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Regrette de Tous (2/?)

Title: Regrette de Tous
Fandom: Psych, White Collar
Characters: Shawn, Gus, Peter, Juliet, Mozzie, El, Diana & Jones
Spoilers: This is set post-series for both but deals mostly with the finale of "White Collar"
Word Count: 452
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Shawn, now living in San Francisco and engaged to Juliet, receives a phone call with news he doesn't want to believe.
Notes: This follows in the same 'verse as Psychic in the City and (White) Collar Optional. You don't really need to read them. Just know that Shawn and Neal were good friends and met up again when Neal was with the FBI. I started this pretty much right after White Collar ended but lost the drive when my dad passed away. I only have four chapters ready to post and I can't promise a regular posting schedule.

One



When she was sure Shawn was asleep, Juliet extricated herself from her fiancé’s grasp and slid off the bed. She paused when he mumbled. When he didn’t wake, she continued from the room, closing the door behind her.

Gus was sitting at the kitchen counter staring ahead, the glass of Dr. Pepper in front of him beaded with condensation. He looked up, startled when he sensed her nearby. “How is he?”

“Asleep.” She rested her elbows on the counter opposite him. “I feel guilty slipping that pill in his drink.”

“He needs the rest, Juliet. There’s no other way his mind would shut off.”

“I know, but still…” She shrugged. “Can you tell me what Peter said? How did it happen?”

“Neal infiltrated an elite group of thieves in order to bring them down from the inside. One of the gang was someone who knew Neal and of his involvement with the FBI. Peter said his name was Keller and he was a nasty character. After passing their tests, Neal learned the job was taking $500 million from the Federal Reserve, bills brought in from Europe through JFK.”

“Those guys didn’t think small. Neal must’ve been tempted.”

“According to Peter, the plan was to get the gang with the money as they were loading it in their cars. Neal and Keller were put in a van to be processed by the FBI. When Peter got back, they were gone.”

“Please tell me he got to see Neal again before…”

“Juliet, this is hard enough to relate as it is.” Gus took a deep breath and continued the story. “They had put Neal’s anklet back on so Diana told Peter that Neal was on Wall Street. Peter made it just in time to hear the shot. He chased Keller who taunted him from behind a human shield. Peter shot Keller, killing him. He then ran back to see Neal being loaded into an ambulance. The last thing Neal said to him was ‘You’re my best friend’.” Gus broke down.

Juliet pushed the box of tissues closer. She knew there had to be more to the story. What happened to Neal’s body? Did Peter view it to see that it actually was Neal? And why was Neal on Wall Street? Maybe he found out Keller was cheating the Panthers and went along with him until Keller showed him where the money was. They fought and Keller shot him. Yeah, that sounded plausible. Or it could just be that this was going to be the one last job for Neal. She could never say that to Shawn, however. She remembered too well his denial when Desperaux died.

“You know he’s going to want to go to New York,” commented Gus as he got himself together.

“Of course.” Juliet plugged in the kettle and took a cup from the cabinet. “Can you see what you can get for a flight? I don’t think he’ll be ready tonight, but see what you can find.” She put the tea bag in the cup and offered one to Gus.

“No, thanks.” He made his way to the desk where the house laptop was set up.

Juliet let him search for flights and hotels while she prepared her tea. This was her drink of choice when she was staying in, curled up on the sofa. When it was ready, she took a sip and let the warmth flow through her. It calmed her, centered her from the wildness of the world around her. She had to be calm for when Shawn woke.

******

Shawn groggily reached out for Juliet beside him. She must already be up and making coffee. He sat up and saw the blinds drawn which was strange because she always opened them so he’d wake with the morning sun. He looked at the clock and saw that it read 7:04. The sun should be pouring in. That’s when he noticed the little light that designated “PM”. He had slept all afternoon! He touched his forehead. “I’m not running a fever. Why would I…” Then he remembered the phone call. He can’t have just regained his friendship with Neal only to lose it. He had been right about Despereaux, but could it happen again?

He took a deep breath and stood. He needed to get all the information he could regarding what happened and that would mean going to New York. Shawn sighed. How to convince Jules that he needed to go and see for himself? Well, I always do best when I wing it, so… He opened the bedroom door quietly and shuffled into the kitchen. Juliet was at the counter sipping tea, her comfort drink of choice. Shawn would join her on occasion only because Patrick Jane did.

Juliet looked up when she sensed him. He never knew if it was the cop in her or that they were just so attuned to each other as a couple. He always liked to believe the latter.

“Shawn.” She came over and hugged him.

He hugged her tightly in return, craving that connection.

“How are you holding up?”

“Better, I guess. I slept the whole afternoon away.”

Juliet looked away, not able to meet his gaze.

“Thanks.”

“You’re not mad?”

“No. I think the news just overloaded my brain and sleep was the best way to process it.”

She took him by the arm and led him to the couch where they sat and snuggled. “I put in an order for jerk chicken.”

“You know me so well.” He took a deep breath, preparing himself for telling her about New York.

“So well that I got you this.” She held out a slip of paper.

Shawn took the paper and saw it was an e-ticket for a flight to New York tomorrow. “I can’t believe you did this! Are you okay with me going?”

“I know you have to do this. You never had the opportunity with Despereaux. Plus, I’m going with you.”

It was moments like this that made Shawn realize just how damn lucky he was. “But what about work? The Chief…”

“She gave me time off so I can be here for you.”

“She is the second-most marvelous woman I know.” He remembered his mother. “That lives in California.”

“Nice save.” She kissed him.

A new thought struck and he reached for his phone. He hit speed dial and tried to think of what to say.

“Hey, kid.”

Wait, is that sympathy in his voice? “Hey, Dad. I, um… I just wanted… You should know…” Damn! Why was finding the words so hard?

“Shawn, I know about Neal. Juliet already called.”

“She did, huh?” Shawn looked at his fiancée.

“I know how you are with death,” his father continued. “Like Despereaux, Neal led a dangerous life and something like this isn’t that unexpected. Go to New York to put your mind at ease, but don’t go looking for something that isn’t there.”

Shawn knew his father meant well by his little speech, but it still hurt. He had been right about Despereaux even though no one else knew but Gus. “I won’t go looking, Dad, but if it finds me, that’s a different story.”

Shawn could picture his dad rolling his eyes. “Just don’t embarrass yourself, kid.”

Shawn smiled after ending the call with his dad – which was a rarity – and all because of one word. He had said “yourself” not “me”.

The doorbell rang. “Ooh! Dinner!”

Chapter Three

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