No More Spencers Jumping on the Bed!
A Psych Fan-Fiction by Emachinescat
SUMMARY: AU Tag to 'Shawn and Gus Truck Things Up'. Jumping on the bed and climbing out his bedroom window to escape his father's wrath was supposed to be fun. It wasn't supposed to include a hole in the wall, falling off the roof, a concussion, and multiple broken bones, or father-son bonding. But maybe that last one wasn't so bad. 8x7.
Disclaimer: I don't own Psych, The Hardy Boys, The Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed Song (Dunno the actual title), or Harry Potter!
A/N: I've been wanting to write this since watching "Shawn and Gus Truck Things Up," but just now got around to it. ;)
I did do some research for this story, but as to how accurate said research is… I did it via Google search engine at 11 p.m… So if I get something wrong, sorry! Did my best! The concussion symptoms come from experience, even though I didn't get knocked out. I almost had to take a semester off from college because of a concussion a few years back, and it was AWFUL.
Also I had to do the thing with the little monkeys song, because my mom used to sing that to me all the time as a kid. Ah, memories. XD
Oh, and virtual pineapple smoothies to whoever can catch the Dreamworks Animation movie reference in here somewhere... :D
Please read, review, and enjoy! :)
No More Spencers Jumping on the Bed!
Landon Stewart had been an EMT for the city of Santa Barbara for seven years. In those seven years, he had seen many strange and unusual situations that people of all ages had gotten themselves into. There was the intoxicated teenager who apparently got his foot and his leg up to the knee stuck in a toilet, and along with an ambulance, the equally drunk friends had called a plumber. Between Landon and Frank the Plumber, it had taken them nearly an hour and a half to extract the inebriated adolescent's appendage from the bowels of the commode, a task made harder by the fact that the kid passed out about halfway through the procedure.
That had been a weird conversation on the police scanner.
Then there was the nine-year-old who had tried to make a flying suit and jump out of her treehouse, and had broken her arm in the process. When questioned about why she'd leapt over ten feet out of her treehouse, she'd explained with full seriousness that she'd just wanted to be like Daedalus from Greek mythology, which had floored Landon, until he'd learned her father was a mythology professor at Santa Barbara University. But still… another weird call on the scanner.
Today, it seemed, Landon would be embarking upon yet another strange quest, one that didn't involve drunk teenagers or too-smart little girls who thought they could fly, but was possibly just as strange.
Landon was actually about half an hour away from freedom – his shift ended at seven and he was going to have another lonely bachelor dinner at Del Taco, a testament to his appalling eating habits and even more atrocious (i.e. nonexistent) love life – when the call came on the scanner.
We have an 11-41. Just got a call from a man who says his son hit his head jumping on bed, then fell off of roof. Severe concussion suspected. Possible broken bones. Code 50. Dispatch, do you copy?
Landon sighed, realizing that he may be just a little late for his one-man Del Taco date, and grabbed his radio, responding, "Copy. Can I get a location?"
When Landon Stewart heard on the emergency services scanner that an ambulance was needed for multiple injuries because someone had been jumping on the bed and then somehow managed to subsequently fall off of the roof, he'd been expecting a kid, maybe somewhere between nine and fourteen, trying to declare his freedom from parental units by doing something potentially dangerous, breaking the rules.
Most of that was dead-on accurate. The victim was, indeed, someone who had been bucking against his father's authority by jumping on his bed, something he'd been expressly forbidden to do, and then, after hitting his head and alerting his father to his antics, trying to escape his father's wrath by climbing out his bedroom window and onto the roof, managing to fall off and injure himself even worse in the process.
But he'd been expecting to see a ten-year-old kid, not a thirty-six-year-old man, lying on the ground in front of the house he pulled his ambulance up to.
He lay on the ground, not moving, not wanting to move. He couldn't move even if he wanted to, because he was pretty sure he'd broken about 3.5 of the bones in his body. Maybe even four whole bones. But if they were broken, did that mean eight half bones?
He didn't know, and he didn't care. He'd never liked math, or science. Or their unholy spawn, chemistry.
All he could think of, as he lay there, with someone – his dad, maybe? – hovering over him, talking nonsense words to him, trying to keep him awake, hands running through his hair, was that nursery rhyme he remembered his mom reading to him when he was like five years old and convinced that he was actually 55 percent monkey, and was determined to make everyone else believe it, too.
Having an eidetic memory, he could recall the words to that dumb rhyme like it'd just been read to him ten minutes ago.
Five little monkeys, jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"
Four little monkeys, jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"
Three little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head…
And so on and so forth.
Come to think of it, the darn song was so repetitive and obnoxious that you probably wouldn't need an eidetic memory to remember it after thirty-two years.
Be that as it may, it didn't stop the taunting orchestra of sadistic monkeys from chanting this in his pounding head, over and over, as he lay there, pain lancing through his head and back and arm and legs and… well, his everywhere, really.
He wondered if he opened his eyes, if there would be a ring of little monkeys circling his head like the tweeting birdies in the cartoons. The prospect of witnessing that level of awesome was almost enough incentive for him to squint his eyes open, but not quite.
He did, however, groan, as a hand touched his shoulder, jolting a whole new wave of pain through his entire body.
"Shawn?" came his dad's distant, annoyed (actually, that was more in the range of supremely pissed off), and oddly concerned voice. "C'mon kid."
It was the tone of his dad's voice, the worried timbre that he registered just barley over the agony tearing through his every nerve, that convinced him to finally open one eye.
"Eeerrgh…" he moaned. His pupil was immediately assaulted by the dying light of the late afternoon – which was still much, much too bright for his poor abused head to handle, but his dad, the bald, angry, sneaky house-seller and mover-awayer, quickly blocked the worst of the sun's waning rays and allowed him to pop the other eye open.
He was on his back, his dad hovering over him anxiously, and he was pretty sure that he'd just fallen off a roof. He didn't try to move anything, just lay there, dazed.
His eyes slipped shut again.
A hand smacked him none-too-gently on the cheek and they sprang back open, glaring at his father. "Do you mind?" he whined.
"Stay awake, Shawn. The ambulance will be here any minute."
Shawn hissed in pain as he shifted slightly. "Why the hell'd you call an ambulance?" he complained. "I'm fine. Just… bruised."
His dad snorted, eyes blazing. "I called an ambulance after you fell off the damn roof and knocked yourself out, and you didn't wake up after nearly ten minutes of my trying. You do realize that if you hit your head and you're out for more than a minute, something's wrong? Like, really wrong?"
"Dad, Parker Stevenson and David Cassidy got knocked out for like hours on end," Shawn argued.
"That was just a show, Shawn, and not a medically or procedurally accurate one , at that. And you're proving my point right now," Mr. Worrypants Spencer griped, tapping Shawn's face again as he started to drift off – dang, he hadn't even realized he was fading again! "You watched that damn show all the time when you were a kid, and you idolized Shaun Cassidy. I know you think it's clever or funny or whatever to get words wrong all the time, which it's not, but I know you know which Cassidy boy was in The Hardy Boys. So don't tell me there's not something more than usual wrong with your head. You've got a concussion, kiddo, and a really severe one."
"You don't," Shawn began, then forgot what he was talking about. "You don't… Um, Dad? Why are there three of you? You're like that dog from Harry Potter, except a million times scarier. Will you go back to having just one head, please?"
His three-headed dad, Not-Fluffy, or maybe Baldy would suit him better, actually managed to look more concerned.
Shawn tried to move again, but this time his breath was completely stolen away from him as a red-hot knife sliced down his spine. His back arched slightly and a scream ripped from his lips, his head flopping back to connect with the ground beneath him.
He could hear his dad cursing, the sound of voices, and then… nothing.
Thank God, now there was nothing.
Henry Spencer was worried about his son, worried enough to call an ambulance, because even after trying to wake the stubborn kid up for eight minutes without so much as a twitch, he knew that he'd hit his head much harder than he'd thought, and he needed urgent help. Not to mention the fact that his right arm was twisted under his back in a very unnatural way, most certainly broken, and there was blood matted in his hair, and he was so unnaturally still…
Henry knew that he could have driven Shawn to the ER himself, but there was something that told him that Shawn didn't need to be moved. He didn't know if it was his cop instincts (he'd seen a lot of injuries, serious and not, throughout his years on the force) or his father instincts (he thought that those had needed a heckuva lot of fine-tuning for a long time now), or just some bad feeling that couldn't be explained in the back of his mind, but he wasn't going to move his son, who had just busted the wall with his skull and then fallen about twenty feet off of the roof onto his back. He needed the professionals to do that.
What the hell had gotten into his idiot son this time? He was used to Shawn doing stupid things, but jumping on the bed and then climbing out onto the roof to avoid… what? Getting yelled at? Or was he just trying to fulfill some warped childhood dream? Whatever his motivation, Shawn's antics were ridiculously asinine and dangerous, and if Henry hadn't been so concerned with getting Shawn the help he needed, he probably would've been embarrassed to the point of not telling the operator everything about the situation, because having your thirty-six-year-old son do something that might be expected out of a very immature pre-teen was something no father wanted to admit to anyone, not even a 911 dispatch operator.
Now, however, fear spiked through his heart as he realized that he may have missed something pretty important in his initial assessment of his son's injuries. When Shawn had tried to move that last time, the pure agony that had come over his face, the way his back had weakly arched, that scream of pain… That wasn't Shawn over-acting to get attention. That was Shawn unable to control his response to whatever was hurting him, something that, despite all of his son's milking of injuries throughout his life, Henry had taught him how to do and that Shawn knew how to do very well – there was no way he would've been able to get through the Garth Longmore nightmare the way he did if he couldn't handle pain and work through it. But this… this was something that was all-consuming, and that scared Henry more than he cared to admit, even to himself.
He cursed loudly, then lowered his voice slightly, focusing his attention on trying to rouse Shawn, who had slipped back into unconsciousness again.
That's when the ambulance came to a stop at his house.
The EMT's name was Landon Stewart, according to his nametag, and his partner, a pretty red-head who looked to be in her early forties, Chrissy Curtis, were quick and efficient in hurrying over to Henry and his unconscious son, but not fast enough for Henry's liking, so he yelled at them a bit as they got their med kits and a gurney from the back of the bus. It didn't do anything to speed them up, it didn't even seem to faze them at all, but it made Henry feel a bit better, so he kept yelling and cursing.
"Um," said Stewart slowly, "I'm going to need some space here, please, Mr…?"
"Spencer," Henry said gruffly, pushing himself off of his knees with a grunt and stepping back marginally.
The EMT immediately began assessing Shawn, Curtis kneeling down on the other side of the prone man, med kit at the ready.
As he worked, Stewart began asking questions. "Has he woken at all?"
"For a little while," Henry answered promptly. "But it took about ten minutes for him to come to."
Stewart grunted, pulling back one of Shawn's eyelids, revealing a glassy hazel eye staring at nothing underneath. Curtis pulled a penlight out of the kit and passed it in front of Shawn's eye, and Stewart's reaction was not encouraging. He grunted again and muttered, "No pupil dilation. Definite concussion." He looked briefly up at Henry. "When he was awake, did he follow you with his eyes?"
Henry thought for a moment, then shook his head, after which he realized the medic had returned his gaze back to Shawn and he answered out loud, "No. He was dazed, and he couldn't keep a train of thought at all, which isn't anything unusual for him in itself, but he wasn't following the conversation or getting any of his ridiculous pop culture references right…" He realized he was babbling and nervously ran a hand over his head, vaguely remembering a time when that action would have meant running his hands through his hair.
"Right arm's broken, most likely incomplete fracture," Curtis said, carefully examining the oddly bent limb.
"He's got a knot on the back of his head, and some bleeding. We need to get him to the hospital, order an MRI. He took a really hard hit to the head," Stewart said.
"Wait," Henry said, right as the EMT was about to assist his partner in lifting Shawn. "I think there might be something else wrong that I missed when I called for the ambulance. He was awake right before you came, but then he tried to move, and his back, it arched… He screamed and passed out."
Henry didn't miss the dark look that entered both medics' countenances at this revelation.
"Sounds like a potential back injury," Stewart said. "We need to get him up, carefully, without risking shifting anything in his spine. Chrissy, can you go radio in that our Code 50 is now a Code 40?"
It had been a while since Henry had been on the force, but he was still very up-to-date on all the codes used in emergency services scanners, and his heart pounded in his chest as he realized that the EMT had just changed Shawn's case from basic transport (not serious) to serious.
They quickly began to reassess his vitals after this new information, and the worried look didn't leave their eyes as they worked, fitting Shawn into a neck-brace and sliding him onto a backboard. Even the minimal amount of movement caused the unconscious Shawn to wince and whine in pain.
They needed room to work in the back of the ambulance, so Henry followed them to the hospital, and by the time he got there, Shawn had already been taken back into the ER, leaving Henry out front with a slew of coughing, ailing, and worried fellow waiting room occupants and a stack of forms the size of one of those Harry Potter books to fill out.
Henry had called Gus and Juliet, giving the basic rundown of what had happened, without getting into the details (Shawn was, as usual, being reckless and stupid, and had managed to give himself a concussion and back injury and broken arm, and if they wanted to join in on the surround-sound lecture when he woke up, they might want to make their way to Santa Barbara General Hospital ASAP. He called Maddie but she hadn't answered, probably in a meeting or something halfway across the country, so he'd just left her a message to call him as soon as she could. Of course his son's best friend and girlfriend (who, despite being in San Francisco, had promised she'd be at the hospital in four and a half hours, when the drive was about five) had pressed for more information, but Henry said he'd explain later.
He really didn't want to get into the fact that Shawn had fallen while jumping on the bed, hit his head so hard on the wall that he'd busted a hole in it, and then, dazed and probably already concussed, climbed out of his window onto the roof, where he promptly lost his balance and tumbled off, landing on his back with his arm twisted grotesquely under his body, making such a thump as he landed that he nearly gave his father, who had been halfway down the stairs, a heart attack. He still hadn't quite come to grips with that being the reason he was in this waiting room yet himself.
About two hours into his wait, a nervous Gus at his side and an equally nervous Juliet about a third of the way to Santa Barbara, a white-haired doctor made his way into the waiting room and announced, "Family of Shawn Spencer?"
Henry, despite being decades older and achier than Gus, jumped to his feet before the younger man even had a chance to absorb what the doctor had said.
As it turned out, Shawn had a severe concussion and would be dealing with massive migraines for months, maybe even years, to come, along with some confusion, short-term memory loss, loss of focus, nausea and dizziness for at least the next few months. He had fractured his forearm, bruised pretty much the rest of his body, and twisted his ankle, probably from slipping and falling off the roof and its getting caught on something as he fell. His most serious injury, however, was a compression fracture to his spine, which the doctor explained to a rapidly paling Henry and Gus was one of the least serious of back injuries, although that didn't mean it wouldn't be incredibly painful.
The good news was that unless any unforeseen complications arose, Shawn wouldn't have to have surgery, but he would be in a back brace for about eight weeks. Even better news was that compression fractures were very rarely associated with neurological problems and that it shouldn't affect his ability to walk, though it would be a while before he could move about normally, partially because of the sprained ankle, but mostly because of the fractured spinal vertebrae.
But, off the record, also agonizingly painful recovery, and he was seriously lucky that he didn't walk away with worse injuries. He was lucky he was going to be able to walk away from this at all.
Knowing that Shawn was going to be okay after a long and painful recovery didn't calm Henry's nerves any. Instead, it only fueled his anger. Of course he was happy that Shawn was going to be all right, but for heaven's sake, he'd gotten these injuries because of some stupid, childish whim to jump on his bed and his usual aversion to facing up to the consequences to his actions!
It would have been so simple – so, so very simple – for Shawn to have just followed Henry down the stairs and left the house like a normal person without turning his old bed into a makeshift trampoline.
And, failing that, if that was just too much for his idiot of a son, then after he broke the wall with his abnormally thick head, it would have been just as simple for him to walk, or stumble, depending on how hard of a hit he took, out of the bedroom door, down the stairs, and into the kitchen, where Henry would have gotten his first aid kit and patched the kid up the best he could and then drive him to the doctor, lecturing him all the way.
But nothing could be simple with Shawn, could it? It never had been, never would be.
For once, could Shawn have just ignored the more devilish of the two devils that adorned his shoulders? (Henry had long since decided that instead of the classic representation of good vs. evil as an angel and a devil on either shoulder, Shawn had no angel, only two devils, one slightly more evil than the other, but both full of mischief and disregard for his own safety.)
He wanted nothing more than to start up his lecture, demand to know why on earth Shawn would do something so stupid, hurt himself like this, would act like a child and end up with a concussion, broken arm, and fractured spine? All because he'd decided to fulfill his childhood fantasy of jumping on the bed.
But when he entered the room to which Shawn had been admitted, when he saw his son lying in that bed, so still, so pale, with a cast on his arm, splint on his ankle, back brace firmly around his midsection, hooked up to an IV with pain medication, that desire to lay into his son almost instantly dissipated. Shawn's eyes were barely open, but he was awake, and if Henry had started to yell, he probably wouldn't have understood half of it, and thus, wouldn't have argued.
But Henry had no desire to yell at Shawn right now. He just sat down in the uncomfortable plastic chair beside the bed, gently taking his son's left hand in one of his own and watching Shawn struggle past the concussion to focus on the newcomer and fail, eyes slipping shut.
Henry didn't know how long he sat there before Gus was finally allowed to join him. Juliet arrived a few hours later, worried and tired and harried but relieved to hear that Shawn was going to be okay.
Soon enough, Henry knew that he'd have to talk to Shawn. Or yell at him. Or lecture him, or whatever else he was entitled to do as an angry and worried father. But for now, he was going to let himself be content in the fact that his son wasn't going to suffer permanent damage from his little bed-jumping escapade.
Besides, where was the fun in giving his son grief for his stupid antics if Shawn wasn't aware enough to resent him for it?
Shawn was released from the hospital two days later with a strict order for bed rest, a plethora of medications, and a warning that if his concussion symptoms became any worse that he needed to return to the ER immediately for another MRI, just in case. He was also released sporting the dark blue back brace, a light blue cast up to his elbow, a crutch and a basic black Velcro splint for his ankle.
Henry insisted that he stay at his house until he was well enough to stay on his own, and Shawn had blearily sniped something about how he needed to make room for the newest tenants and that Shawn's sickbed would only inconvenience Henry's escape plans, so he'd just go to San Fran with Jules and let her take care of him or bunk with Gus, who he knew would wait on him hand and toe (Henry wasn't sure if this was Shawn just being Shawn or Shawn's concussion talking.). Henry had quickly shot down both options, because Gus had enough on his plate after quitting his job, and Shawn was in no condition for a scrunched-up, five-hour drive in a lime green death trap.
So Shawn was settled in on the couch, blankets and pillows and the whole shebang, as he wasn't able to climb the stairs. He'd asked for a bell, and Henry had emphatically refused the request, though he did stick around in the living room the majority of the time to keep an eye on the kid.
It wasn't until about three days after getting discharged from the hospital that Shawn was up for a semi-coherent conversation. He was still having massive problems following the line of conversation, which, while being easily distracted was par for the course for his son, was a little more serious and a heck of a lot more annoying than Shawn's usual rabbit-trailing, and he was plagued by horrible migraines, and he tired easily, and had frequent dizzy spells, and that was just because of his concussion. His back pain was the worst, though he actually didn't complain about it all that much. But Henry saw the way he practically pounced on the pain medication whenever it was time to take it, which was evidence enough in itself to suggest that Shawn was hurting, because he really hated taking medicine.
Henry finally found a moment around all the confusion and incoherency and pain to sit down near the edge of the couch and talk to Shawn. Gus was out and about, parading his resume around town, and Juliet was visiting with the new chief, his wife, and his newborn child at their home, and Maddie, who had finally called him back late the night of the incident, was in fact halfway across the country, so it was just Henry and Shawn.
"Hey, Dad," Shawn slurred as Henry sat down. "Changed your mind about the bell?"
"No," Henry said flatly. "How're you feeling?"
Shawn frowned, thinking hard. It looked like it hurt. "Floaty," he finally decided. "And hurty, too. Like a hummingbird that just got impaled by its own beak."
Henry blinked at the strange simile but wisely didn't address it, because Shawn had probably already forgotten about it already.
"How's the back?"
Shawn just grunted, which was answer enough.
"What the hell were you thinking, Shawn?"
Shawn blinked lethargically, that thinking-too-hard look on his face back. "Ummmm," he hummed, "I… don't actually remember. I think it had something to do with birds, but I could be wrong."
Henry rolled his eyes. "Not just then," he clarified. "What were you thinking when you did…" He indicated Shawn's generally beat-up body.
Shawn pursed his lips. "You just gestured at all of me," he pointed out.
"Because you hurt all of you," Henry responded pointedly. He sighed, running his hands down his face in exhaustion. "What were you thinking, Shawn? Why would you do something so stupid?"
Shawn poked out his bottom lip, somehow managing in his injured, sleepy, and bedridden state to look like a sick little boy in bed, and something about the image pulled at something in Henry's chest. "Lots of kids jump on beds," he said. "And monkeys."
"Kids jump on monkeys?" Henry questioned, trying without success to follow even the tiniest bit of Shawn's thought process.
"No, silly," Shawn said, chuckling, then groaning and clutching his midsection with his good arm, "Monkeys jump on beds. Though I guess kids could jump on monkeys, if they didn't mind getting their faces ripped off."
Henry shook his head. He was getting off topic. His frustration rose to the surface and he finally lost the battle with his anger he'd been having for five days now. "You've done a lot of stupid crap in your life, Shawn, and you've gotten hurt more often than I care to think about, but this really takes the cake!"
"Takes it where?" Shawn wanted to know. "Hopefully not away." He nodded, as if affirming the point he was making to himself or to whoever would listen, and then winced at the motion. "I like cake."
Henry realized that he probably should have waited to do this at a different time, but now that he had started, he found he couldn't stop. "You damn near killed yourself, Shawn!" he shouted, and he only felt a tiny bit guilty at the startled expression on Shawn's face as he was jerked out of his concussed daydream about cake and monkeys. "And for what?"
"Fun," Shawn said seriously. "And unlived childhood dreams."
"That's the most idiotic thing I've heard you say in quite some time, and in case you're wondering, I'm including the comments about the cake."
Shawn's eyes lit up. "Cake? Where? Can I have some?"
Henry was about to walk away, to save this for another time, when he saw something in Shawn's eyes, in his general demeanor that caught his attention. While Shawn was concussed and was definitely not all here, there was a wall, a bit of defense, that showed that Shawn was at least partially putting up a front in order to protect himself from Henry's words. Which meant that he was actually overdoing some of his current dopiness in order to throw Henry off.
"Cut the crap, Shawn," Henry snapped. "I know you're not as off-kilter as you're trying to make me think. Now just get over your self, listen to me, and tell me what the hell you were thinking!"
"I can't listen to you and tell you something at the same time," Shawn insisted petulantly.
Henry jumped off the couch, threw his hands in the air. "Fine!" he roared angrily. "Fine. Don't take this seriously. But next time you get the urge to do something totally foolish and dangerous, before you decide doing something stupid just because I never let you do it is a good idea, don't expect me to come running downstairs, out the door, and into the yard to find you lying there, bleeding and completely unaware. Don't wait for me to call the ambulance, to sit in the waiting room for hours on end with a fidgety and anxious Gus – you know he's gassy when he's worried – and don't worry about giving me a heart attack after running outside to find that you've fallen twenty feet off the roof!"
Shawn stared at him as if in a daze, and Henry realized that his son had probably not even understood half of the rant. He groaned, ran a hand over his head, and told himself yet again that he should have waited to talk to Shawn until he was a bit more coherent.
But then Shawn surprised him by swallowing heavily, running his tongue nervously over his bottom lip, and then saying softly, "I was angry, okay?"
"Angry?" Henry asked, sinking back down onto the foot of the couch, eyes locking on his suddenly all-too-vulnerable, emotionally as well as physically, son. "That I never let you jump on the bed or climb out of your bedroom window?"
Shawn started to shake his head, but then remembered it was a bad idea because of his headaches, and opted to answer verbally. "No. I was angry because…"
He sighed heavily, cringed at the pain the small motion caused, and then continued quietly, "Because you were leaving. Because you just decided to up and leave and sell your house and didn't even care to tell me about it until now, when you were selling our stuff and moving crap out…. That just when things seem… when we…" He grunted and put his good hand to his head, obviously in pain and exhausted, but he pushed through determinedly. "Maybe it was stupid. But I was upset with you, Dad, and spiting you by jumping on the bed and then climbing out of the window seemed like a much better idea than tearing into you then and there. Didn't really feel like fighting, you know?
"I was… was just letting off some… some steam. Didn't mean to hit my head, and I was dizzy on the roof, so I…" He grimaced. "Tripped and fell. Guess you know the rest."
He was tiring, his eyelids drooping, and he wasn't putting on a front now, Henry knew.
His emotions swirled around violently inside of him, trying to grasp what Shawn had said. Shawn had jumped on the bed because he'd been hurt and upset that Henry had decided to sell the house and move away, and it seemed like the easiest, least-confrontational way to get back at him in the moment. Because they hadn't had a huge blowout of an argument in quite some time, not since the whole Santa Barbara Playhouse case, and he'd liked the way they'd been getting along a bit better. And it had hurt that Henry was leaving.
Such a reversal from the last time they'd parted ways after the divorce. And while it still made Henry incredibly angry that Shawn had hurt himself doing something so trivial and dangerous, it also revealed to him that the relationship with his son that he'd recently described as being on life-support for so long maybe wasn't as bad off as he'd thought… If he could find a way to fix this whole moving fiasco. Because he should have told Shawn sooner. It wasn't fair for Shawn to have found out that way.
Henry heaved a great breath and gently ran a hand through the front of Shawn's hair, far from the head injury, and he saw that his worn out son closed his eyes briefly, contentedly at the brief contact. Something lurched in Henry's gut and he softly spoke to a drifting-off Shawn, "Sorry I didn't tell you sooner, kid. I didn't know how to tell you, and to be honest, I wanted to put it off as long as I could. Until I couldn't figure out what to say."
"You always said never do today what you can do tomorrow," Shawn misquoted groggily, the concussion-induced confusion making a swift return.
"Not quite, but that's not the point."
"Not nice to point," Shawn muttered, eyes almost completely closed now, sleep imminent.
"Look, Shawn," Henry said quickly, trying to finish before Shawn went to sleep and the moment was over, "you should've just talked to me. Even if it had ended in an argument, we would've been okay. And was spiting me really worth a fractured spine, broken arm and concussion?"
Shawn was quiet for several moments and Henry thought he might have actually fallen to sleep, but he answered, eyes squinting open once more to regard his father. "Sorry, Dad," he said, and there was sincerity in his voice.
"Me too, kid," Henry answered softly.
Shawn closed his eyes again. "You know I won't remember half this conversation when I wake up, right?"
Henry chuckled. "As long as you remember that I'll always be here for you, Shawn, even if I'm not here."
Shawn gave a half-smile, and he was quiet for so long that this time, Henry was positive that he was asleep. He was about to get up and move to a more comfortable seat when Shawn spoke up again, his voice barely a mumble. "Really should've paid more attention to Mom's old bedtime stories…"
"Huh?" Henry asked, leaning in closer, sure that the concussion was talking again.
Then Shawn finished his thought, and Henry couldn't help but laugh at the sleepy seriousness in Shawn's voice and face as he said, "'No more Spencers jumping on the bed!'"
A/N: How was it? :D
I really had fun writing that, so much so that I refused to stop writing even when midnight crept up on me and I wanted nothing more than to go to sleep. :)
Heehee at concussed Shawn being almost impossible to tell from regular Shawn! XD
And the whole Hardy Boys reference? Had to put it in there! I love the show, and the books, and it is canon for Shawn to like it, too, because he actually references the 1970s show in the high school reunion episode, when he asks Abigail, "Assuming Parker Stevenson had never been born, have you ever seen a really handsome man solve a crime?" or something like that. Parker Stevenson played Frank Hardy in The Hardy Boys. :D When fandoms collide! XD
Hope you enjoyed the sort of outsider perspective there at the beginning. I struggled with whether I should take it out or leave it in, because while I thought it was super-fun, I didn't know how well it fit in with the rest of the story, but I decided to just keep it, because I like the idea of what an emergency responder might think when confronted with a patient in their 30s hurting themselves jumping on their bed. :D
Also, I kinda stole the idea of a teenager with a foot stuck in a toilet bowl from Doctor Who, "The Power of Three," after some patient Rory sees who has managed to wheel himself into the waiting room with a toilet bowl stuck on his foot. XD
Anyway, I didn't focus on Jules or Gus because this is supposed to be a father/son centric fic, and I really do think that there was something deeper to Shawn's jumping on the bed than just being dumb. :D
Please let me know what you thought!