Shawn entered the Psych office, after dark, with a plastic bag in hand. He locked the front door behind him and headed over to the couch. He sat down and pulled out his phone. He sent out a single text: I turned Carly down. He then turned off his phone before getting any responses and tossed it on the nearby desk.
Shawn pulled the first bottle of liquor from the bag and relaxed into the couch.
Pineapples: I turned Carly down
Cards: Spence what happened
War: R u ok
Snake Eyes: y did u do that?
Read: Shawn talk to us
War: has anyone heard from P?
Read: his phone is off, all calls have gone to voicemail
Snake Eyes: Should we be worried?
Cards: I'll go check on him, keep you guys posted
Shawn was shaken awake the next afternoon. He cracked open his eyes to see his best friend looking worried.
"Shawn, c'mon, wake up."
His eyes drifted closed again. "I'm up, I'm…up." Gus slapped his arm, jolting him awake again. "I said I'm up."
"Uh huh, sure." Gus walked over and sat at his desk. "So what happened last night?"
Shawn slowly sat up and groaned, a headache pounding behind his eyes. "Nothing, just talked with Lassie."
"I know that much, but it obviously didn't go well." He glanced around at the empty bottles of alcohol. "What happened?"
Shawn rubbed his eyes. "I turned Carlton down."
Gus nodded. "You okay?"
"Honestly? Not really."
"You know what you need? A smoothie."
Shawn knew Gus was trying to help, and he loved him for it. "…a smoothie sounds good."
"C'mon. We'll grab smoothies and then head back to your place so you can get a shower, you reek of alcohol." Gus stood up and headed for the door, followed slowly by Shawn.
"Sounds like a plan, buddy."
Gus parked the Blueberry outside Shawn's apartment complex. They both climbed out of the car, smoothies in hand, and headed inside the building. Shawn stopped dead in his tracks when he saw someone he hadn't seen in over a year. Gus barely stopped himself from running into Shawn and spilling his smoothie.
A man stood up and smiled at Shawn. He was about 6 feet tall with dark brown hair, shaved on the sides and longer on top. He had warm brown eyes and his kind smile lit up the room. "Spence, it's good to see you." Cards walked over and pulled Shawn into a hug.
"What are you doing here?" Shawn stepped back and looked up at his friend, commanding officer, and brother.
"You texted us all then turned off your phone. We were all worried."
A sheepish look appeared on Shawn's face. "Oh right…"
"It's nice of you to ignore us and go on a drinking binge." He smelled the alcohol on Shawn.
"It was a bad night."
"From the little details we got, it sounded like it."
"I'll explain everything."
"You bet your ass you will." Cards turned to Gus. "Nice to see you again, Gus."
Gus nodded in greeting. "You too, Ryan."
The three of them headed up to Shawn's apartment. Shawn unlocked the door and they walked inside. Shawn and Cards looked around for anything out of place, a habit long ingrained in them. Neither noticed anything.
"So what happened to send you down a pineapple alcohol rabbit hole?"
Shawn sat down on his couch and sipped his smoothie. "I turned Carly down…He finally wanted to try us again, and I had to turn him down."
"Why'd you have to turn him down?"
"Because he's still married, Cards. He could go back to her at anytime…I can't handle that kind of pain again."
Cards nodded. "I think you made the right choice."
"Me too," Gus added. "It's good to put yourself first. If he wants you like he claims, he'll file for divorce."
"But what if he doesn't?" Shawn sounded small and heartbroken. He wanted Lassie more than anything.
"Then we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Now why don't you go take a shower, then you can show me where all the psychic magic happens." Cards squeezed Shawn's shoulder comfortingly.
Shawn nodded and headed out of the room to shower.
Cards sat down on the couch and looked over at Gus. "I better never meet this guy, or I'm going to kick his ass."
"You named your business 'Psych'? Isn't that a little on the nose?"
"That's what I said." Gus, Shawn, and Cards headed inside the office building.
"The name is like half the fun." Why didn't anyone see that? Shawn led the way into the office and gave the tour. "This is our quote unquote waiting room, though we hardly ever have clients waiting. And this is our main office, we work on cases, watch tv, mess around-." He stopped walking when he noticed a woman in their office. The other two stop walking as well. "Excuse us, may we help you?"
The woman turned around and they were shocked to see it was Jules. "Hey guys."
"Damn, girl." Gus hardly believed it was her, dressed in the preppy skirt and top.
Jules smiled. "Yeah, I know. Get it all out now. I barely recognize myself. But isn't it kind of amazing?" She pulled business cards from her binder and walked over to them. "Mary Lou Baumgartner. National Alumni Vice Parliamentarian. Beta Kappa Theta Sorority- Oh. Hello." She finally noticed Cards standing behind her friends. She was suddenly hesitant to reveal she was undercover.
"It's fine, Jules, he's an old friend." He motioned to his friend. "This is Cards, Cards, this is Jules." He then motioned to Jules.
Cards held out his hand. "So not Mary Lou?"
"She's undercover," Shawn added.
Cards nodded. "Nice to meet you, you can call me Ryan."
Jules shook his hand. "So not Cards?"
"I'll respond to either." He smiled charmingly.
"Cards is ex-military. He got the nickname there."
"And how do you know each other?"
"We met when I worked near a military base years ago."
Jules nodded. "Well like Shawn said, I'm undercover. Deep. I have spent the entire morning planning a mixer! And yesterday, I went and I had a Himalayan mani-pedi. At first it was just to get the other girls to talk, but then I realized my cuticles have been completely taken for granted-."
Shawn interrupted. "Jules, you realize that we are the only ones that can see or hear you."
"Okay, I admit. I've been undercover a week now, and it's really hard to get out of this mindset. These girls, they are demons. They are vicious little prairie dogs with trust funds and collagen parties. It's been a lot to juggle, especially while planning Carlton's party on top of everything. I need a favor."
Shawn and Gus nodded, willing to help a friend out. "Okay."
"I've been at the university investigating the death of a coed, Doreen Harthan."
Both of them suddenly became uncomfortable, not missed by Jules or Cards. "The girl they found at Wispy Sunny Pines? Wasn't that a suicide?"
"Allegedly. A copycat job. I guess Santa Barbara has some sort of urban legend about a mental patient who jumped from room 413."
"We know that one." Shawn glanced over at Gus.
"Yeah, well, I'm not so sure about the suicide angle and Interim Chief Vick is putting a tremendous amount of faith in me to crack this thing and I need to build a case. So I'm here, but I'm not. Get it?" Jules pulled the case file out of her binder and handed it to Shawn.
"Gus, what's the word?"
"That'd be mum."
"Doreen was pledging a sorority. And I, or, Mary Lou, am helping my sisters through this very difficult time. I'm convinced they know more than they're letting on. I need a psychic to read the sorority house. Can you come by tonight?"
"Can we wear pajamas?" Shawn asked.
"Guys, this is serious, there's some really weird stuff that's been going on. The girls are petrified, they think they're being haunted."
Juliet hesitated to tell them.
"Oh, come on, Jules. You know we're gonna come, man up. Just tell us."
"Doreen Harthan's lumbering ghost."
Shawn shrugged. "Seems completely logical to me."
"Meet me at the house at 7:00. And remember, I was never here." Juliet walked past them and headed for the door.
Shawn hesitated before stopping her with a question. He had to know if he was going to run into him. "Quick question. Where's Lassiter for all of this?"
"Temporary re-assignment. Bye." Juliet left the Psych officer, leaving the three men alone.
"You're scared of a local legend?" Cards was amused.
"We were there the night that Scary Sherry jumped," Shawn said, defensively. "It's a sensitive topic for us."
Cards held up his hands, placatingly. "Understood. So this is what you do? Help beautiful detectives with ghost hauntings?"
Shawn ignored the 'beautiful' comment. "We've helped on plenty of real cases, thank you very much. I wouldn't risk my military career for fake ghost hauntings."
"Hey, you heard Juliet, those girls are terrified. We shouldn't count out that there's a real ghost involved."
Shawn held back an eyeroll. "I'm all for believing in ghosts, Gus, but come on. I doubt this is a real ghost haunting a bunch of sorority brats."
"You never know."
"Maybe." He brought his hands up to his temples. "But I'm sensing it's not a ghost in this case."
This time Gus rolled his eyes. "You're not psychic, Shawn."
Cards and Gus spent the day distracting Shawn from thinking about Lassie. Shawn and Gus gave Cards a tour of the area, stopping at each of their favorite food places until they were all too full to even move. They then headed back to the Psych office to rest off all the food.
The three of them headed out and met Jules at the sorority house at 7. Jules was shocked to see Cards with them, but let it slide, leading them inside and introducing them to all the girls. The sorority girls immediately began to ogle over the fresh meat that was three attractive men.
Gus and Cards sat on one couch, while Shawn sat on the other. The girls quickly filled the empty seats. Shawn did a few 'psychic' readings for the girls when they asked before Jules got them on track.
"See, Bianca? Now tell Shawn what happened to you last night."
"Okay, here goes. This is so scary."
The three of them had to stop themselves from rolling their eyes at how dramatic Bianca was.
"I was lying in bed, watching One Tree Hill, my favorite show, Chad Michael Murray is so hot. And I have this cute liquid kitty alarm clock, right? It meows and it blinks its eyes every half hour. So, all of a sudden, they just started blinking over and over and over and then it just stopped. And then, it let out this half-meow." Bianca meowed in example. "And then its tail fell off. Then it exploded."
"Wow." Shawn took a second to process the overdramatic, ridiculous story he just heard. "Slow build. Half meow, unexpected." He looked to Cards, who nodded in agreement. "Didn't see the end coming at all. How about you, Gus?"
Gus kept most of his attention on the girls fawning over him. "What? No, I can't say I did."
All at once all the girls started talking at once, spewing nonsense about this or that happening to them.
Jules raised her voice over the chatter. "Okay, so basically it's a lot of really weird stuff that's creepy and happens at night. Mr. Spencer is it?"
"So are you really in the military? You a marine? You look like a marine." One of the girls sitting next to Cards interrupted. She had a hand on one of his arms, feeling his muscles.
Cards tried to not look offended by the Marine assumption, while Shawn smirked, knowing it would bother his friend to be called a Marine of all things.
"Army, actually. Special Forces."
"Ooh, that sounds impressive."
"Very impressive." A few of the girls started asking questions over themselves again, until Shawn spoke up.
"So, I'm gonna have to take a look around to see what I feel. Starting with the bedrooms."
Jules nodded. "Of course. I'll show you upstairs."
"Ask him." One of the girls next to Gus spoke to a friend.
"You ask him."
Gus smiled. "What? What do you wanna ask me, girls? Don't be nervous. I put my pants on one leg at a time, just like you."
Shawn rolled his eyes.
"Okay. Did you really play Bud on The Cosby Show?"
"Bud? Who told you that?"
Bianca added to the conversation. "I knew I recognized you!"
"Wait, wait I'm not-."
"Oh, come-on, don't be modest, Gus. You are totally Bud!"
"Shawn, you believe this?"
Shawn was trying not to laugh at Gus' hatred at being called Bud. "No, no, no, I didn't catch anything, Bud."
"Stop telling people that my name is Bud."
The lights went out causing all the girls to gasp. Shawn and Cards were on their feet immediately.
A deep voice rang out throughout the room "Get out! Acnaib! Acnaib! Acnaib!"
Shawn moved behind his friend, knowing if something happened, his team leader was armed.
The girls gasped and screamed as a scary ghost figure appeared in the front window. The lights flickered back on and the front door slammed open as Gus ran outside as fast as he could, screaming as he went.
After Gus bolted, Jules handled calming down the girls while Shawn and Cards took a look around outside, trying to find the cause of the "haunting." They quickly figured out the face in the window and then found the source of the voice. The two of them headed back inside the house and Jules joined them a few minutes later. Shawn showed Jules the speaker and explained how the face in the window was done. They discussed a possible suspect, Alice Bundy, before Shawn and Cards headed out.
Cards drove them to Shawn's apartment, and the two of them headed inside. Cards would be staying on Shawn's couch for a couple of days. "So what's next for this case?"
"Well tomorrow I have to go to the military base and teach, sadly. I figured you could come with, scare some sense into the recruits." Cards smiled and nodded. "Then I figured I'd show you some of the places I solved crimes, while we wait for Jules to talk to Alice Bundy, then we'd do some case research. At the moment, we don't even know if this is a case. I know Jules thinks those girls know something about the girl's death, but there's no proof and these could all just be some harmless pranks against a bunch of mean sorority girls. We'll look into it for Jules, but I don't have much faith in this." He shrugged. He grabbed his phone off the kitchen counter where he laid it this morning and finally turned it back on after last night.
It quickly started buzzing with texts from his brothers. They started off worried and then turned to comforting after Cards had updated them all on the situation. Seeing the texts brought the whole night back to Shawn and his mood quickly declined.
Cards watched Shawn's mood change through his facial expressions. "You wanna talk about it?"
"What's there to talk about? I'm in love with a married guy, Cards. I've set myself up for heartbreak, and I don't know what to do except wait for Carly to make the next move…if he makes a move."
"Don't think like that, Spence, it'll all turn out okay."
Shawn just shrugged and set his phone back down after seeing no texts from Carly. "I'm gonna head to bed, I'll see you in the morning." He headed into his room, leaving a worried Cards behind.
The next morning, Shawn and Cards headed to the nearby military base to train some recruits and were there until early afternoon. While they waited to hear from Juliet, they grabbed some food and Shawn showed Cards where he solved different cases.
They finally heard from Juliet and she informed them that she got completely snubbed by Alice Bundy, which didn't give them any information at all about the girl. Juliet was still suspicious of her, but without more information, or proof that it wasn't a suicide, they had nothing.
Shawn and Cards headed into the Psych office and ran into Gus who'd been doing research all day. "Hey buddy, good news. I just got a fax confirming that the city of Santa Barbara has unanimously voted you Exorcist of the year."
"Okay, make all your little jokes. But I know who was hiding behind Cards the whole time."
"I wasn't hiding, I was protecting myself by standing by the guy who had a gun. I was smart."
Gus rolled his eyes. "Look, both the parents and the best friend were adamant that Doreen had too much to live for to kill herself. Plus, she was pledging a sorority."
Shawn looked over the clear board that Gus had set up for research. "Right."
"Now, take another look at this."
Shawn took the photo of the window Doreen fell out of and quickly noticed that the latch was broken. "The latch is broken."
"And she fell backwards."
"Scary Sherry took a swan dive."
"Gus, you are on fire."
"The copy cat suicide angle literally goes out the window. What next?"
"I couldn't find the word "acnaib" anywhere. I checked alternate spellings, all possible roots, nothing in Latin."
Shawn picked up the marker and looked over Gus' work.
"So now I'm going through the dead languages by region. Sanskrit was a wash, as was Avestan. Up next is Old Church Slavonic, but to be honest I think it's all just nonsensical gibberish. But it's gotta mean something. The voice in the house kept repeating it."
Shawn wrote down an alternate spelling of "ACNAIB" and stared at it. He imitated the ghost's voice. "Acnaib. Acnaib. Acnaib." He shrugged, having no idea what it meant, but then he saw the reflection of the word on his motorcycle helmet and it spelled Bianca.
Gus and Cards noticed the look on Shawn's face and knew he'd figured it out.
"What's Juliet's number? I have a theory."
"What's the theory?"
Shawn pulled out his phone. "Gus, just feed me the digits."
"Why do I always have to ask what the damn theory is, Shawn?"
Gus sighed but gave Shawn the digits anyway. Shawn called Jules.
"Is Bianca with you?"
"Who wants to know?"
"Jules, where is she?" Shawn sounded impatient.
"Okay, tone. She's back at the house with Betty, running late for the mixer. Just like me.
"All right, listen, I've had a vision. We need to meet at the sorority house on the fly."
"Shawn, I can't. I have to make the spirit speech and who's gonna fuse the planter's punch-?"
"Jules! Doreen didn't kill herself. She was not alone in that room. And we need to talk to Bianca right now!" Shawn tossed the Blueberry keys to Gus. "She's in danger!"
"Okay, I'll meet you there."
Shawn hung up and led the way out of the office, Cards and Gus following behind.
"What's the theory Shawn?"
"Acnaib is Bianca spelled backwards. I think this person is going to go after her."
Cards hopped in his truck and followed the Blueberry to the sorority house. When they got there they arrived after Jules and the three of them ran inside. They ran up the stairs when they finally saw Juliet. She shook her head, Bianca was gone.
Juliet called the police and they all waited for them to arrive on the scene and seal it off. Then Juliet, Betty who's Bianca's friend, Shawn, Gus, and Cards headed into the station to talk to the Chief. Cards waited in the lobby while everyone else went into the meeting room.
Cards leaned back into his chair until he saw the last person he wanted to see enter the precinct. Carlton Lassiter, he recognized him from pictures Shawn showed them all. Cards watched the man head to his desk before getting up and following.
Carlton was rummaging around on his desk when Cards walked up.
"Yeah." Carlton didn't even look up.
"We need to talk." Cards voice was hard and this caught Carlton's attention. The man looked up.
"Do I know you?"
"No, but I know of you. You need to get your shit together, or back the hell off, because this is not okay."
Cards lowered his voice but kept it's intensity. "You need to make up your mind about Shawn. Quit leading him on. Either get a divorce or back the hell off. There's no in between. You're hurting him, and if you care about him at all that'll mean something to you." Cards then walked off and went back to his seat in the lobby, leaving a shocked Carlton behind.
Following Betty's confession, the three of them headed to their respective apartments for the night. Cards crashed on Shawn's couch again, and Shawn ended up staying up most of the night researching the case on his tablet. He fell asleep mid-research and jolted awake from a nightmare, his tablet resting on his face. He shuffled out of his room to see Cards making eggs and bacon for breakfast.
Cards handed Shawn a mug of coffee and bowl of freshly cut pineapple when he reached the kitchen.
"How late did you stay up researching the case?"
Shawn shrugged as he sat at his table and dug into the pineapple. "I don't know, 4 or 5?"
"Find out anything?"
"Not really, just that Alice Bundy is likely our girl, because she had the most to gain. I looked her up and her and Doreen were extremely close, like Gus and I. I know that if my best friend was killed, I'd get revenge too."
Cards nodded. They ate their breakfast before heading into the office to meet Gus. Gus was sitting at his desk when they arrived.
"Did you check the messages? We hear anything from Jules?"
"Yeah. Alice Bundy's alibi is air tight. She lives with Doreen's family. Said she went upstairs to bed early that night and the parents confirmed it, they were still downstairs awake when the police called."
"Then who the hell's doing this? She's the perfect suspect."
"Oh. And your dad called."
Shawn sighed. "What could he possibly want?"
"Said he wanted to remind you about dinner tonight. You're supposed to bring dessert. He actually seemed sort of excited."
"Oh, God, that's tonight." Shawn glanced at Cards and had an idea. "Dude, you have to come."
Cards shrugged. "Sure."
"Sweet." Shawn turned to Gus and noticed him packing up his work case. "What are you doing?"
"I have to start and ultimately finish my route."
"Awesome. We're going to find Alice "best friend" Bundy."
"Don't you think that girl has been through enough, Shawn?"
"Gus, there is no such thing as an air tight alibi. And if there is, we're going to pretend like there isn't. This girl is Sharon Stone from Basic Instinct. Which makes me Michael Douglas and you George Dzundza. Who's name is actually Gus in the film! Until we have another lead, we assume it's her. We've just got to figure out the "how." So far, no ice pick."
Gus grabbed his case and walked over to Shawn. "First of all, don't ever compare my black ass to George Dzundza again, okay?"
"And what can you possibly ask that girl that the police already haven't?"
"Wanna split a pineapple? That was how you started that conversation?"
Cards and Shawn were in Cards' truck, recapping the conversation Shawn just had with Alice Bundy.
"She was wearing two of the same ring, I bet you that one of them was Doreen's."
"And what does that tell you?"
"Not much, but she's either a fantastic actress or telling the truth. People do terrible things when they're hurting. I just hope she didn't do this."
Dinner went swimmingly. Shawn was right in his assumption that his dad would love Cards. He was exactly like Shawn, except he wasn't a disappointment of a son, so Henry had to love him.
"So are you taking a break from the military as well?"
Henry had tried to get Shawn to explain what he was doing in town instead of being active with his team, but Shawn was closed-lipped. Maybe he could get an answer from Cards.
"I am. Actually the whole team is."
"Any reason why?"
Cards glanced at Shawn who shook his head. He hadn't told his dad a thing.
"We just earned a year leave is all and we all decided to take it. We'll be back to active work in no time."
Henry nodded. He wasn't blind, he knew they were hiding something, but it wasn't his place to push. Not with company around.
"Boy, we really should be going."
"Come on, guys. Shawn, stay. Your case will still be there." Henry grabbed a round of beers from the fridge. Cards graciously accepted the beer, Shawn passed.
"The sooner we can crack this case and move on the better. Believe me."
"This wouldn't have anything to do with the Wispy Sunny Pines suicide now, would it?"
Shawn shot Cards a look. He merely shrugged.
Henry smirked. "Ooh, the plot thickens."
"Okay. It's true, fine. It hits a little close to home seeing as how we were there the first time it happened."
"First time what happened? Did you open your eyes?" Henry was not impressed.
"Dad, you've known me my whole life. Of course, I opened my eyes."
"Shawn, that is why I used to refuse to let you ride around with me."
"Dad, let it go, I was nine."
"It's a lack of respect. Of protocol."
"Of protocol? Again, can I plead nine years old?"
"And you and Gus have been freaked out about this your entire lives?" Henry found the situation hilarious, and it showed on his face.
"I really don't think it's funny."
"Shawn, how much did you see?"
"I didn't exactly see it."
"Yeah, I didn't exactly see her fall to her death, but I saw enough."
"Oh, I beg to differ. It seems you missed one very small but important detail. She never jumped."
"What? No, that's impossible. We saw the window, she was gone."
"Yeah. Because one off-duty police officer pulled her back inside." Henry motioned to himself. "Scary Sherry Craddock was rehabilitated. I'm pretty sure she's married and lives in Fresno."
Shawn looked at him in disbelief.
"Come on, give me some credit. I have no idea how that ridiculous urban legend got started in the first place." Henry stood up to dispose of his empty beer can.
"It was your big mouth, wasn't it." Cards phrased it as a statement, not a question.
"We may have told everyone who would listen."
"So you started an urban legend?"
Shawn smiled. "I guess we did." He held out his knuckles and Cards bumped his fist.
Henry walked over and leaned down to speak into Shawn's ear. "Sometimes, Shawn, the answer is right in front of your eyes. You just need to choose to see it." He started to clear the table.
Shawn was uncomfortable. "That was creepy."
Cards and Shawn went to Alice Bundy's house the next day while Gus finished his route. "Alright, here's the plan. You ring the doorbell and distract who...Who...Whom…Who...The person. The person that answers the door. I go around back and look for a way in."
"Seriously? You're a master strategist, and that's the best you could come up with?"
"Feel free to make revisions."
Cards rolled his eyes and they climbed out of the truck. "Any idea on how I should distract them?"
"You're a master strategist who can think on their feet, figure it out." Shawn smirked before heading around back.
Cards walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell. A kind looking lady answered the door. "Mrs. Harthan?"
"No. The Harthans are down at the cemetery. I'm Poppy, the housekeeper. May I help you?"
Cards caught her accent and smiled. "Yes. I'm a member of the U.S. Army and we're going around the neighborhood trying to raise money for the orphans of Scotland. Would you be interested in helping?"
Shawn snuck around to the backyard and walked around the pool. He found the backdoor and crawled through the doggy door, listening for anyone else in the house. When he heard no one, he entered.
He walked down the hall and noticed that Cards was having tea with the housekeeper. Shawn was impressed; he heard them talking about Scotland before he continued on his way, sadly passing cupcakes that he couldn't have. Shawn headed into the study and looked through a photo album noticing a picture where both Alice and Doreen were wearing matching rings. The same rings Alice had been wearing.
He paused flipping through the book when he heard a cell phone going off. Shawn thought for a second before quickly putting away the album and scrambling for his phone. He hurried down the hall, motioning to his phone when Cards saw him before hustling out the door. He heard Cards raise his voice to cover the noise.
Shawn exited the house and answer the phone. "I'm sorry, who is this?"
"Shawn, it's Eden!"
"From Beta Kappa Theta. Are you coming to our party or, like, what the heck? There are cops here and everything."
Shawn walked out through the back gate and walked up the side of the house. "Let me talk to Mary Lou."
"Mary Lou had to go to some candlelight vigil thingy for Doreen."
"Vigil? What vigil? There was-."
"Yeah, at that creepy Wispy Sunny Pines' place."
Shawn noticed a tar stain on the rain gutters attached to the house. He quickly remembered Betty confessing to burying the ghost robes in the tar pits. Alice must have gone and grabbed it, she had been at the tar pits.
"What about Bud? Can he come?" Shawn hung up the phone. He looked up seeing the gutters went all the way up to the roof which led to a second story window, likely Alice's room if his hunch was correct. He noticed an identical tar smudge by the window. If Alice had the dress, she was the one pranking the house. Then Alice likely climbed out of her window the night she claimed to have gone to bed, meaning Alice could've killed Bianca.
Shawn called Cards and told him they could leave. Cards met him at the truck a few minutes later.
"It was her. And I've got the how. We have to go to Wispy Sunny Pines."
"I thought you wanted to go to the sorority house."
"The girls are fine. The cops are there. Meanwhile, Juliet's at some candlelight vigil with Doreen's family at the asylum."
"No. The housekeeper said Doreen's parents were at the cemetery."
"Yeah, they've been at the cemetery all evening."
"Oh, God! Of course. Why mess around with the worker bees when you can kill the queen?"
"What are you talking about, Shawn?"
"Cards. Alice. She wanted us all at that party, including us, so that she could get Mary Lou by herself. This is Silence of the Lambs! Which means we're both Scott Glen." They both climbed into the truck and Shawn called Gus on their way, who met them there. Shawn was tempted to call Lassiter, but didn't want to deal with that right now, deciding that Cards and himself could handle it.
The first thing Gus did when they all arrived at Wispy Sunny Pines was start listing off a bunch of rules that Shawn barely even heard, focused on getting into the asylum to save Juliet. Cards handed Shawn his backup firearm just in case. The three of them heard screaming from inside and rushed into the building.
Cards led the way followed by Gus then Shawn after Gus demanded Shawn go last, according to his rules. Gus ended up getting his foot stuck and Shawn promised to come back for him before leaving him behind, much to Gus' dismay.
Cards and Shawn started clearing rooms, guns at the ready when they heard Juliet scream. They raced down the hall and came face to face with Juliet hovering over Alice, ax in hand.
"You are under arrest, you crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy bitch!"
"Stand down!" Cards trained his weapon on Alice but kept an eye on Juliet.
"Juliet!" Shawn quickly stuck his gun in his waistband and approached Juliet slowly, hands visible. "Hey." He gently grabbed the ax from Jules. "I got it." She hesitantly let go.
Cards holstered his weapon and pulled out a set of zip ties, he dragged Alice Bundy to her feet and zip tied her arms behind her back. Juliet took a deep breath before starting to read Alice her rights. The three of them headed downstairs.
"Spence, I think you're forgetting something."
"What-? Gus!" Shawn headed back upstairs to free his friend.
Juliet called Lassiter to come take Alice to the station since she didn't have a squad car. Carlton was thrilled to have an excuse to leave his crazy temporary partner. He checked Juliet over to make sure she was okay after he put Alice in the back of his car.
"I'm fine, Carlton. Not a scratch on me."
"Good. I'd hate to be stuck with Goochberg any longer than necessary."
"You don't like your new assignment?"
"Not in the slightest, I'll tell you all about my week after you tell me about yours."
Juliet smiled. "Deal."
Carlton climbed into his car, purposely not casting a single glance Shawn's way. He drove off leaving everyone else behind.
"Your new life seems exciting." Cards, Shawn and Gus were leaning against Card's truck.
Shawn shrugged. "It can be. I really like it."
"I don't know how you're going to leave it when we go back to active duty."
"You're going to return to active duty?" This was the first Gus heard of this, he just assumed Shawn was done for good now that he was setting down roots.
"Eventually. Some stuff has to happen first before we can return, but yeah. Being here was only temporary." Shawn refused to look at Gus, knowing he wouldn't be thrilled by this news.
"Oh. I see." Gus walked off to the Blueberry without another word.
"Sorry, Spence, I had no idea he didn't know."
"It's fine, he was bound to find out eventually. I guess sooner is better than later." Shawn watched as his friend drove off.
Juliet walked over then and thanked them for the assistance before she headed to her car and drove off for the station.
"Do we need to give our statements or anything?"
Shawn nodded. "But we can go in tomorrow and do that, I'm exhausted. Let's head home."
Carlton had been thinking about Shawn for most of the day while dealing with Goochberg. He knew Shawn would get a kick out of him being partnered with the worst partner ever. It had been the longest couple of days ever, not just because of Goochberg, but because Shawn had been on Carlton's mind since the man had left his house just four days ago.
He couldn't figure out what was holding him back from filing for divorce. He still loved Victoria, but Victoria had made it pretty clear that they were over. So why stay married? He didn't even want Victoria if he could have Shawn, so why not file for divorce. It seemed pretty simple.
Yet something was holding him back. Maybe it was because he didn't believe Shawn was going to stick around for good. Maybe it was because he still felt abandoned by Shawn, even though he now knew that wasn't true. It could be a number of things and Carlton didn't know how to get past them.
He loved Shawn, he knew that. He loved him more than he'd loved anyone else, even Victoria. And he knew Shawn loved him back. So maybe he just needed to take a leap of faith and divorce Victoria. Then he could have Shawn again.
He had been thinking about this for days, and as he sat at his desk, waiting for Juliet to finish her statement, he realized that maybe nothing was truly holding him back. Maybe he could finally get what he wanted. All he had to do was sign some silly papers and he could have something that made him happy. It was that simple.
Carlton pulled out his cell phone and dialed his first speed dial.
Shawn unlocked his apartment door and the two of them headed inside. Shawn immediately noticed something new in his apartment and pulled out the gun he still had. Cards quickly followed suit. Shawn slowly approached the new item sitting on his kitchen counter. His heart stopped at seeing a picture of him and Lassie kissing on Carlton's front porch with Lassie's face crossed out with red marker. He gently picked up the photo to get a closer look.
What Shawn didn't notice was the small black box underneath the photo with a countdown clock. It had 5 seconds on it. Cards grabbed Shawn's arm and dragged his brother towards the front door. They opened the door when the small bomb went off sending them flying into the wall in the hallway.
Shawn saw flames before everything went black.
Moments later his phone rang in his pocket.