Part II: Trout vs. Barracuda, Chapter 14: Fired
Gus, Shawn, Juliet, and Lassiter stood in the hallway of the SBPD, their mouths nearly dropping to the floor.‘This couldn’t be for real. Was this really happening?’ Chief Vick was suspended for the next six months, and the new interim chief Harris Trout had not only demoted detectives Lassiter and O’Hara, but had informed Shawn and Gus that he would no longer be needing their “psychic” services.
Their most recent case had ended with (to put it lightly) a milddisaster, prompting an investigation into their methods. Though any investigation involving Shawn Spencer was certainly unorthodox, and it was no secret that the relationship between the “psychic” team and the detectives was less than professional, the investigative efforts of this foursome were always highly effective.
As they stood there in disbelief, Shawn and Juliet’s gaze turned slowly toward each other. ‘What were they going to do now? The timing couldn’t be any worse.’ Through the course of Trout’s investigation, he had discovered that Shawn and Juliet shared a romantic relationship, but what he didn’t find out was that their relationship was much more than casual inter-office dating. In fact, they were very newly engaged and expecting a baby. Both pieces of news were so far known only to a select few. Shawn had told only Gus and his father, and Juliet had told Chief Vick and, reluctantly, Lassiter after he found one of her sonograms.
The gang stood awkwardly, not knowing where to go or what to do next. Without a case to work on or leads to follow, they were just plain lost.
“Uh…I guess I’ll…go to my desk and do some paperwork,” said Lassiter sadly.
“Yeah…me too,” said Juliet.
“Shawn, I think this means we need to go,” said Gus.
“Yeeeaaah…No!” said Shawn. “I am not giving in that easily.” Shawn charged into Trout’s office.
“Shawn, No don’t!” pleaded Gus and Juliet simultaneously.
“Spencer!” scolded Lassiter, “Don’t make this any worse than it already is!”
It was too late, Shawn was already standing before Trout speaking his mind.
“Look Trout, you seriously don’t know what you’re doing! Lassiter and O’Hara are the toughest detectives this department has ever seen! There are no other officers in this department who can do what they do. And Gus and I…we’re like gobs of delicious icing on an already delectable cake…the four of us are like pineapple upside down cake with chocolate cream cheese icing…maybe a little odd…but delicious! And when I say delicious, I mean highly effective. Without Lassie and Jules on point and Gus and I helping them along, Santa Barbara will become the Detroit of the west. Sure, there is an abnormal amount of crime here, for such an easy going beach town, but weare the only ones who can keep it at least somewhat under control!”
Throughout Shawn’s tirade, Trout stared blankly at him, and he stared blankly for a few more moments after Shawn was finished. Shawn waited anxiously for Trout’s outburst…
“You’re right,” said Trout.
“There isn’t anyone else at this department who can fill Lassiter’s and O’Hara’s shoes. That’s why I’m bringing in a new head detective pair. And, you know what? I think I’ll split those two up. It’s time they learn to work with someone who goes by the book. Now get out. You’re no longer welcome here.”
Lassiter and Juliet, who had overheard from outside the office, gasped.
“No. No. No. This can’t be happening!” said Lassiter, “I’ve never worked well with anyone besides O’Hara.”
Juliet was worried, “I can’t work with anyone else…especially now…Gus?”
Gus was just standing there staring at the wall. When aroused by Juliet’s voice, he let out a panicked cry and ran for the door.
Shawn exited Trout’s office, defeated. By the looks on Lassie’s and Jules’s faces he could tell they overheard.
“Damnit Spencer!” shouted Lassiter, and he stomped away.
Shawn turned to Juliet. “Sweetie…” he said with pain in his eyes. Juliet was close to tears.
“You should go,” she said. “We’ll talk later at home.” Then she leaned into him and softly pecked him on the cheek. “Thanks for trying,” she said.
Trout peeked out of his office and motioned for Shawn to remove himself from the station.
“Gus, I really screwed up this time!” said Shawn back at the Psych Office. “I mean…worse than Steve Martin in The Jerk. Jules must be so disappointed in me. How am I going to fix this?”
“I hate to say it Shawn, but this may be one thing you can’tfix. What’s done is done. Winning back Chief Vick’s affection is one thing, but Trout is nothing like Chief Vick. I doubt you can change his mind. Fortunately, he is only going to be here for six months. When Vick returns, she may be able to give Jules and Lassiter their jobs back and maybe even start hiring us again. Until then, we’ll just have to get by with what we can. I’ll take on a few more clients at Central Coast and we’ll work some private cases…Shawn, you know that I am your still your best friend, so if there is anything I can do…”
“Thanks, Gus, but I can’t depend on you anymore. Jules is engaged to me, not you and me. And that baby is mine.” The thought of his tiny innocent son or daughter was both overwhelming and inspiring. “I need to show Jules that she can depend on me. I need to do this on my own.”
“Do what?” asked Gus.
“I have no idea!” said Shawn
Gus tried to be reassuring. “You are the most resourceful person I know, Shawn. You’ll figure something out. Just remember that I’m here…for whatever you need.”
“Thanks, Gus,” said Shawn. “You are the best friend a guy could ask for.”
“Better than Skippy Handleman?”
“Better than Paul Pfieffer from The Wonder Years?”
“Yes, Gus. Even better than Ethel Mertz.”