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Regrette de Tous (4/?)

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: 1519
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 Two Three



Peter watched Shawn as he read through the file that started the ball rolling: Neal’s kidnapping. The speed with which he went through the files was amazing. He never tired of it.

“So, this guy Booth kidnapped Neal because he wanted a diamond in FBI custody?”

“He’d heard about Neal from another thief--”

“Rebecca.”

“Right. He wanted to join the Pink Panthers and needed a daring heist to act as an audition. Neal turned the tables and created a heist for his own audition.”

“Of course he went along to stay alive, but did you ever think that perhaps it was the beginning of his own long game? That he was planning to rob from them?”

No, he hadn’t thought that. He had trusted that Neal had wanted to take them down just to get his freedom.

“That’s when he wanted the contract regarding his release.” Shawn closed the final file. “You showed trust, letting Neal off his anklet. That gave him some freedom at the end and I really think he appreciated the faith you had in him.”

“I keep wondering if we had found a more discreet way to track him, the…whole thing could have been avoided. The anklet didn’t go on until after we caught the Panthers and I still got there too late.”

“You did get Keller, Peter. The man would have gone on to terrorize more people, abduct other people’s wives. That Neal had to… You did a good thing, Peter.”

“Thanks, Shawn.” Peter sighed. He needed to hear something like that from someone who wasn’t involved with the case. Somehow, it just meant more.

Shawn’s phone rang a catchy tune and he checked the ID before answering. “Hey, Jules.” He checked his watch. “Sorry, I didn’t realize the time. I just finished going through the files.” He listened for a moment. “I’m not a speed reader and FBI files are very detailed.” More listening. “Yeah, we’ll leave now. I’ll have more than enough time to shower and change clothes. I’m just not sure if I’ll have enough time for my hair.”

Peter rolled his eyes and collected the files to put in his office.

“Love you, too.” Shawn ended the call and slipped the phone into the back pocket of his jeans. “Do you mind taking me back?”

“It’s not that far out of my way. Plus, I did promise Juliet and Gus.”

“They’ll start checking my phone GPS if I’m not back in the time it takes to drive there.”

“Right. Let me just put these away and we’ll head off.”

They drove to the hotel in relative silence. Peter knew if he got talking about Neal, his eyes would get teary and driving would be difficult. He’d hold out until they were at June’s and he wouldn’t be alone. Not that he was alone here. Shawn was just as emotionally brittle as he was, if not more so. He had seen the body, knew for a certainty that his friend was dead. He remembered Gus telling him that Shawn had never handled death well, going back to the death of a pet lizard when he was still in school. That’s why he had to investigate this himself and find his own answers.

Peter pulled up in front of the hotel. “I’ll see you in a couple of hours at June’s. And please don’t mention to her what you’re doing. It would hurt too much.”

“’Course not. I wouldn’t do that to her.” Shawn got out of the car. “Thanks for bringing me to the office. It helped.”

“I’m glad. Apologize to them for me.”

“They’re madder at me than you, but I will anyway.” With a mock salute, Shawn went into the building.

After watching him disappear, Peter merged with traffic and made his way home to his wife.

* * * *


Gus found it hard to keep from pacing. Shawn should have been back by now. He knew Shawn could get carried away with grief and anger and be more reckless than usual. He could have lied to Juliet on the phone about where he was. He could be lying dead on an inner-city basketball court for all they knew. He reached for his phone.

“Gus, don’t worry,” said Juliet. “Shawn hasn’t had time to drive here yet. If he doesn’t show in another half hour, we’ll call again.” She went back to the novel she had picked up at the airport.

Gus picked up his tablet and tried to beat Shawn’s high score. He had to fight the temptation to text his best friend. He had only agreed not to call, after all. He was just about to open the message app when he heard the door latch.

“Honey, I’m home!” Shawn declared as he entered.

Gus was immediately up. “Do you know what time it is? You couldn’t have called? Why do you always put me through this?”

“Hello to you, too.”

“He was just worried you were hurt in an alley somewhere,” Juliet said after greeting him with a kiss.

“Thought I got mixed-up in a little Sharks-Jets action, hunh? Peter and I left the office right after your call. We hit some traffic so there were some detours.”

Gus calmed down a little bit. Yeah, he probably did overreact just a smidge, but he knew how single-minded Shawn could get, even to the point of recklessness. Maybe he actually had been at the FBI the whole time. “Sorry.”

“No worries, buddy. It’s nice to know that you would’ve sent out a search party.”

“You know that’s right.”

“Now that we’ve reached an understanding, you have to take a shower,” said Juliet as she directed Shawn towards the bathroom.

“But I’m hungry,” he moaned.

“Food afterwards.”

“Fine.”

Juliet shoved him into the room. She listened at the closed door until she heard water running and then crossed to the closet.

Gus joined her as they decided which suit/shirt combination Shawn should wear. “Charcoal suit, navy shirt,” he decided. “With a black tie.”

“You think he’ll wear it?” she asked.

“It’s for Neal. He’d wear a hat if he had one.”

Juliet gave a small smile. “Yes, he would.” She went to the suitcase and picked out clean underwear. She then went into the bathroom with Shawn’s change of clothes.

Gus knew that Shawn was very fastidious with his appearance so there was still at least half an hour before they left. Maybe he could still beat Shawn’s score.

A little over an hour later, they were on the way to June’s. It was practically a record for Shawn. Maybe it was Juliet’s promise of a soft pretzel from a food truck on the way. He was contentedly munching as they walked to the mansion. Gus was more careful while eating his. It just would not do to show up covered in crumbs. He knew these people but the setting would be very uncomfortable arriving with food on his suit.

They stopped outside the brownstone as Juliet looked Shawn over, brushing away crumbs and straightening his tie. She then pulled out a container of wintergreen Tic-Tacs and shook out some for them to share.

Gus loved the fact that June and her neighbors kept up their houses and the street. It was like an oasis of elegance in an area that had grown seedy over the years. They climbed the stairs and Gus was the first to spot the wreath of branches tied with black ribbon. This was definitely classier than those all-black wreaths.

Shawn stopped short and stared at the tamed flora. “What is that?” he asked a little shakily.

Gus had a feeling, judging by the tone of his friend’s voice, Shawn had an idea. He explained anyway. “It’s a Victorian tradition. Yew trees are associated with regeneration and immortality. Wreathes were placed on the door of the deceased’s family to show they were in mourning.”

“Huh.” Shawn filed that piece of information away in his magpie mind.

Gus made to knock, but Shawn just opened the door and walked in. There was muted conversation throughout the rooms. The majority of the guests were agents, but interspersed among them were people Neal had met in the course of his life, ones that had nothing to fear from the FBI.

June hurried over and enveloped Shawn in a hug. “El told me you were here when she helped with the catering. I’m so glad you could make it – all of you.” She gave Juliet and Gus quick hugs. “Please mingle. We’ll have time to talk later?”

“I’ll make a point of it,” Shawn replied.

“Good.” She patted Shawn’s cheek before seeing to her other guests.

“I love that woman.”

Gus couldn’t help but agree. “Buffet?”

“Oh, yeah. That pretzel was barely an appetizer.”

“Can you fix me a plate?” asked Juliet. “I’m going to talk with Diana.”

Since Shawn had already started for the tables, Gus told Juliet that he would pick out a good assortment for her. He then followed after Shawn, hoping that June had ordered lots of food. A hungry Shawn was dangerous near a buffet.

Chapter Five

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