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(White) Collar Optional (7/?)

Title: (White) Collar Optional
Fandom: Psych, White Collar
Characters: Shawn, Gus, Peter, Neal, Henry, Juliet, Lassiter & Vick with cameos from Mozzie, El, Diana & Jones
Word Count: 1807
Rating: PG-13
Overall Summary: In New York, Peter and Gus search for what happened to Neal and Shawn. In California, Shawn and Gus escape a little too easily, making them wonder if Ridley has other plans.
Notes: Okay, I'm finally posting the sequel to Psychic in the City. It's still unfinished so posting will stay with Wednesdays until further notice. I'd also like to thank my three betas snowflakie06, slytheringurrl and the_moogie

Ein Deux Tre Cuatro Pyat' έξι




Peter barely took in the Spanish Revival that housed the Santa Barbara Police Department. Two friends were inside who still could be in trouble from Ridley despite having escaped. They would have to talk with Neal and Shawn to glean every bit of information they could. Once inside, Peter and Gus signed in at the front desk and Gus was given his ID badge and Peter a visitor’s badge.

Peter followed Gus as the man hurried down the hall and into an office. “Shawn!”

He arrived mere seconds later to see Gus smothering his seated best friend in a hug. Neal was watching with a wistful smile. “Neal, if you had wanted to leave New York so badly, we could have arranged something.”

“Peter!” Neal’s eyes lit up and he stood to greet the agent with a quick hug. “I wasn’t sure you’d come.”

“C’mon, I followed you to Cape Verde, didn’t I? I didn’t even need a passport this time.”

“Makes you four for four.”

“Yes, it does.”

Neal looked past Peter and saw Detective O’Hara hugging and kissing Shawn. “So that’s the girlfriend.”

The woman behind the desk – Chief Vick, going by the nameplate – stood and cleared her throat. “Mr. Guster, welcome home. If someone would care to make the introductions?”

“Chief Karen Vick, this is Special Agent Peter Burke,” said Shawn. “Peter, Chief Karen Vick.”

Peter held out his hand. “Pleasure to meet you, Chief.”

The Chief took his hand in a firm shake. “Agent Burke.”

“And Mr. Sourpuss Grumpyface here,” Shawn motioned with his thumb to the figure behind him, “is my dad.”

Peter was somewhat embarrassed that he hadn’t even noticed Shawn’s father earlier. Mr. Spencer stood behind Shawn, arms crossed. His face was stern, no-nonsense, but with Shawn, that was probably a necessity to keep him in line as a kid. Now, especially how he was standing protectively near his son, he was radiating concern. “An honor to finally meet you, Mr. Spencer. I’ve heard so much about you.”

Henry Spencer looked down at his son. “I’m sure.” He turned to Peter. “Thanks for all you’ve done. I know how much of an effort it is.”

Neal cleared his throat.

“Head Detective Carlton Lassiter and Detective Juliet O’Hara, this is Neal Caffrey. Neal, Jules and Lassie.”

Peter smiled at the nicknames Shawn had for the detectives. He could tell that Juliet liked the name whereas her partner looked resigned. Knowing Shawn, that was probably the least annoying name in his repertoire.

“Caffrey,” Lassiter said coolly.

With the reunion over, Peter finally took in the condition of the two men. They were dirty and sweaty with a few scratches on their faces and arms but nothing too deep as to need stitches.

“Let’s move this to the conference room where we can talk more comfortably.”

Everyone moved to the large table in the adjoining room. Once seated, Neal and Shawn relayed their story as it was recorded to be transcribed later. Lassiter and O’Hara told what they had learned at the airport.

“I was looking through Lassiter’s file on Ridley and picked up on something.” Peter looked at Shawn. “That last tip you called in New York was one of Ridley’s jobs.”

“Yeah, he told me last night over beer. Said it was Kermit or something.”

“Kismet, Shawn. Fate, destiny.”

“I’ve heard it both ways. Anyway, he was going to sell the chalice and run off with the money leaving Neal and me to take the blame.”

“But was that really his plan?” questioned Mr. Spencer. “Sorry, kid, but everything sounds too convenient.”

“Misinformation,” said Neal. “He told us that story and let us escape.” He rubbed his hands along his face and through his hair, “And we fell for it.”

“Your emotions were high. You were susceptible,” Peter told him. “It happens.”

Neal nodded as he failed to hide a yawn.

“I think we should meet back here in a few hours to give everyone a chance to freshen up and eat,” said Chief Vick. “We should be able to think more clearly then.”

Mr. Spencer looked at Peter. “You have a hotel yet?”

“No. We left in a bit of a hurry.”

“Why don’t you and Neal come back to my place for lunch? Everyone can get a shower.”

“Thank you, Mr. Spencer. That sounds great.”

“Yes, Gus, that includes you.” He turned to the two detectives. “You’re welcome to join us.”

“Thanks, Henry, but I think we’ll stay and see what we can put together here,” responded Lassiter.

Henry nodded in what Peter guessed was thanks and understanding. He then gently nudged his son who had his head down on the table. “C’mon, kid.”

Shawn jerked up like he was denying he had fallen asleep. “Huh? What?”

“Back to the house.” He helped Shawn stand. “Two are gonna have to sit in the bed.”

“Mmm, bed.”

Henry led a unprotesting Shawn from the room.

Peter looked at Neal who had barely moved. “You too, Sleeping Beauty.” He took Neal by the arm and helped him stand. He turned to the detectives. “Thank you.” He then guided Neal from the room and after Gus and the Spencers.

******

Shawn felt reinvigorated as he stepped from the shower, the need for sleep no longer immediate. The steam had cleared the cobwebs from his brain and made him realize that his dad was right – not that he’d say it in front of witnesses. Their escape had been too easy. Ridley had told them he was leaving. The convenient crates for them to stand on as well as the window with the view lent credence to the theory. Ridley had also studied Shawn so why bring him home? He had family and friends here as well as a good job where he made a difference and was respected… Crap! That was exactly what happened. Ridley wanted to discredit him, to tell everyone he wasn’t psychic. They would have to find and stop him before the SBPD found out the truth.

Shawn changed into clothes from the duffle Gus had brought back from New York. When he reached the kitchen, Gus, Neal and Peter had already changed clothes. Peter was in a grey T-shirt and jeans while Neal continued with the country club look with a blue collared shirt with black pants. Gus was wearing a green V-neck shirt and khakis. “You’re in Cali so why the collar? Even Gus is going without.”

“Your dad has a collar,” Neal pointed out.

Shawn looked at the garish print shirt his dad was wearing. “It’s just that much more material to make us go blind.”

After a lunch of sandwiches, chips and beer eaten at the picnic table, they debated the merits of California living as opposed to New York. Shawn and Neal threw other places into the mix while Peter talked about Quantico and Henry brought up Miami.

“C’mon, let’s go for a walk,” Shawn told Neal. “Your eyes keep looking at the water at every chance.”

“Yeah, sure.”

Shawn stood and looked at Gus. “Coming?”

His best friend practically jumped at the chance to get away from the two older men.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea for you two to go anywhere alone right now,” said Peter. “Maybe we should all take a stroll, work off all this food.”

“We won’t be alone. Gus’ll be with us.” His father just glared at him but he wouldn’t be deterred. “You know his piercing girly scream can set off car alarms for miles. And don’t get me started on the dogs.”

“Nobody said we have to walk together,” put in Neal quickly to keep Henry from blowing a gasket. “If we keep within sight, that should be okay.”

Peter looked at Henry. “That’s fine with me.”

“Fine,” stated Henry, “but you see anything or feel anything wrong, you head back.”

Knowing this was a major compromise for his dad, Shawn didn’t argue. He nodded and headed out quickly before he changed his mind.

They made their way to the water’s edge and Shawn rolled up the legs of his jeans and reveled in the feel of the cool water against his feet. Neal followed suit, wiggling his toes in the sand. “I haven’t done this in ages,”

“Weren’t you just in Cape Verde a few months ago?”

“It wasn’t the same. I’m in the States using my real name and with friends.”

“And a crime boss with a grudge,” added Gus from a dry distance.

“Thanks, Gus. I was trying not to think about that. But now that you’ve brought it up…” He looked over his shoulder and Peter and his dad. “I think Ridley wants to expose me as a fake,” he said in a hushed voice.

“I thought that in the drive from the airport,” said Gus.

“And you didn’t say anything?”

“When? When we were at the station surrounded by police or at lunch when it was the main topic being avoided?”

“Good point. Ridley said we ruined his life, right? So he’s trying to ruin ours. If we didn’t have that video, Neal would’ve been under suspicion for the theft of the chalice from the palace.”

“At least it’s not the flagon with the dragon,” remarked Neal.

“So we need to get him before he tells anyone.”

“Technically, it’s a federal case as he abducted you across state lines,” stated Gus. “Peter could claim this case.”

“But if the police get to him first, there’s nothing to keep him from talking, short of knocking him out,” said Neal.

“Well…”

“Why are you trying to keep this away from your dad and Peter?” questioned Gus. “Peter figured out Ridley was after you as well and your dad was the one to point out your escape was too easy.”

“Cmon, the three of us can do it ourselves. We can be like the Three Mouseketeers.”

“More like the Three Stooges.”

Shawn turned around. “Dad? How did you catch up?”

“You stopped.” Henry stated.

Shawn looked down at his stationary feet. “Huh. Guess I did.”

“You aren’t planning on handling this yourselves, are you?” asked Peter. “You don’t always have the best track record when you go alone,” he said to Neal.

“I think I might be time to bring back Burke’s Seven.”

“Neal, I said no more.”

“Burke’s Seven?” There had to be a good story behind that.

“We set up a con--”

“A sting,” Peter corrected.

“A sting,” Neal continued, “to get the guy who set up Peter and shot Mozzie.”

“We could so do that.” Shawn was excited at the prospect. “We could use signals and code words…”

“It won’t work,” claimed Henry. “He knows who we are.”

“You have a point. This needs more thought.” There had to be a way to keep Ridley quiet short of killing him.

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