Shawn was sitting on the couch in the Psych office, frown firmly fixed on his face. The television was on, playing some old Christmas movie that he probably would hate if he actually paid attention to what it was. But instead, he just glowered straight ahead, vaguely processing the images flickering on his screen, and muttered aloud to himself.
“Nobody appreciates me,” he snarked to no one in particular. “Not me me, anyway. They appreciate the psychic me because I catch their bad guys, but it’s so easy to fool them.” He sighed. Gus would probably laugh and call him a baby if he heard, but Shawn didn’t see his best friend around, and so he allowed himself to continue to mope.
“I bet…” He yawned, the late hour catching him off guard. “They would probably only miss my help on cases if I died or disappeared or lost my memory.” Then he snorted a laugh. “That’d be funny. I’d lose my memory and have no idea what they meant when they wanted me to have a vision.” His brow wrinkled at that thought. “Do psychics who lose their memories know they still have powers? Or do their powers keep them from losing their memories after accidents?”
Yawning again, he settled back into the couch cushions, turning the question over and over in his brain. Before long, the combination of the low lights, the quiet television, and his overthinking lulled him to sleep…
Suddenly, a crash outside of the window made him sit up with a start. He gasped in a quick breath of surprise as he suddenly came to. He sat up so fast it made his head spin and rubbed the sleep from his eyes as yet another loud noise came from somewhere behind him. And then he realized he was no longer in the Psych office. Nor was he on the worn and comfortable couch on which he had fallen asleep just moments before.
No, he was sitting on a tiled floor - which was weird. He didn’t know why, or for that matter, where he even was. There was an exclamation of surprise as he suddenly pushed up from the floor, and then someone’s hands were on his shoulders. “Whoa, son, take it easy there. Are you okay?”
Shawn frowned and looked over to his right, from where the voice had come. “Uh, what?”
The man who had spoken was in an EMT uniform, with an open bag next to him. “You were unconscious,” he said slowly, studying Shawn’s face as he replied. “I need to make sure you didn’t get seriously hurt.”
“Oh.” Shawn patted himself up and down, feeling around his head, and then coming to the conclusion that there were no open wounds or large bumps. Finding nothing, he flashed a smile at the other man. “All good. Thanks.” And then without waiting for the man to acknowledge his announcement, he jumped to his feet. He had already noticed that he seemed to be in an industrial kitchen, and although the EMT was the only other person in the kitchen with him, he could hear voices from beyond the door in the far wall.
It was a swinging door, so it probably led to the interior of the restaurant, and so Shawn made straight for it. If he had gotten knocked out in a restaurant, it was probably for a case, and if he was on a case, then Lassie or Gus or Jules would have to be nearby. Maybe they could explain why he had no recollection of anything after falling asleep in Psych… what was it? Hours before? But as he pushed the door open and strode through, leaving the EMT staring after him, Shawn grew even more confused.
He hadn’t walked into the front of the restaurant at all. Instead, the police station stretched out in front of him, complete with the familiar ringing phones and hustle and bustle of various uniforms and detectives. Shawn blinked and turned back to look at the door behind him. It was no longer a metal, commercial door like the one he could have sworn was just there. Instead, it looked exactly like the wooden door that had always been at the entrance to the Santa Barbara police station. Shawn frowned, his brow puckering as he tried to process what had just happened. Then his attention was grabbed by the sound of his name being shouted from across the bullpen.
“Spencer!” If that wasn’t Lassie, Shawn really was going crazy. Shawn breathed a sigh of relief. At least he knew there were some things that had stayed the same.
“Spencer, where are we on the Stewart case?” Lassiter continued to yell.
Shawn headed for the sound of the man’s voice. He didn’t recall being hired for any robbery cases, but apparently he was losing his mind lately anyway, so that didn’t mean anything. But before he could get very far, a familiar figure crossed his line of sight. “Dad?” Shawn put a hand to his head. Something funny was definitely going on here.
“I’m coming; I’m coming! Don’t yell at me like that; I’m not a dog,” Henry shot back at Lassiter. “We’ve discussed this.”
“And we discussed you needing to find me a solid lead on that case.” Lassiter wasn’t about to be intimidated by the elder Spencer. “Otherwise you are off this case. We don’t pay you to be a consultant if you don’t consult on anything!”
Shawn frowned. His dad was a consultant for Lassiter? Since when had that been a thing? And judging from the looks on both of their faces, neither was very happy with the other.
“And why didn’t you tell me my son was one of the employees of the latest place these guys hit?” Henry was still chewing Lassiter out. His arms were crossed and he was glowering darkly at the taller man. “Isn’t that something you think I needed to know, Lassiter?”
“I didn’t think it was relevant,” Lassiter retorted. “After all, there were five other people at the shop when it was robbed; they’re all equally important witnesses.”
Henry rolled his eyes and sighed heavily, but before Shawn could eavesdrop on the argument any further, there was a soft hand on his shoulder.
“Mr. Spencer?” a female voice spoke up from beside him.
It didn’t sound like Jules, Shawn thought confusedly. It almost sounded like…
“Barry?” he gulped.
She frowned at him. “Uh, Detective Lucinda Lassiter,” she finally said slowly, extending a hand to him. “I didn’t think we’d had the pleasure.”
“Wait, but we met… but you weren’t…” Shawn was extremely confused at this point. He was feeling a little slow on his game today, but everything was just so confusing to take in right now. He wasn’t sure what was going on, but it felt like he had stepped into some episode of The Twilight Zone or something.
Lucinda cleared her throat. “Well, let’s get to it, shall we? I appreciate you coming down to give your statement.”
“Where’s Jules?” Shawn asked suddenly. If anyone could explain this, she could. “And why do you have Lassie’s last name?”
“Wait, who?” she frowned.
“Jules… Juliet,” Shawn replied, raising an eyebrow. “Juliet O’Hara? Junior detective? So tall with blonde hair and an adorable smile?”
“We… don’t have any officers by that name,” Lucinda told him. “Are you sure you’re okay, Mr. Spencer? I did hear you had hit your head at the restaurant during the robbery. Perhaps you should see a doctor?”
“No, no, I’m fine,” Shawn told her, shaking his head. “I just… I need to talk to Jules. Is she downstairs with Woody?” And before Barry could respond, he turned and speed-walked for the door that would lead him downstairs to the morgue.
“Mr. Spencer!” Lucinda’s voice rang after him. “Mr. Spencer, stop right there. You aren’t authorized to go down there!”
But Shawn was already at the door, which he suddenly realized didn’t actually exist in the SBPD he was used to. He’d have time to worry about redecorating later, though. Right then, all he wanted was to see a familiar face that wasn’t about to kill anyone else. In other words, anyone besides his dad and Lassie at the moment. Or Lucinda. He wasn’t sure what was going on with that whole situation.
Strangely enough, as soon as he had stepped through the doorway, his surroundings again changed. Instead of stairs stretching down in front of him, he was in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. For what seemed like the umpteenth time that day, Shawn frowned and looked around confusedly. He really had no idea what was going on. Had he eaten something funny before bed the night before?
And then a familiar voice came from his left. Shawn turned to see Gus stepping through a doorway, talking to someone just out of sight. “Yes, thank you,” Gus said. Shawn could tell his friend was trying to put on a congenial front, but there was tension concealed behind his words. “Yes, I will bring those samples for you next week. Thank you, Dr. Reed.”
“Gus!” Shawn exclaimed excitedly as his friend turned from the doctor who was just out of sight and started for the glass exit doors across the room. “Gus, you’ve got to help me.”
Gus promptly dropped his briefcase as a look of shock crossed his face. “Shawn?”
“Uh… yeah, it’s me, buddy. What’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Shawn was really starting to get tired of whatever was going on. Maybe it was just a giant prank being played on him, but this all seemed quite excessive.
Shaking his head, Gus leaned down to collect his things from the floor. “No, uh, no ghost, but… wow, it’s been a while.”
Shawn took in the lines on his friend’s face, as well as the expensive-looking suit and watch that Gus was wearing. “Dude, what’s going on? You look terrible.”
Gus made a face at him. “Gee, thanks, Shawn. You don’t call, you don’t write, but then you show back up in town after years and all you have to say for yourself is an insult?”
“Shawn! You left town and then that was it!” Gus rolled his eyes.”But what should I expect from you, right? And for your information, I am fine, thank you. I’ve been the top sales representative in my firm for the past three years straight.”
Shawn blinked. “Oh, wow… Uh, I’m sorry?” He searched for his words. “Do you maybe want to get lunch and catch up then? I apparently have a lot to ask you about.”
Gus shook his head. “No, I can’t. I have three more meetings to get to in the next two hours, and then I have a presentation to make back at the office. You don’t get to be the top sales rep by taking long lunch breaks.”
“What?” Shawn quirked an eyebrow. “Come on, buddy; it’ll be fun. Just like old times!”
“‘Old times?’” Gus repeated. “Shawn, I don’t know if you missed what I said just now - or I don’t know, the past years - but you haven’t been around here since high school. Whatever ‘old times’ you mean, they certainly can’t be too important to you.” And with that, he turned and strode to the door. When he reached it, he turned back and offered Shawn a shrug. “Sorry, Shawn, it is good to know you’re still alive, but I have more important things to do. Have a good rest of your life.”
And then he was gone.
Shawn was left, blinking at the door in confusion. Then he sighed. Gus might have not wanted to go get food, but he was starving. Might as well go get something for lunch anyway. But as he turned to leave, his foot slipped on something previously unseen, and he felt himself going airborne.
Everything went black for a moment, then Shawn’s eyes suddenly popped back open. He gasped in a quick breath of surprise as he suddenly came to. He flailed around in the pillows for a moment then managed to get a hand over the back of the couch and hauled himself to a sitting position. And then he realized he was now back in the Psych office.
The relief that washed over him was short-lived as his… dream, or whatever it actually was, came back to him. Normally he would just chalk it up to some bad churros that day, but there was something about it all that had seemed so real…
Before he could consider it any further, the front door of the office swung inward and Gus stepped inside. Shawn squinted as the overhead lights were flipped on, then when he lowered his hand from his eyes, he took in his friend standing with his arms crossed.
“Um… are you still made at me?” Shawn asked hesitantly, trying to decipher the look Gus was giving him.
Gus sighed heavily. “Obviously!” he replied with a shrug. “Dude, you totally just stood me up for jerk chicken! In favor of… what is that? You hate that movie! You always say the whole ‘bell ringing’ thing is ridiculous.”
“Oh… uh…” Shawn looked from his friend to the television then back again. “Well, maybe I was in the mood for a change?”
“Ha, good one, Shawn,” Gus smirked. “Now come on; I didn’t eat just now, and now I’m starving. We’ve been working too hard on that robbery case with Juliet. You need a break.”
Shawn grinned widely and jumped up from the couch. “Shotgun!” he shouted, pushing past Gus to run out the door.
“Shawn, you’re the only other person who’s going to be in the car!” Gus called after him. “Shawn!”
Shawn breathed a sigh of relief when nothing changed as he stepped through the doorway. The night was warm and quiet, and the Blueberry sat at the curb just a few feet away. He smiled to himself. Everything was back to normal.