Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Have you ever used a random word generator to produce story ideas? I did, and this story is the result. The word is gruel. I also think Shawn is an eternal optimist, which plays a role in this story.

Oh, and for those of you who read Driving into the Darkened Sunset, I posted the full version of chapter 2 (versus the preview I gave you beforehand). I just wanted to let you know, because from the outside, it doesn't look like I posted anything new; however, I did.

So go read, enjoy, review (if you'd like to), make brownies... oh, and you can also do the same here too :D

Also, BIG THANKS to my beta reader, raineblack007.

Enjoy.

Dusty gray walls surrounded the two best friends. Both men hated neutral colors, but long, thick chains bound them to the dull room. Dim fluorescent fixtures high above them provided the room's only lights.

Gus fingered his food with disgust. He couldn't remember the last time he had something palatable

"How long," Gus asked his best friend, "do you think we've been eating this gruel?"

"Gruel, Gus?" Shawn, while trying to scratch his cuff-concealed wrist, laughed, "Are we in Oliver Twist now?"

Gus huffed. "Okay, Mr. Food connoisseur, what would you call it?"

"I'd call it torture," Shawn said, "it's one thing to lock a man in a dingy basement, but come on, at the very least, creepy flannel guy could do is get us a couple of burritos. Vary things up a bit."

"Shawn," Gus retorted, "I don't think he's interested in making us feel comfortable."

Shawn stopped his attempts to scratch his wrist, "well, he does let us shower, shave, and use a toilet. That's more than we had in Mexico."

"Uh, yeah," Gus replied, "so he can stare at us through the wall."

"Gus, Gus, Gus," Shawn said, teasingly, "It's totally not Psycho. He looks nothing like Norman Bates, and I don't even think he ever knew his mother."

Discarding his gruel bowl, Gus didn't relent, "he makes you sit with him when he watches TV."

"I already explained that to you," Shawn said, "he wants me up there when he's betting on games."

"You're lucky your picks have all won," Gus continued, "and, by the way, how long have you had this ability to pick football team winners?"

"Not just football winners," Shawn said, "I can choose baseball and basketball teams also. They're easier to read than Hop on Pop. Now, Hockey picks are much more difficult."

"Whatever, Shawn," Gus was now annoyed, "It doesn't change the fact that there are holes in the shower wall."

"So the house is old…," Shawn reasoned.

"And he pats you on the head every time he comes down here," Gus said.

"Okay, okay, so he's a creepy kidnapper and has hurt my poor hair," Shawn sighed, ruffling his flattened brown hair (shower and shave but no hair gel….boo), "at least, we're still alive, and he has locked us in with totally cool antique manacles. Dude, I thought they didn't even exist anymore. When we get out, we're totally going to have to donate them to Sophie's museum. In fact, we're totally going to end up having our own wing. Between finding Bouchard's treasure, Zippy the Dinosaur, and now, ancient Manacles, they're going to have to have a "Shawn and Gus" exhibit."

"Shawn and Gus," Gus replied, indignant, "why not a "Gus and Shawn" exhibit?"

"Because, Gus, it'd be the perfect opportunity to promote Psych," Shawn explained, "in fact, we might want to spice it up a bit more, "Mysterious Mystic's Exhibit of Wondrous Natural Treasures," or we could go with an old classic, "Psychman and Magic Head Find a Dinosaur, Buried Treasure, and More. I think we should go searching for the ruins of Atlantis next. My guess: off the coast of Brazil."

"Shawn, stop it," Gus said, waving his weary arms, as high as the manacles would let him, "the name doesn't matter, because we're never getting out of here.

"Gus, don't be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Jules and Lassie will save us," Shawn said,

"How do you know they will?" Gus asked in a very beaten voice.

But Shawn continued his thought uninterrupted, "although, I really hope they won't have Dad with them. I'm thinking his next lecture will have intermissions, so I'd really rather wait until I've recovered…say in thirty years or so."

"How do you know they will save us?" Gus repeated slightly louder.

For a second, Shawn said nothing. His friend's wide brown eyes needed an answer to this question.

"I don't," Shawn said, "But I do know that our last meal isn't going to be gruel. I picture pineapple wedges, cheese-fused fries, and a newspaper headline that says:

"Shawn Spencer and Turtle Englewood, died as they lived, having fun under the Santa Barbara sun."

Chapter End Notes:

So what'd ya think? I'd really like to know. Comments? Critiques? Pineapple?