Psych: Better Than Pugs

Chapter 2: The Break-in

The Blueberry approached Shawn's childhood home at top speed. Gus didn't bother to take the time to park properly, but came to a sudden stop catty-corner in the front yard and burst immediately out of the driver's side door, preceded likewise by Shawn from the passenger door. Both men bolted into the house and found Henry, Juliet, her partner Carlton Lassiter, and the chief of police Karen Vick, as well as several other officers standing among what looked like the results of a tornado passing through the living room. Shawn was relieved to find that his father was alive and unharmed.

It had been three days since the mysterious intruder had oh-so-impolitely interrupted their dinner, and so far no other suspicious activity had been spoken of. That is, until Shawn had received a text from Juliet only moments earlier:

"Your dads ASAP"

Juliet rarely texted without tagging on some X's and O's or a "Love you," and that alone concerned Shawn, but he also knew that the utter lack of detail, punctuation, or emoticons spoke of urgency.

It had only been several months since Henry nearly lost his life to a gunshot inflicted by a former friend and colleague. The near loss of his dad had hit Shawn with a strong sense of the very real danger of their professions, and the news of something going down at his father's home sent Shawn into a panic.

Ever since their interrupted dinner, Shawn had to wonder whether the Jerry Carp case was completely over with. He feared, secretly of course, that someone was still out there who wanted his dad dead. Within five minutes of Juliet's text, Shawn and Gus had left behind the Psych office and arrived at the scene where they now stood.

"Dad! You're OK!" Shawn exclaimed through short breaths.

"Of course, Shawn," Henry replied, "What did you think happened?"

Shawn tried to respond, but found the words stuck in his throat.

"Shawn I'm sorry," Juliet interjected, "I should have been more specific. I didn't mean to worry you…we only heard the report on the scanner… I honestly didn't know what kind of scene we would be coming to."

"That's Ok Jules. Everything's Ok now. I mean…with my dad anyway…" Shawn looked to Henry. "…this living room has certainly seen better days, though."

"What happened here?!" Gus chimed in after finally catching his breath.

"Your father called in a break-in," the Chief answered, addressing Shawn instead of Gus. "We just got here ourselves. Henry, do you mind telling us what happened?"

"Well, I was just getting home from fishing with Ed this morning when I noticed some suspicious movement in the house. At first I thought it was these clowns, indicating Shawn and Gus, using my house for a sting operation again. But when I realized whoever-it-was were far too quiet to be these two, I snuck a look through the window to see who it was. There was a man…in a black suit…making a mess of the place…seemed like he was looking for something. Well, then I came inside and pulled my gun on him. I was hoping to corner him…figure out who he was and what he was up to…but he took off through the back door. I didn't even get a chance to see his face. I can't believe I lost him!"

"Was it the same man?" Juliet asked. "…the one who was here the other night?"

Carlton grimaced at the realization that his partner had been having dinner at Henry's. That meant that her relationship with the travesty-of-a-human being that was Shawn Spencer, if he was even worthy of being called human, was getting more serious. He cared for his much younger partner like she was a little sister, and at least on the surface, he loathed Spencer. He had been not-so-secretly hoping that their relationship would fail. Even when he thought his wish had been granted a few weeks ago, she had for some insane reason allowed the man-boy back into her life.

"I can't be sure," Henry answered Juliet. "I didn't get a look at his face either time, but I think they were both about the same size and build. I guess it's possible."

"Did he take anything?" Lassiter asked, pushing away his inner-conflict and continuing to eye over the scene. This was the first he had spoken since Shawn and Gus had arrived.

"He took some cash that I had hidden in a can on my desk, but nothing else of tremendous value that I can tell so far," said Henry.

"Sounds to me like a routine break-in and theft," stated Lassiter. "He was probably just a thug looking for drugs…or cash… or valuables to fund his drug habit."

"Well he picked the wrong house. The most valuable thing my Dad owns is his Ginsu steak knife set," joked Shawn. Now, if he wanted to slice both tomatoes and solid steel while wearing a shirt that looks like a unicorn barfed on it, he came to the right place."

"Shawn's right," said Henry.

Shawn did a double-take. His dad rarely agreed with him, especially on the ridiculousness of his attire.

"I mean," Henry continued. This is not exactly the neighborhood or the house to come looking for drugs or money. Plus, based on how he was dressed, he didn't actually look like he was hurting for cash. And based on the look of this place it seems more like he was looking for something in particular.

"And if it was the same guy that was here Friday night, it's most likely he was targeting you specifically," Juliet added, to which Henry nodded in strong agreement.

"Any idea what he might have been looking for?" asked Juliet

"Beats me! I am not aware of anything I own that would be of interest to a guy in a black suit."

"Black suit? ..." questioned Lassiter, more to himself than to anyone in particular.

"Yeah, like a professional one. Black tie. He looked like a businessman," Henry clarified

"Doesn't really speak of your typical kind of break-in perp," added Lassiter. Usually those guys are rough around edges… This guy must have been targeting this place directly…looking for something specific"

"That's what I said." Juliet admonished. Carlton's tendency to make her observations sound like his own always grated on her nerves. Henry shook his head and scrunched his eyebrows. It just didn't make any sense to him, though.

Meanwhile, Shawn took in the scene in his usual observant way, noticing that books were pulled from the shelves, couch cushions were overturned, practically every drawer had been pulled off their hinges and all of their contents spilled onto the floor. Papers lay strewn about. Even Henry's mail and files on his desk appeared to have been searched.

Shawn put his hand to his head in usual fake psychic fashion. "I am sensing the perp was looking for something small. A small object…maybe something on paper, a piece of information, perhaps. On the other hand, it could have been my Dad's lucky dried prune, or a rabbit's foot, or those gall stones he had removed last winter. Something of that nature…or not of that nature. Maybe it was my rare Mr. T figurine. I can't be sure."

Lassiter scoffed. It obviously wasn't much to go on.

"What have you got, Lassie-face?!" taunted Shawn

Lassiter humphed and turned away uncomfortably.

"Yeah, that's right! A ginormous ZERO! Scoff at me when you have something…or if my hair ever looks like that." Shawn pointed to an awkward-looking officer with a very unfortunate comb-over. The officer turned red and looked at the floor.

"A small object...?" whispered Henry to himself, a puzzled look on his face as he began to take a closer look at the things strewn across the floor. Meanwhile, the detectives began searching for other clues, while the other officers dusted for finger prints and took photos.

As Henry, Gus, and all of the officers began combing the crime scene. Shawn took advantage of a free moment to check on Juliet. He took her gently by the hand and led her into the kitchen.

"So, how is my beautiful-sweet-smelling lily-blossom doing today?" said Shawn as he gave Juliet a soft peck on the cheek.

Juliet smiled and leaned into Shawn, allowing him to wrap his arms around her fully and resting her head on his chest.

"Still feeling a little run down, but much better than before," she answered.

Juliet had been feeling terrible off-and-on for the entire weekend. As soon as she thought she was feeling better, she would suddenly be overcome with debilitating nausea. Shawn, as promised, had been waiting on her hand-over-foot the entire time. After two days, she finally seemed to have kicked the bug and had returned to work.

"Thanks for taking care of me!," she said, pulling back so she could look him in the eye. "You know...your bedside manner is almost the best I've seen. You'd make a great nurse."

"Almost?!" asked Shawn, somewhat insulted. "Who could possibly beat me? Was it Declan? Please tell me it wasn't Declan!"

"Declan?! Why are you still on that?" asked a bewildered Juliet. "I haven't thought about him in years."

"He's just so much better than me," Shawn whined. "Taller, fitter, richer, more knowledgeable at 80's pop culture trivia, better hair… Better hair, Jules!"

"I like your hair more," she said putting her fingers through it and leaning closer to him.

"For chrise-sakes, Jules, the man has a private jet, a personal pastry chef, and even his own Curt Smith! It's not fair!"

"Shawn, you're forgetting one thing," said Juliet.

"What?" Shawn pouted.

"I picked you. As awesome as all of those things are, I picked you over all of those things. You mean more to me than any of that stuff. Even with everything that's happened, I don't regret my choice. Not one bit." Shawn settled and smiled. She did make a good point. "So, stop being so insecure!" she teased.

"Ok," said Shawn sheepishly. "So, who is it then? Who beat me in the nurse-skills department?"

"My mom of course! No one will ever beat Mom."

Shawn was reminded of all of the times he was sick as a child and comforted by the presence of his mother.

"True dat!" he agreed. "No one ever beats Mom. Although…you may have a good chance if you wear one of those sexy nurse's outfits. We'll see when it's my turn to be laid up in bed."

"Maybe…but I wouldn't get your hopes up." Juliet smiled and giggled lightly, then hugged Shawn closer and kissed him gently on the lips. He kissed her back more passionately, and then the two of them broke apart, knowing, though not saying, that it wasn't the time or place for what their bodies were wanting to do that moment. Since Juliet had been sick, it had been a while since they had been intimate.

"So…we should get back to the case," said Juliet.

"Do we have toooo?" asked Shawn in a childish tone

"Yes, Shawn. We need to figure out who ransacked your dad's house and why."

"Yes, indeed we do," said Shawn, looking back at the scene "…but one more kiss first" he said, leaning back into her." She allowed him one more kiss and then they both returned to the living room.

The couple were joining the rest of the crowd in the investigation, when the Chief's cell phone rang. She answered it and informed everyone she was wanted back at the station. "Call me when you have anything," she announced.

Just then, Henry's voice rang out. "Wait! I have something!" Everyone, including the Chief who was only paces from the door, turned to look at Henry. "…Or rather, I don't have something," he corrected. "Something is missing."

"What is it?" said the Chief.

"It's a ring," said Henry. "My mother's engagement ring. It was in this drawer, but now it's not here."

Shawn's and Gus's eyes widened as their heads turned towards each other. They knew which ring he was talking about. That ring was not missing, but instead at that very moment was stored inside a silly putty egg in Shawn's top desk drawer at the Psych office.

Gus screwed up his face at Shawn with a look that said, "I TOLD you. Now look what you've gotten yourself into."

Shawn looked guilty, but wouldn't dare let anyone see, especially Juliet.

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