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(White) Collar Optional (8/?)

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: 1378
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 sju




Lassiter and O’Hara found the house Spencer had described by reversing his escape route. He and his partner then walked the perimeter, spotting the broken basement window. They then knocked on the front door but there was no answer. He knocked again harder, called louder. No answer. Lassiter looked over to O’Hara and they both pulled out their guns. O’Hara gently turned the knob and there was no resistance.

As they entered the house, Lassiter’s brain registered that it was empty. He didn’t dwell on it until he and O’Hara checked the entire house. There was no sign of habitation other than the basement.

Lassiter sighed as he walked back to his car. This set-up only gave strength to the older Spencer’s theory that the escape was planned. They’d know more when Forensics was done. He just hated not knowing the motive, the reason behind the action. Why would Ridley go through the trouble of drugging and abducting Spencer and Caffrey then transport them across the country only to let them escape? It only led him to believe that the kidnapping wasn’t the main drive behind it. Plus, there was still the matter of the stolen chalice.

Lassiter turned around to face the house. There had to be something Ridley left behind, some sign of his plans. “At least Spencer isn’t here.”

O’Hara came over to him. “Forensics is on the way. I’ve also notified the Chief of what we found.” She studied him. “What’s wrong?”

“This whole case. This isn’t Ridley’s usual style. There’s got to be something I’m missing.”

“We could always--”

“No, we are not calling him in. He can’t investigate his own kidnapping.”

“You can tell him that,” she said, looking over his shoulder with a smile.

Lassiter faced the road and saw a beat-up pickup truck and a blue clown car. “Kill me now,” he prayed to the skies.

*********************************

After they left Henry’s (Mr. Spencer to his face), the plan was to stop and get new cell phones and then go either to the police station or Shawn’s office. That was something he had a hard time wrapping his head around. Then again, he never expected Shawn to stay on one place for one year, let alone seven.

It was after the phones but before the next stop that Shawn convinced his father and Peter that they needed to go to the house where they had been held. Henry was a little reluctant but Peter was able to talk him around.

When they pulled up to the house, Shawn was positively giddy as he exclaimed, “Look, Jules and Lassie are here!”

Neal looked through the windshield from his spot in the back seat and he could see the two detectives standing on the sidewalk. Lassiter was looking Heavenward, probably asking to be struck down before having to deal with Shawn. He had known men like the Head Detective; no sense of humor unless it’s at their own weak jokes. It was a sign of the man’s willpower that he had put up with Shawn for as long as he had.

They got out of the car and Shawn practically bounded over while Neal and Gus followed at a more sedate pace.

“No, no, no!” Lassiter cried. “Spencer, you cannot be here investigating your own case!”

“If you don’t want me around, Lassie, just say so.”

“You can’t be here, Shawn,” Juliet said. “It’s a conflict of interest.”

“Neal and Shawn are here as witnesses in an ongoing FBI investigation,” said Peter in his official voice. The T-shirt and jeans took a little bit away from the authority it would normally hold.

“You’re pulling the FBI card? Really?”

“It’s the reason he’s here, Lassiter,” said the elder Spencer. “You know Shawn can get more from a crime scene than you.”

The two men glared at each other before Lassiter finally gave in. “Fine. Have at it. Don’t touch anything. Forensics is on the way.”

“He gave in too easy,” muttered Gus as they walked up to the house.

“That was easy?”

“Normally he puts up more of a fight. Maybe it’s because of Peter.”

Neal had a feeling it was some other reason. He caught the detective’s reflection in a window and saw a smirk. Oh, it’s definitely something else.

He stopped when he crossed the threshold, wondering why everyone else had as well. It took a moment to register that the rooms were completely empty. There was no furniture or rugs, nothing to show signs of habitation.

“Now I know was Lassie caved so quickly. This place looks like it’s been picked clean.” Shawn looked around the front rooms.

“The kitchen,” said Neal. “He fed us breakfast. There might be something there.”

“Yes!” Shawn led them to the kitchen. “Cereal and juice out of plastic bowls and cups.”

“Easy clean-up,” remarked Peter. “Less chance of breakage leaving remnants.”

Shawn stood back and scanned the room. Neal knew about Shawn’s observation skills, but it was something else to see it in action. Peter was watching with interest as well so that meant Shawn never got out in the field.

“Ah!” Shawn exclaimed and headed right for the narrow space between the counter and the sink. He leaned over and picked up something and held it out in his palm. “Breakfast is served.”

Peter pulled an evidence bag from his pocket and held it open for Shawn. “It’s something.”

“One cereal flake does not connect Ridley to this house, Shawn,” said Gus. “Who know how long that’s been there?”

Neal peered at the innocuous flake. “There aren’t any bugs and there’s negligible dust, so I’d say not very long at all. Though if it had been one of those cereals that are 99.9% sugar, it would be anyone’s guess.”

“It’s a good thing Ridley is more health conscious than my son.”

“At best it’s only circumstantial evidence,” said Peter. “It doesn’t place Ridley here.”

“We saw him, Peter. If you can place us here, we can place him here.”

“With a case of this magnitude, we need it to be airtight. That means physical evidence.”

“There has to be something in the basement,” stated Shawn. “There’s gotta be fingerprints somewhere down there.” His eyes lit up. “The bathroom door! He opened it to show us.” He headed for the door off to the side of the room.

“Shawn, wait!” Henry called. “Don’t--”

The door was slightly ajar so Shawn had no need to use his hands, just pushed it. Neal and Gus followed, keeping their hands from the rail. There was a hall at the base of the stairs, a couple of doors leading from it, one of which was an exit to the yard. The other door was open, which told Neal that someone had been here after they left, most likely to clean up.

“Whoa.” Gus walks slowly into the room. “Are you sure this is the right place?”

“Yes, Gus, I’m sure. It’s just… We waited too long.”

Shawn stood in the middle of the room. The beds had been dismantled and pushed against the walls. The mattresses were gone. It now looked like a normal basement which drastically lessened their chances of finding anything.

They trudged upstairs. Even Shawn’s normally buoyant personality was having trouble staying afloat. Neal knew what affect doing time would have on Shawn. It would break him and Neal could not let that happen. The world might never forgive him.

Outside, the CSU van had just pulled up and Lassiter was talking with the lead investigator. Peter pulled the evidence bag from his pocket just as his phone rang. Shawn grabbed the bag as Peter answered his phone and handed it to Juliet. Neal’s attention was brought back to Peter when he heard Diana’s name. It must not have been something they could discuss over the phone because the call ended rather quickly.

“What is it?”

“Diana and Jones found a possible lead but I didn’t want to talk in the open.” He looked over at Shawn who was still flirting with Juliet. “See if you can help Gus wrangle Shawn. I’ll tell Henry about the phone call.”

“You call him Henry?”

“Not to his face.”

Chuckling, Neal walked over to Shawn and Gus.

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