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Shawn exhaled slowly as he stared at the news footage on his laptop. Sitting at the table in the front of the psych office, Gus and Juliet were calmly talking in the other room, helping build a new desk that Shawn had bought impulsively from the internet. Normally he would’ve laughed at the idea of an IKEA desk being essential for anything other than eating meatballs on… but now? He chewed on his thumb, watching as they took a man into custody. Tall with messy hair, he frowned as he read the name across the bottom screen. “Nathan Ford.”

The DCPD is open to tips and insight from the public. If you know anyone who may have been involved in this criminal ring of thieves, know they are responsible for taking down hundreds of companies and bankrupting hundreds of businessmen. But as similar to Robin Hood as they are, they are also a threat, willing to Kill to keep their freedom…”
He tuned the reporters voice out, watching as an image flashed across the screen; one he hadn’t seen in years.

“Hey Shawn?”

The man had long brown hair and green eyes. Shorter than average, he was heavily muscled… though Shawn felt himself grin at the knowledge that he’d beat him once; a second time was still to be seen.

“Shawn!”

He pulled his headphones out of his ears, glancing up at Gus as he walked over with a rather… constapated? look on his face? “Hey bud, you and Jules done with the desk already?”

“No Shawn, look!” Gus huffed, flipping around his phone to reveal an alert for 125 dollars worth of pepperoni pizza on his credit card. Suddenly Shawn was more than aware of why the face. “Why is there a charge for 12 super large pizzas from StreetRat pizzeria?”

“Come on buddy!” Shawn grinned manically, “You know I’m gonna pay you back!”

“That’s a company card Shawn! I need to keep it paid off, my boss can see all my receipts!”

“So?” Shawn’s attention wavered, eyes struggling to keep focus on Gus as a second image flashed across the screen.

“So, they’re going to ask me why I’m paying for pizza with that card when it’s not for work purposes.” Gus grumbled, “You could get me fired! Or worse, accused of fraud.”

“How Hermione Granger of you.” Shawn sighed, “Listen, take the cash from the top drawer of my desk, okay? I was saving it for your birthday-” Gus tsked his teeth, “-But you can use it to pay off the card. Okay?”

Gus narrowed his eyes, “There better be $125 in there dude, I’m not paying for your pizza obsession.”

“Uh-huh…” Shawn slipped an earbud back in, attention faltered as he stared at the image on his screen. Gus turned for a moment, before pausing. “That’s it, no retort?” With a glance into the other room, he noted that Juliet was still working on screwing together a drawer for the new desk. She didn’t seem to need assistance…

Gus turned, shoving Shawn’s shoulder for a moment, “What is it?”

Shawn bit at his thumb again, “Nothing.”

“I’ve seen that look before, I know that’s not nothing.” Gus rose a brow, eyes darting to the screen. They were talking about a missing person, his picture on the screen with the initials P.S. at the bottom. A man with a clean cut hairdo, a toothy wide smile and dark eyes. He was wearing a uniform suit in the photo, standing fully at attention. Shawn narrowed his eyes; they’d used his graduation photo…

“You know him?”

“I did.” Shawn nodded, finally giving up and looking for a way to save the broadcast or pause it; he was sure as hell going to rewatch it later. “Peter Sutherland…” He spoke low, “He was my partner back when I was… you know…” Hesitating, Shawn glanced at the doorway wary of saying something out loud. Luckily, Gus seemed to get the message, stepping back and raising his hands.
Before Shawn could stop him, Gus signed the words in ASL. “In the Field?”
Lips pressed together, Shawn nodded and rose his hands to sign back, “He helped train me. We worked together at the bureau, and now they say he may have been kidnapped by some Robin Hood organization… but-”

“What are you guys doing in here?” Juliet’s voice, sweet as an angel, rounded the corner. “You’ve been silent for way too long to not be suspicious.” She was grinning, blonde hair pulled back in a low ponytail, her suit replaced with jeans and one of Shawn’s old t-shirts. The front said, “Gotcha” with the back sporting an awesome picture of the Scream ghost.

“We were just watching the news,” Gus supplied, showing Juliet the computer. Shawn leaned back, “It’s not even interesting…“ He lied, “Just some missing FBI agent.”

“Oh we just got the info about this case from DC, yeah.” Jules hummed, looking at the image of Peter, “We got a message about a week ago about his last known location. He’d been seen up north in the Redwood National Forest by some local campers, but since he’s FBI all the major cities got the notice.”

“You mean they saw him in California?”

“They think they did.” Jules shrugged, “I don’t know much, but I know Chief Vick is determined to take this case seriously.” She raised her hands over her head, stretching her spine with a satisfying crack. Shawn watched her with a faint smile, his usual goofy behavior subdued as he took in the information.

“Hey,” Juliet grinned wide, “I have an idea.”

“Yeah?” Shawn asked, fist under his chin. Jules hummed, “The desk is nearly finished, and I’m starving, so why don’t I go and grab us some food from a local place and you two finish the desk. We can even eat on it when we get back… I’ll even bring churros for dessert!”

Gus’s eyes widened, “Don’t have to ask me twice, I’m beat.”

“Gus! Don’t be a baboon’s last Banana! We have an important job to do! Who else is going to help finish the desk?”

“Please, Shawn you’ve been sitting at the computer all afternoon! If I didn’t know any better I’d say you just wanted me and Juliet to do the whole thing for you!”

“Gus!” Shawn whined, “That’s just simply not true!”

“You can finish that desk yourself,” Gus crossed his arms, “I’m beat.”

“Boys! Boys…” Juliet chucked, “I’m going to grab some food. Text me what you want?” She rounded the two of them, offering Shawn a gentle kiss on the cheek before standing at the door. “No higher than fifteen dollars, got it?”

“Yes dear.” Shawn taunted, though the grin on his face was rather infectious, his green eyes catching Juliet’s with humor. He loved her. He really, really, loved her.

As she left, Shawn felt the freedom and light in his chest bursting to come out… however he couldn’t ignore the confusion. Turning back to the broadcast, his attempt at saving it had succeeded. He was now able to rewind it back. Gus caught his hand, “Juliet doesn’t know?”

“No, nobody knows.”

“I know.” Gus laid out the words with stress on each syllable, “You told me about you joining the FBI but not your Girlfriend?! Are you NUTS?”

Shawn frowned, nails clicking away at the keys as he scrolled through the video. “She hated me for months after she found out I wasn’t really psychic, what do you think she’ll do when she finds out about this? Not even my dad knows about this…

“Your dad doesn’t even know about your sexuality Shawn,” Gus crossed his arm, “This is a really important thing to let someone know.”

“I’d say the fact that my pendulum swings both ways is obvious to most people,” Shawn smirked, “Even Jules has seen how I flirt with Lassie.”
Gus grumbled, “You are an esteemed FBI agent and Criminal analyst Shawn!” “Ex-Agent,” Shawn rolled his eyes, pausing the video at the right place, “You know I retired.” “And you still won’t tell me why, and I respect that, but Regardless-”

Shawn turned the laptop towards Gus, his voice faltering as his dark eyes caught the screen. The man with long hair and green eyes stared back at them. “Shawn… Who’s that?”

“Who do you think?”

“I don’t know Shawn, the man looks like a mix between Blake Shelton and Jason Borne. You said they think Peter’s been nabbed by a criminal gang, you think he’s a part of it?”

“No. He’s not stupid.”
Gus stepped closer, his knee nearly hitting the desk as he stared down at Shawn. “You sound sure Shawn, you know how much that scares me.”

Shawn bit the nail on his thumb, leaning back in his chair as he moved, his fingers pressed to the sides of his head with a sigh, “His name is Eliot Spencer, he’s a member of the Leverage Company. He’s not a criminal.”

“You know his how?”

“He’s my brother, Gus.” Shawn rose his hands in surrender, staring straight at his friend. “Surprise.”

Gus felt his knees hitting the desk before he realized he was falling. Luckily Shawn was able to catch him and settle him on the chair before he did any real damage. “Hey bud, deep breath.” Eyes glazed over, Gus glared at the front door of their office, “Brother?”

“Half brother technically…”

“Shawn you are my best friend… how… how, why didn’t you tell me you had a brother?!”

Running a hand through his hair, Shawn sat back against the table, “Listen… I guarantee Lassie is going to run the name since it’s the same as mine, and we’ll have to hear all about this tomorrow. Why don’t you go home and get some rest… I’ll finish the desk and I’ll tell Jules that you needed to go-” “NO! No Shawn, I want to know.”
Shawn glanced down at the man’s face, his expression tight, stern. Lines forming at his forehead, and his eyes narrowed at him like lasers. It was impressive really… “It’s a long story bud, and really… the shorter I make it the more you’ll have questions.”

“Tell me the truth then,” Gus stood, standing in front of Shawn, looking down at him. “Does your brother have any connection to Peter’s disappearance?”

“I don’t know.” Shawn crossed his arms, meeting Gus’s glare, “I’m no Jedi warrior, or mind reading superhero, I’m not even psychic remember?!” Gus took a step back, confused by Shawn’s outburst. “Shawn-”

“My dad had an affair… one night, when he was first married to my mom. Eliot’s mom is different than mine, and he grew up in Texas. He’s older than me by a few years and he joined the military when he was 18. I haven’t seen him in years; the last time I saw him was when I was 22…”
Shawn shook his head, the bags under his eyes glaringly apparent in the dim lighting of the office, “I had just left Santa Barbara, and was heading east. I spoke perfect Spanish so I figured I could cross the border… I found myself caught up in a deal gone wrong between the cartel and the Mexican police. Eliot was the one who grabbed me out of there before I got hurt…”

“He was working for the police?”

“He was working for the cartel.” Shawn rose a brow, “Though he told me he had been hired to steal from the cartel for a third party… he’s a collector man.”

“Like John wick?” “No…” Shawn chuckled, “More like boba fett.”

Gus shoved his hands in his pockets, moving to lean against the wall near the door, “So he collects assets for his employers… that’s super illegal Shawn…”

“I think it’s cool.” Shawn grinned, “He’s like that Bounty Hunter we met a few years back.”

“But how did he get mixed up in this missing agent nonsense?” Gus tilted his head, “And what are you planning on doing?”
Shawn stayed quiet. The hairs on Gus’s arms raised, he didn’t like when Shawn was quiet… it was unnerving… like waiting for a pot to boil or a gun to fire. His friend was staring out the window, arms crossed, his humor faded behind a mask that Gus hadn’t seen in years. His boisterous and reckless best friend was nearly always outgoing… though he recalled the first two years of Shawn’s employment as an agent where the young green-eyed adventure seeker had been rigid and stiff.
He still remembered the nightmares that Shawn had the first night after his retirement… Gus still hadn’t asked him about that… he wasn’t sure if he wanted to.

“Shawn?”
Raising his head at the inquiry, Shawn tilted his head, scratching at his ear, “Honestly, it’s not making sense to me…”

“You think Eliot would be capable of kidnapping?”

“Of course, but I don’t think he’d do it willingly.” Shawn frowned, “The Leverage Company is a Robin Hood organization, it’s made up of thieves, but they help normal everyday people and get paid via whoever they are after… I haven’t seen him in years, but last I checked that sort of company avoids the FBI…”

“Hmm.” Gus sighed, rubbing his hands over his eyes, “So are you going to call your brother?”

“Most likely…” Shawn shrugged, “Who knows… might end up being fun.”

“Or stupid.”
“Come on son, when have you ever seen me do something stupid?”

Eyebrow raised, Gus smirked, “I saw you doing the worm on the station floor three days ago because you had a “vision” about our perp being a gardener.”

“You know I think better when I’m allowed to act on my impulses.”

“Twelve pizzas… Shawn… Twelve.”
“Tooshie.”
Gus rolled his eyes, “It’s touché.”
“I’ve heard it both ways.”

“Shawn, what is your plan?” Gus grumbled, exasperated. “You should call the bureau…” “NO.” Shawn shook his head, standing to face with Gus, the buzzing of their phones catching them off guard. Taking a breath, they both pulled them from their pockets to find a message from Juliet.

“She want’s our order from StreetRats…” Gus grumbled, “What do I tell her?”

“Ooh!” Shawn tapped his chin rather playfully, though Gus could see the tension pulling at his skin like tags and wires. “Have her order me a large blueberry slushy…” “Okay.”

“And tell her…” Gus paused in his typing as Shawn’s eyes closed, his hands grabbing at the edge of the table again. “Tell her I got a call from my father, I’m staying over there tonight…”

“You can’t keep lying to her Shawn…” Gus said while typing slowly.

“I know. But the alternative is almost worse.” Shawn chuckled to himself, “Peter was like another brother to me, Gus, what if he’s dead… you’re the only one who knows me anywhere close to how well Peter knew me…”
“Hey…” Gus clamped a hand on his friends shoulder, “You have me if you need me Shawn.” His phone dinged, “Ooh, right after I answer this call from Jules-” He grinned, “She’s asking if we want Churros or Tiramisu!”

Gus nodded to him, not waiting for a reply before stepping out the front door to the slowly darkening street outside. Now alone in the office, Shawn felt his walls and facades slipping faster than they already were. Heart beating faster and harder, he ran for his still standing desk, yanking out the top drawer with a heave. Toys and random action figures falling to the ground, Shawn stuck his fingers into a small hole in the back of the drawer, clicking it open to reveal a hidden bottom.

The pill bottle was the first thing he grabbed… quickly gulping down the medication before his head could start thumping with memories and reminders… He was about to put the pills back when he found himself stopped by the sight of what was in the drawer. Thinking back, the words of the reporter flashed across his eidetic memory.

“Sutherland was and is an esteemed member of the government, and despite his short-lived rebellion four years ago, we will stop at nothing until he is found… He is survived by his fiancé, miss Larkin…”

A growl escaped him. “He’s not dead.” He threw the pills back into the drawer, his head already heavy with headache and anxiety.

“If anyone has any knowledge, or has spotted Sutherland’s whereabouts, please contact…”
Grabbing the phone from where he’d absently placed it on his desk, Shawn shook the memory of the press conference away. Staring at the objects inside the desk, he suddenly felt like he was being watched, fingers dialing the number he’d memorized his first day on the job.
The Dial Tone buzzed, his hands absently picking up the random toys that had been dropped in his haste to get his medicine.

With speed, the private detective stepped back from the desk and it’s harbor of memories. He’d been avoiding cleaning it out for a reason - not just because he didn’t want to throw our his vintage action figures, but also… Jules was way too smart to not find the latch at the back of the drawer. Goosebumps on his arms, he listened as the dial tone rang…

And rang…

And…

Crap, he was shaking. The anxiety meds needed to kick in, NOW
Shawn sat in his chair, the false bottom resting against the wall, his eyes peering into the abyss of memories in the drawer. When were those pizza’s arriving again? Gus was still outside talking to Jules… and Jules was on her way back to have dinner with them…

“He is survived by his fiancé… Miss Larkin has asked for privacy during this time and all further questions about her wellbeing are to be directed to the bureau’s official media team…”

Eyes staring at the window as he mulled over the conference speech in his head, Shawn pulled out a small lunch box - Goonies themed, obviously - a bottle of vintage wine from an old friend, and a gun from the drawer.

Heckler & Koch P30L, two clips carefully set beside it with a wallet looking object underneath.

“Yes? Night Watch.” A voice came from the phone, nearly startling Shawn so badly that he dropped the gun onto the desk. Swallowing hard, his voice felt like gravel.

“Hello? Who is this? You’ve reached Night Watch!”

He closed his eyes, “Rose… Foxtrot, this is Sharpshooter.” The rustling of pages was followed closely by a faint gasp. Rose’s voice came through, laced with a mixture of relief and concern. “Shawnie? Is that you? Are you okay? Why are you calling this number?”

A small smile tugged at the corners of Shawn’s lips at the old nickname. “Yeah, it’s me, Rose… how are you?”
Rose’s response was a weary sigh. “You saw the news, Shawn. How do you think I’m doing?”

“I’m sorry, Rose. If I had known earlier-” Shawn trailed off, his voice heavy with regret.
“-Maybe you could have helped,” Rose finished for him, her tone softening. “Don’t blame yourself for that, Sharp. Pete has been gone for a week before, this time he just hasn’t called.”
Shawn’s heart sank at the reminder of his friend’s disappearance. “I know, Rose. And I want to help find him… I need to know what he was working on…”

There was a pause on the other end of the line before Rose spoke again, her voice tinged with skepticism. “You want to help? Or you want to satisfy your curiosity?”

Shawn couldn’t help but chuckle at the accusation. “Maybe a bit of both,” he admitted. “The criminal agency they’re looking for has someone I know working for it… I don’t think the police are looking in the right area…”

“Your brother?”
“yeah. How’d you guess?”
“you have the same eyes…” Rose sighed through the phone, “I won’t say anything, you have my word.”
Shawn hummed in agreement, “Mostly, I want to make sure Pete comes home safe Rose. I refuse to believe he’s dead until I see something tangible.”
Rose’s response was a resigned sigh. “Yeah, you and me both… our wedding is in three months.“ She sighed, “Why don’t I fax you what I have and we’ll go from there? I’m not supposed to be involved… though he did tell me bits and pieces that were particularly interesting…”

Shawn grinned a little bit hearing that. Everyone who knew Rose, knew she hated not being involved. After all, neither did he.
“you have a deal…” Shawn sighed, “Where can I meet you?”
“we shouldn’t be seen in public together Shawn…” “I’ll be flying out to DC tomorrow,” he insisted, “I’ve got a feeling it’s gonna be a family reunion.”
Rose made a sound of frustration, “I’ll think about it. Is your phone number still the same?”
”yeah.” “That’s peak security right there,” she teased, “I’ll be in contact then, okay?”

Gus was the only one from Santa Barbara who knew that Shawn had joined the FBI as an Analyst - a specialist in criminology… but even he didn’t know the full truth. That badge was a variable lifetime of lies and cover stories. Of being fired, time and time again until he finally had met his match. Chasing a nightmare, he’d left at the ripe age of twenty nine… with a partner who later was caught in a train bombing in DC, and a father who thought he was a high school dropout with no skills in the world except being a jackass.

”you know,” Rose hummed, “you should think about calling the Bureau about being reinstated.” She lowered her voice, “Shawn, il m’a dit… sobre terranova.” Rose spoke quietly, “sobre tu última misión… avec la petite fille? You did good work and Peter misses you.” Shawn he told me about NewFoundland, about your last mission… with the little girl?

Shawn felt his breath hitch, “What do you know about that?”
“I know you tried your best.” He turned away from the window at her words, watching the door to make sure nobody heard him, “But he thought…” Rose continued, “Peter has believed since your retirement that-”

“Nos perdimos algo.” We missed something. Shawn huffed, eyes clammed shut, his fist grabbing at the edge of the desk. “Oui.” Came Rose’s reply.

“Es imposible.” Shawn growled, “If we did, I’d still be working that case!”

“Shawn.” Rose’s tone indicated frustration. He held the phone to his ear, letting out a long and intentionally slow breath. She seemed to have calmed down as well. “I know as well as you that Peter is capable of taking care of himself, but you were the only other person on that case, and you’re the only other person who may know what really happened up north… you should really think about coming back… after all of this…”

“Two girls died, Rose.” Voice shaky, Shawn frowned, “One of them… was my…” He bit his lip, “I didn’t call to ask for help in reenlisting…”
“Then why call? You and I both know you’re more than Capable of finding your way to Peter without me.”

“Peter is a brother to me… and you were always his favorite topic when we started working together. I was just a rookie when he took me in. I wanted to see how you were doing…”

“Ha!” Rose laughed, “That’s bullshit! But it’s sweet…” she sighed, “I just figured I’d ask…”

“Yeah… thanks Rose…” He offered a small smile to his tone.

“Be careful Shawn… you’ve heard of the boy who flew too close to the sun right?”
“yeah, Ithaca.”
“Icarus.”
“I’ve heard it both ways.” He shrugged, grabbing his gun from the desk and ensuring the safety was on before shoving it discreetly in the band at the back of his pants. “And I will. I promise.”

“I’ll hold you to that.”
Shawn grinned, “Thank you Ro. Sharpshooter out.”

She made a noise of improvement, “Good luck.”
Ending the call, Shawn grabbed the two ammo clips and shoved them in his pockets, the wallet that held his old badge carefully tucked in his inner jacket pocket above his heart. Black leather with a Green shirt and dark blue jeans. He was wearing his favorite tennis shoes but he’d probably have to switch them to boots when he got home…

Speaking of… his head jolted upward at the sound of voices outside. Jules was back, talking to Gus outside. Shoving the desk drawer closed, the false bottom back in place, Shawn turned just in time to grin and smile at the two of them as they walked back in.
“we’re back!” Jules cheered, “and Shawn you’d never believe it!” Gud walked back in behind her, holding a stack of pizzas with a rather perturbed look on his face. Shawn smirked at that, as Jules grinned, “They gave us 12 pizzas!”
Shawn sighed, “they did?!”
“Shawn…” Jules teased, “It’s way too much food. Did you use Gus’s card again?”
“nahhh” Shawn laughed, “you know I’m not that kind of person…”
Gus clicked his tongue, “dude.”
Smirking, Shawn reached back around into the desk, “You forgot this Bud,” he said handing Gus a small roll of twenties. “We’ll donate it to the shelter near the station, how’s that?”
“after we eat right?” Gus raised a brow, stomach growling. With a nod, the tension in the room seemed to lift slightly, Shawn smiling and helping to place the pizzas on the table. But the gun at his back remained cold, and the feeling of being watched had not left. Shawn found his eyes trailing to the window more than once, his chest heavy as he searched for the source; a pair of green eyes that he knew was likely lying in wait, ready to strike. Jules kissed him and turned his face away… and Shawn caught Gus’s gaze.
Things were about to change… but how much was still a matter of debate.
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