Fandom: Psych, White Collar
Characters: Shawn, Gus, Peter, Neal, El, Mozzie, Diana, Jones with cameos from Henry, Juliet & Lassiter
Word Count: 2054
Overall Summary: Shawn tags along when Gus goes to New York City for a convention. He takes the time to look up old friends.
Chapter Summary Shawn and Neal learn they have a stalker
Notes: I honestly don't know the inspiration for this but I wanted to have the two meet as teens after leaving home. There are many conflicting dates regarding when Neal was born, but one of them only makes him a month younger than Shawn so I used it. I'd also like to thank my three betas snowflakie06, slytheringurrl and the_moogie
Due to an error on my part, there are only 6 chapters, not 7 in addition to the prologues.
First Prologue Second Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5
Peter drove Shawn back to the hotel. “We’ve got agents stationed throughout the hotel and patched into the security feed.”
“And Hughes approved this?”
“We’re working with Organized Crime. Once they heard Ridley had targeted a couple of consultants, they wanted in. It helps give us more manpower.” He parked the car and looked at Shawn. “This guy means business and will probably use you to get to Neal. If he contacts you in any way, you call, got it?”
“Yeah, I do. Thanks.” He paused. “Are you going to walk me to my door? I can’t promise much, my roommate is a real prude.”
“Get the hell out of my car, Shawn.” There was no malice.
Shawn chuckled as he got out of the car. “Night, Peter.” He walked inside with a wave.
He crossed the lobby, his eyes sweeping the room on the way to the elevators. He had learned to look without looking like he was looking. It really paid off when trying not to seem paranoid when a crime boss had you in his sights. The elevator ride was uneventful – he hit the buttons for other floors in case someone was watching from the lobby.
Gus pounced on him the minute he entered the room. “Dude, what’s going on? Why do you have some kingpin after you?”
“I told you it’s Neal he’s after. I’m just guilty by association.” Shawn flopped onto his bed.
“If he casts his net wider, that includes me.”
Shawn took out his phone and showed Gus the photos. “See? You’re not in the pictures at all. He probably doesn’t even know about you.”
“You can’t tell me you’re not freaked out about this? This guy kept this picture for close to twenty years, Shawn.”
Having Gus put it like that did add to the freaky aspect. He suppressed a shudder. Time to make Gus feel more relaxed. “Hey, we got FBI agents watching the place inside and out.”
“And you don’t think you should have started with that?” Gus sat on the edge of the bed. “I don’t know if I can sleep.”
Shawn knew that wasn’t true and was proved correct when Gus fell asleep halfway through Kate & Leopold.
He looked at the clock on the bedside table. It was almost 9:00 back home. Still time to call his dad before his self-imposed bedtime. He picked up the cell from the table and called. “Hey, Dad.”
“Shawn, you okay?” Wow. Real concern. Maybe it was a cross-country thing.
“Gus and I are back at the hotel, which is being watched by the FBI. Everybody has everybody else’s phone number so we’re covered. I just wanted to call as promised.” He smiled when his dad didn’t answer right away.
“I’ll call you in the morning, okay?”
“I’ll be expecting it.” Henry ended the call.
Wide awake, Shawn put on the tail-end of Leno to wait for Fallon. If he was still awake after that, there was always Ferguson.
During the commercial break after Fallon’s monologue, Shawn used the bathroom. When he came out, his phone was ringing. He checked the ID and jotted down the unfamiliar number. If this was the guy, he wanted Peter to have it. He knew neither he nor his phone would be around for them to find it the easy way.
He answered the call. “Hello, Mark.”
“You’re as good as they say, Shawn.” The voice was deep but not the evil mastermind kind. The tone almost sounded like an old friend trying to reconnect. That put Shawn more on edge than any mustache twirling would have.
“A New York number I don’t know calling me at this time? Who else would it be?”
“Doesn’t take a psychic, does it? Can you tell me where you think this conversation is going?”
Ridley wanted Shawn to come to him so he wouldn’t have to risk the FBI. He’d use Neal as leverage somehow – or even Gus. If he went willingly, that might change the whole dynamic of things. “Where do you want to meet?”
Shawn took a deep breath before stepping out of the taxi. He couldn’t believe that this was the location for a meet-and-greet with a possible abduction to follow. There were cameras everywhere. When he stepped inside, he left the cacophony of Times Square behind to be welcomed by The Police’s Murder by Numbers, the irony of which was not lost on him.
He spotted Neal in a booth facing him dressed casually as he had been in the afternoon. There was another man in the booth and Shawn took his time to study him as he walked over. He was mid-fifties to sixty, his greying brown hair cut short – barber, not stylist. Sitting, he was a little taller than Neal so maybe 6’3” or so, around Peter’s height, but he was way more muscular. There were no tattoos showing, but Shawn just knew this guy had to have at least a couple, going by his reputation.
Shawn scooted into the booth next to Neal who greeted him like a buddy meeting up for a drink. “Hey, Shawn. Glad you could make it. This is Mark Ridley, the guy I was telling you about.”
Shawn got his first good look at Mr. Ridley. He had what some might call a handsome face, like some older Hollywood character actor. There were no signs of ever having been in a brawl – no broken nose or cheekbone – that would just ruin this front of geniality he had going.
“Shawn, how nice to finally meet you.” He reached his hand across the table.
Shawn put on his best happy-go-lucky face and played along. “I’ve heard so much about you,” he replied as he shook the man’s hand.
A waitress came over with three bottled beers and set them on the tables. “Is that all for you, gentlemen?”
“Yes, thank you, Jenny,” Ridley replied with a charming smile. “We’ll be leaving after the beers.”
“I’ll bring the check over in a few minutes.” Jenny walked away after a generous smile for the three handsome men in the booth.
Shawn stared at the condensation on the bottle. This would be the ideal time to slip some drugs into them. Ridley could have easily paid off Jenny to do something like that. She was a waitress in New York, after all. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Neal hesitate as well.
“There’s no drug in the beer,” stated Ridley as he poured his own.
Shawn glanced at the glass.
“There’s nothing in the glass, either. I wouldn’t be able to handle getting the both of you to the car if you’re barely conscious.”
That comment meant that Ridley was alone in this. If he had minions, there would be no sense in drugging them both. Shawn filed that away as he poured.
“I know why you wanted to frame me,” said Neal, “but why involve Shawn?”
“Leverage. I was actually gonna use the little guy, but then Shawn came to town. It took me awhile to recognize him without the stupid hair.”
“Hey! Don’t knock the Nelson!”
Ridley continued as if Shawn hadn’t interrupted. “I chose Shawn because you’ve known him the longest. Then the game changed. You are leverage for each other.”
Neal swallowed audibly and Shawn was thankful he was between sips “Why would he need leverage?”
Ridley smiled like a Bond villain. “While checking up on Shawn here, I learned that he was responsible for one of my jobs here in New York going south in 2005. Two good men were arrested and imprisoned.”
Shawn replayed his time in New York and the tips he had called in. “Huh. I had no idea.” There was no need to tell that he was the last tip he called in, the one El witnessed.
“You both ruined major paydays, so now you’re going to contribute towards one.”
“You want us to be your scapegoats,” said Neal.
“You leave with the money and leave us holding the bag.” Ooh, that came out quite good. Neal looked at him and all he could do was shrug.
“Is this an example of the ‘snarky eloquence’ I’ve read about?”
“Do all criminals read each other’s autobiographies?” Shawn didn’t know whether to be nervous or pleased.
“I’ve done my research and that’s why I know you’ll both cooperate. Now finish your beers. We have places to go.”
Shawn finished his beer though it was bitter on his tongue. Neal drank with even less enthusiasm, but then he preferred wine. Once they were done, Ridley put a fifty on the table, wedging it under the condiment holder.
“After you, gentlemen.” He directed then through the hallways and out to the loading docks. To keep them “tame”, he held a gun to Shawn and had Neal walk ahead.
They came out onto West 43rd next to the Spanish-American Institute. Even though it was just off Times Square, it wasn’t that busy. A black sedan was parked right at the curb waiting for them. Ridley pulled the remote from his pocket and unlocked the doors. “Before we get in, Neal, slowly take out your phone and put it on the ground.”
Neal did as requested, lifting the phone from his pocket with his first two fingers. He then squatted down, set the phone on the sidewalk and then straightened up. Ridley stomped on the phone, smashing it beyond use. He looked at Shawn. “Your turn.”
“Seriously, you know how many phones I’ve lost?”
Shawn pulled his phone from his pocket and began to pull off the green cover.
“This is custom,” he whined as he set the phone on the ground. He winced when Ridley stepped on it.
“Neal, get in the car, all the way over, and put on that bracelet I got you.”
Neal got into the back seat of the car and slid all the way over. In the middle of the seat, looped through the seatbelt guide, was a chain with a cuff on each end. Once Neal had the cuff locked on his wrist, Ridley aimed the gun at him and it was Shawn’s turn to get in the car and put on the other cuff. “What? They didn’t have any more pink fuzzy ones?”
Ridley simply ignored him as he slammed the door closed and walked around to the driver’s seat.
“Can you pick the lock?” Shawn whispered to Neal.
“With what?” Neal hissed back. “He patted me down and confiscated anything that could possibly open a lock. Didn’t your dad teach you?”
“It was too illegal.”
“Doesn’t mean he didn’t cave after I begged him for weeks.” Shawn kept an eye on Ridley as he carefully worked his free hand into his pants pocket and pulled out a paper clip. He gripped it in his hand as Ridley got into the car. He tugged on the chain in a show of defiance. “Damn it.”
“Shawn, you’re not gonna get it. We have to wait for a better chance,” Neal said, joining the act.
“What about Peter? You’re way outside your two miles.”
“Peter believes Neal is at home,” came Ridley’s muffled voice. “It will buy us time until the morning.” He started the car and drove.
It was only then that Shawn noticed the divider between the front and back seats like the kind in fancy limos. Knowing privacy wasn’t an issue, he looked around frantically. “Crap, crap, crap.” He hurriedly worked on the lock, not even trying to hide what he was doing. He could hear his blood pounding in his ears. Probably didn’t have much time. The paper clip fell from his fingers.
“Let me try.” Neal’s voice sounded unsteady and muffled as he picked up the clip and tried to work the lock.
Shawn realized too late about the gas. His dad would call it shoddy work, not taking in his surroundings. He could no longer tell if Neal was still working on the lock. He should have it done by now. His limbs were beginning to feel leaden and his head fell back against the seat, tilted so he was looking out the window. The last thing he remembered seeing was a sign for John F. Kennedy International Airport.