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Story Notes:


This story began in 2016, after I first fell in love with the exhilarating, quirky, surprisingly complex, and sometimes bizarre world of professional wrestling. With all of the connections that WWE has with Psych, it seemed only natural to kick off my new fandom with a crossover of epic proportions. True to form, I wrote and wrote every single day until I had all but the very last bit done...and then I started putting the finish off because when it comes to writing, I can sometimes be a coward. But now, the story is finally ready to be posted, and I'm entering it in this year's Whumpathon. Whump locations include the SBPD, a beach, and a sports arena. Whump tools include a sledgehammer, hands/fists, boots, and a forklift. Whump recipients include Shawn, Gus, Juliet, Lassiter, and a mystery guest star. And the villain? Well...you'll see. ;-)

Another note: this story is entirely kayfabe. That means that, when I mention Stephanie McMahon, I'm not talking about Stephanie McMahon-Levesque, the wife/mother/athlete/author/businesswoman. Instead, I'm talking about Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, the wrestling character based on a real personality. Therefore, this story is not a real-person story and it is indeed compliant with the rules of Psychfic.

Disclaimer: I do not own Psych or WWE, nor do I own any of the characters, settings, trademarks, or related material. Psych, WWE, 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.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Author's Chapter Notes:

This story takes place circa 2013, just before the formation of The Authority. I'm playing fast and loose with the WWE timeline here to make everything match up the way I want it to, but... I mean, it's hard to say if WWE even *has* a canon, right? Anyway, enjoy!



It was around three o'clock in the morning when the unconscious man washed ashore. Red tendrils escaped into the seawater as blood seeped from the gashes and scrapes in his face. Cracked and broken, his nose was bent at an unnatural angle, and friction burns covered his arms and encircled his chafed wrists.

Unnoticed by everyone save for a lone seagull that decided to use the man's back as a perch for eating a bit of shellfish, the sleeping figure rested there on the cold beach of Santa Barbara, awaiting the daylight...

And when the daylight finally came, the man stirred, still undiscovered in the early morning hours on his bit of coast. A rocky outcrop had hidden him from view—not that anyone was out at the beach at that hour, especially not with the drizzling rain steadily dumping out its lukewarm droplets on the city. Moaning in pain, the man slowly sat up, bracing himself against a rock until a wave of dizziness had passed, and experimented with moving his aching limbs. Dazed, he bit back a yawn that shot bolts of lightning-hot pain up through his broken face and tried to mentally assess himself. He slowly shook some of the stiffness from his joints as he slurred, "Nothing's broken..."

He blinked. Was that his voice? It sounded funny. Kind of thick, or something. Was this a concussion? He'd had concussions before. This didn't feel like one. He frowned. When had he ever had a concussion? He seemed to think that he'd hit his head often...but when, and how? "I don't remember..."

He looked down at himself. He saw feet bereft of shoes, and he saw soaking wet blue jeans. He saw a soggy black jacket with torn sleeves, and he saw an algae-stained white t-shirt that was thin enough to be translucent now that it was saturated with saltwater. ...And he saw his hands. His nails were cracked and dirty, caked with sand and sea-grime.

As he winced in pain and disgust, he reached up to feel his face. Short, limp strands of hair. A deep cut on his chin and tender bruises across his forehead. Chiseled cheekbones etched with scratches. Chapped lips.

When he touched his broken nose, he quickly jerked his filthy fingers away, but the pain was somehow more than physical... He was in mourning for his nose. No, not for his nose, but...something else. But...what? What was it?

And what had happened to him? He wasn't at all surprised that he was hurt, but...shouldn't he be? After all, it wasn't normal for a person to be bloodied up on a beach somewhere, was it?

And speaking of "somewhere"...

"Where am I?" he said. Nothing about this beach was at all familiar. Using the rock to pull himself up, he got to his feet and looked around. Nothing. "I think I need help..."

He walked along the beach until he came in sight of a footpath, and from there, he walked until he found a road. He followed the road and the sidewalk past several closed buildings until he found a 24-hour gas station. Hobbling in on his sore legs and grimacing as his bare feet touched the cold tile floor, the man walked up to the counter and looked at the cashier.

The young, red-bearded cashier took a step back, eyes widened. "Dude, you okay?"

"I don't really know," replied the man, still confused and wondering why his voice sounded so strange in his own ears. "Do you know where I can find a police station? And do you know where I am?"

"Uh, right now, you're next to the beach. The police station isn't far. It's just a few blocks away. Uh—you gonna take the bus, or...?"

The man frowned again and felt a muscle in his cheek twitch. He honestly hadn't considered how to get there, apart from walking. He needed a car... He remembered a big, black van. Was that his car? If so, where was it? Did he even have a license?

His hands slid into his jeans pockets and then into his jacket pockets, checking. No wallet. "I guess not. You have to have bus fare, right? No change."

"Oh." The cashier blinked. "Well, you can walk there, too. It's only, like, five minutes away. You just go down the street and turn—well, would you like me to write it down for you?"

"Please."

In just a few minutes, the man walked out of the gas station with some directions and a haphazard map hand-scrawled onto a brown paper napkin, and following the water-stained map, he soon came across his destination. With one hand shielding his eyes from the sunrise, he read the sign aloud to himself: "Santa Barbara Police Department." He squinted. "California? I'm in California?"

Pushing back a gnawing feeling of apprehension, the man walked up the steps and through the glass doors. The harsh fluorescent lights caused him to squint for a second, and when his eyes had adjusted, there was a female officer with short hair touching his arms and looking at him with concern.

"Are you all right? Sir? Are you all right? Do you need help?" she asked.

"I think so," the man replied, looking down at her name badge. "Um, Officer Allen. Yes. I'm pretty sure I need help."

"Do you need a doctor?"

"I don't think so. I mean, I don't think anything's broken. Except for maybe my nose. But that's not such a big deal anymore. I don't think."
"What happened to you?"
"Well, that's the problem. I'm not really sure. I kind of just woke up on a beach."
Officer Allen crossed her arms as she nodded intently, taking in every detail of the man's appearance and story. "What's the last thing you remember?"
"Uh, well, that's the thing," said the man. "I honestly don't remember anything. I know it's strange, but I literally can't remember anything before I woke up this morning. I don't know what happened."
"Can you remember your name?"

The man fell silent as he thought for a long moment. Finally, he shook his head. "No. I'm sorry. I really tried, but I have no idea who I am. And I don't have a wallet or anything with me. I already checked."
Officer Allen nodded again. "Let me get Officer McNab to take down an official statement from you, and I'll arrange for a doctor to see you. And then, I know the perfect person to help you figure out who you are."
"You do? Really?"
"Absolutely. He's the best detective in the business—and he's a psychic!"

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

If there was one thing the man was certain that he remembered from the void that was his previous life, it was that he didn't believe in psychics. He especially didn't believe in psychics that were arguing with their sidekick over whether Twinkies or Zingers were the best snack cakes. But since Officer Allen was the kindest face he'd seen that day—ignoring the fact that he'd seen less than ten the entire day and barely remembered what a kind face even looked like—he decided to go along with her and trust her when she took his shoulders and steered him across the police station to meet this supposed detective genius.

After all, he didn't have anything to do until Officer Allen's doctor friend showed up to patch up his face, and it wasn't like he had a place to be, so why not?

That's what he told himself as he watched the psychic throw a Thundercat at the dress-shirt-clad sidekick's face.

"This is Shawn Spencer," Officer Allen said to the man, grinning in excitement. "Mr. Spencer, I'm sorry to interrupt you and Mr. Guster, but this young man here has amnesia, and he just woke up on the beach this morning, so we were hoping that you could help us divine his true identity."

"Allen, what are you doing?" came a sharp, intimidating voice from behind them.

Startled, the man whirled around, instinctively raising his fists and dropping into a crouch before he could realize what he was doing.

The person behind the voice narrowed his ice-blue eyes. "All John Does should be investigated through the proper channels, not by immature idiots."

"Look what you did, Lassie! You scared him," said Spencer.

Not wanting to reveal that he had been indeed scared, especially since he didn't really know why, the man relaxed and stood straight. "I just got startled, that's all." His brows knitted together. "I'm not John Doe. Someone else is John. I just... I don't know who."

The scary man—Lassie—scoffed and folded his lean arms. "Right. Well, that's such a great start to figuring out who you are. That really narrows it down. Thanks."

"Actually, it does help," said Spencer. "The spirits are zooming in with their search. I just need a little more."

"Spencer, you couldn't divine your way out of a paper bag! What makes you think you can figure out this guy's case?"

Then the man's jaw went slack. Something flashed in his mind. Paper bags... They were important to him, somehow.

Brown and thin. Obscuring, hiding...hiding what? Hiding...evil. Paper bags... Safe and comforting...

"Paper bags!" he blurted. He froze for a second when every pair of eyes within earshot turned to stare at him. He could feel his cheeks reddening beneath their sticky veneer of dried salt and caked blood. "I mean... I just... I remembered something. Paper bags—I recognize them for some reason. They're important, but I don't really know why. I can't remember."

"So, you're not John and you like paper bags," Shawn said. "That's a good start, right? We'll figure out who you are by lunch!"

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

An hour later, the doctor Allen had promised was running behind and the man had already refused McNab's offer of a trip to the emergency room three times. He didn't like hospitals, either, he remembered that, but then again, who did?

At least he'd gotten the chance to wash off some of the sea grime and borrow a fresh change of clothes.

Shawn and Gus hadn't gotten any closer to "divining" his identity, but thankfully, the scary detective had left him alone and had gotten too busy to provoke the psychic and his sidekick. As the psychic's latest charge, the man had somehow been given free rein to move around the police station and observe the goings-on, and he liked the friendly, oddly informal atmosphere of the police station. It seemed that Shawn and Gus held some sort of magic power over the SBPD, suspending reality and probably legality as they chatted up officers and shared doughnuts in the break room. The man didn't mind to hang out with them. He found himself oddly at ease among them all. It reminded him of...something.

Shawn had even given their newest friend the honor of letting him take a nap on the cot in the room next to the one where the police received psychological evaluations. In return, the man had to allow Shawn to call him "Buttercup Jones." The man didn't mind one bit. Ever since he'd woken up on the beach, he'd felt exhausted, so getting a dorky nickname in exchange for a warm bed seemed a small price to pay. Besides, it wasn't like he knew his real name anyway. Heck, for all he knew, Buttercup Jones may very well have been his real name all along.

Stretched on the cot, with a fluffy pillow and a Power Rangers blanket to cover him, the newly-christened Buttercup felt like he was sailing away into nirvana as he fell asleep.

But the nirvana didn't last long. Buttercup found himself walking through a long narrow hallway, with dingy white-gray walls and flickering lightbulbs. His steps echoed on the wood floors. He was looking for a door, but he couldn't see one, and the hallway just kept getting longer. Just when he thought he'd be walking and looking forever, the hallway came to an abrupt end, and he found himself face to face with a mirror. He saw his reflection—a hideous monster, too ugly to behold, a face that would make children cry and grown men turn away. The mirror shattered and the shards flew forward to slice at his face and hands, and the blood turned to black ink that wrapped itself around his wrists like ropes, cutting and chafing, and then he saw a face, a face like a snake's with long green fangs and a bifurcated tail that had come to drag his ugliness and unworthiness down to—

"Jonesy! Jonesy! Hey, Buttercup! Wake up, dude!"

Buttercup woke up with a start, drenched in sweat in the blackness, seeing nothing but a figure in the darkness beside him and a cold hand clenching his shoulder. Thinking of the snake in his delirium, he swung his fists wildly, feeling the solid thud of his knucklebones connecting with soft flesh as suddenly the lights clicked on.

"OWWW!" came the screeching cry from Shawn Spencer, who was nursing a bright red cheek.

"What the heck?" said Gus, who still had one hand on the light switch.

"Oh!" said Buttercup. "I am so sorry! I'm so sorry, man. I—I didn't know it was you."

"No, it's okay," said Shawn. "I'm fine. But dude! You hit hard."

Buttercup wiped some sweat away from his face and kicked the tangled-up blanket away from his legs. "Is everything okay?"
"Yeah, man, everything's fine," said Shawn. "The doc's here, that's all. He's going to look at your face."
"My face?" Buttercup said darkly, remembering his nightmare. "No... I don't want him to see me. Turn out the lights. I don't want anyone to see me. Not like this..."

"Shawn? What's going on in here? I heard yelling," sounded an unfamiliar feminine voice from the doorway.

"Turn off the lights!" Buttercup yelped, fingers scrambling to cover up his horrible, awful, disfigured face...his shattered nose...to hide his ugliness, his unworthiness...his brokenness...

Reacting without thinking, Gus switched the lights off. "Seriously, are you okay?"

"No," Buttercup whimpered. "I don't know what's wrong with me."

"Shawn?" said the feminine voice again, this time sounding perplexed rather than concerned. Buttercup could hear the whole thing from his place on the cot, ears sharpened by the darkness.

"It's okay, Jules. This is our new buddy, Buttercup Jones. Didn't Lassie tell you?"

"No," said Jules. "I haven't seen him yet. I just came in a few minutes ago. Remember, I told you I'd be late today because of my..." As she trailed off, her voice changed tones, and she sounded hurt. "Did you forget? Did you even notice that I was gone?"

"Of course I noticed," replied Shawn, and Buttercup could hear immediately that it was a lie. "I was just busy taking care of Jonesy here. He woke up on a beach with amnesia and also, pretty sure his supersniffer's broken."

"A John Doe? With amnesia? That's pretty serious," said Jules.
"Oh, his name's not John," said Gus. "He remembers that for sure. That's why we picked out the name Buttercup Jones."
"Right." Buttercup could practically hear the eyeroll in Jules' voice.

Shawn said, "Allen brought him in. He walked here from the beach. He's so brave. And also, he's got a mean right hook. I'm going to have a bruise on my face for a whole week."

"Paper bag," Buttercup whispered.

"Sorry, buddy, what was that?" Shawn asked.
"I said, paper bag!" Buttercup shouted.
"Dude, there's no need to yell. I just needed you to—"
"Shut up!" Buttercup roared, clamping his hands over his ears and squeezing his eyes shut as he buried his face into the cot.

"Shawn," he could hear Jules whisper, "the sooner you bring the doctor in here, the better."
Buttercup laughed softly. "You think I'm crazy, don't you? It's okay. I'm starting to think that I'm crazy, too."



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