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Regrette de Tous (5/?)

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: 1566
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 Four



Shawn opened the door slowly, almost reverently. He felt like he was entering a museum. He couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought. It was where they had met, after all. Everything in the apartment was where it had always been. Shawn could just imagine that Neal was just outside on the balcony. He could even smell the wine.

“’The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;/Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;/Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood./For nothing now can ever come to any good.’”

Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

“W. H. Auden.”

“Mozzie.” Shawn turned on the light by the couch to reveal the other man and the near-empty bottle on the table. “Why aren’t you downstairs?”

“Why aren’t you?” he countered.

“It was getting tiresome.” Shawn sat in the chair facing the couch. “I just wanted to get away.”

Mozzie pushed the bottle over. “I don’t like drinking alone.”

“You already were.”

“Yes, but I didn’t like it.”

Shawn reached over and took the bottle. He looked over the level and guessed it to be about one glass. He took a swig directly from the bottle. His palette wasn’t as educated as Mozzie’s – he preferred beer – but he could tell this was the good stuff.

“I keep expecting to find some sign that this is all part of a con so he could be free again, you know?” Mozzie’s voice was emotional.

“You’re the one who knows the most of his secrets,” Shawn said. “Keeping you out of the loop keeps you both safe. If you knew, if you left New York, the FBI would suspect a fake. We have to carry on with the grieving process. We’ve lost him, just not to the flip-side.”

“You’re here to prove he’s still alive?”

The hope in Mozzie’s tone made Shawn hesitate. “I’ve always had this thing about death. A couple of years ago, a friend helped me out of a tough spot and got blown up for his troubles.”

“Despereaux. Shawn, you called Neal when it happened.”

“Yeah, well…I refused to believe that he was dead even though there was a body – well, parts – whose prints and dental records matched. The DNA results came through and I lost it at the funeral. I was then threatened by the woman we were after – Josie…Jocelyn…”

“Jacqueline. You told us this, too.”

“Fine, but did I tell you that I’m alive because Despereaux was?”

Mozzie stared. “No, you never mentioned that.”

“He switched the medical records to match the body he used.”

“It can be done,” Mozzie said slowly. “But that was an explosion so there wasn’t much of a body left, easier to hide the truth. But it was Neal on that table.”

Shawn leaned forward. “We both know that there are drugs out there that can mimic death. Gus could probably list ‘em off the top of his head. Neal could have bribed the doctor and the EMTs. We know he can charm anyone.”

The other man continued to be buoyed by the possibility that his friend could still be out there somewhere.

“Mozzie, I want you to tell me about Neal’s plan, the stuff he kept from Peter.”

Shawn listened as Mozzie began his tale. Neal had turned his abduction into opportunity. He had pulled a heist and got a face-to-face with Alan Woodford, the leader of the Pink Panthers, an exclusive group of criminals who had stolen an estimated $1.2 billion in gems over the course of 20 years. Neal then told Peter he would help bring them down in exchange for his freedom.

Mozzie also told Shawn that Neal had kept him out of it, kept him away from the Panthers. “He brought the Suit in instead of me, even when they were down a man at the end.”

“You were stationed at Wall Street to take the money from the tubes,” Shawn stated. “Neal didn’t trust the FBI to honor the contract. You were gonna take the money and disappear somewhere. At any point in your conversations, did you think he was planning something else?”

“Like he told the Feds one thing, me another and then did something else?”

Shawn nodded.

“I guess so. He was acting a little more…aloof than usual. I just wish he hadn’t shut me out.”

“Tell me what happened, Mozzie.” Shawn was patient, coaxing.

“Neal and Keller met up with me and I already had the money divided into three bags. Keller – quel surprise – wanted it all. Neal pulled a gun on him and told me to leave with our share.”

“Neal pulled a gun?” Shawn couldn’t believe what he heard. “He hates guns.”

“He must have known Keller was going to try something and a gun was the only thing he’d understand.”

“What did you do next?”

“I took the money, disguised myself as a homeless man and left with my shopping cart. As I was walking away, I heard it. I heard the gunshot.”

* * * *


Juliet mingled with the guests, hearing different stories about Neal and how he could charm his way into – and out of – anything. She had a few of her own to share from his one time in California and the times she had come to New York with Shawn. It then struck her that she hadn’t seen her fiancé for some time. Juliet looked around the room and spotted Gus chatting away. There was no sign of Shawn. She then knew where he had gone.

She went upstairs and stopped outside the door to Neal’s apartment when she heard soft voices from inside. Shawn wasn’t alone. Juliet opened the door quietly and entered the dimly lit room. Shawn was sitting in a chair facing her and motioned for silence. Mozzie was sitting on the couch telling Shawn what happened in that Wall Street basement.

“I heard it. I heard the gunshot.”

Juliet couldn’t help it. She gasped. The man had left his best friend with his nemesis and a gun. How did he keep from running back?

“I had to keep going. I had $20 million to deal with. It could have been a warning shot. I didn’t know it was Neal until Elizabeth called me.”

Juliet couldn’t stay back any longer. She hurried around and sat next to Mozzie, wrapping the man in a hug. “Oh, Mozzie.” At first she thought he would pull away, but he accepted the comfort.

Mozzie ended the hug but didn’t completely pull away from her presence. Juliet shared a smile with Shawn.

“Sorry I had to put you through that,” said Shawn. “I just wanted to know what Neal said to you that he kept from Peter.”

“There is something.” Mozzie looked at the two of them. “I told Neal that if the Panthers ever found out that he stole from them that they would go after everyone he cares about.”

“So he fakes his death to save his friends plus get his freedom. I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Do you want anything from downstairs?” asked Juliet. “There’s still some food left.

“I got some food when I first arrived. I’ll make my way out later.”

“In case you think of something else or just want to talk, here’s my cell number.” Juliet jotted it down on a scrap paper from her purse. “You already have Shawn’s, right?”

“Yes.” Mozzie took the number. “Thank you, Juliet.”

“We’ll leave you with your solitude.” Shawn stood and put his hand on Juliet’s shoulder. “We won’t tell anyone you’re here.”

“Thanks.”

“Anytime.”

The couple left the apartment and made their way back to the party.

“Are you ready to head to the hotel?” she asked him.

“Jules, we’re in NYC, the Big Apple, and the night is young. We can’t go back to stare at hotel walls.”

“We’re going with Peter tomorrow morning. We can’t stay out too late.”

“C’mon. A few drinks at an intimate setting. Maybe some dancing…”

“Perhaps to some Sinatra.”

“There’s gotta be a place that fits the bill. Maybe we should ask June. She’s sure to know.” Shawn pulled her along through the guests to their host.

Jules followed - having no choice – and wondered about the change in Shawn since talking with Mozzie. Of course she knew he wanted to find proof that this was all a con, though she dreaded what would happen if he failed. Maybe this was his chance to live like Neal, to carry on his memory. She would just have to be there when he crashed.

“…Jules?”

“What? Sorry, just thinking.”

“June was telling me about a couple of nightclubs that would meet our needs. She said she’d even sneak out of her own party to join us. She can partner Gus on the dancefloor.”

“I’ll call a taxi.”

“Jules, don’t be so last year. Uber.”

“Shawn, I am not using Uber.”

“No need,” interrupted June. “I’ll call my driver.”

“Thank you, June. We’ll get Gus and meet you out front.”

Shawn dodged people until he reached Gus. Juliet watched as her fiancé animatedly explained to his best friend what they were doing. She could see Gus refusing, probably on the grounds that it was rude. Shawn said something else and they both looked in her direction. She smiled and nodded as they headed for the door. She sighed as she followed, wondering how long Shawn’s good spirits would last.

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