?

He turned back.

*********************

When the first SWAT team member arrived at the top of the stairwell leading to the roof and opened the door, the last thing he saw before a small but deafening and bright explosion was Detective Lassiter tackling the suspect, propelling both men off the side of the roof and causing the explosion to occur in midair.

*********************

It was later estimated that Detective Lassiter's quick action to redirect the main force of the blast saved approximately six lives. He was posthumously commended for courage in the line of duty.

Both Detective Lassiter and Shawn Spencer were buried with photographs of Burton Guster and Juliet O'Hara.
Chapter End Notes:
I didn't plan to kill Lassiter, by the way. That just kind of happened. Originally, Lassie was supposed to have pulled the trigger as a way of showing mercy to Shawn. Didn't quite work out that way, did it?

Well, feel free to tell me what you think, be it good, bad, or ugly. Agree, disagree? Talk to me, Goose!


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