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(White) Collar Optional (16/18)

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: 810
Rating: PG-13
Overall Summary: In New York, Peter and Gus search for what happened to Neal and Shawn. In California, Shawn and Neal 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

Can anyone guess the languages used for the numbers? C'mon, give it a try!

Ein Deux Tre Cuatro Pyat' έξι sju dziewięć nove deset elf dó dhéag hamahiru quattuordecim viisitoista




Shawn could not believe Gus was abandoning him to go off and shop. This went against the unspoken code when one of them experienced trauma. He looked at himself in the mirror as he washed his hands. “Didn’t I sit with him when ____ was cancelled? Is it too much to ask that he be here when I give my statement to the FBI? Apparently, it is.” He slipped his shirt on and winced at the very noticeable blood stains. There was only so much you could do in a hotel bathroom sink.

Shawn went out into the main room to find only Peter. Yeah, he was a friend, but it was still a little unnerving to walk into a room with an FBI agent waiting for him and no other audience to perform for. He dropped onto the couch, grabbed one of the throw pillows and held it to his chest. He appreciated that this wasn’t being done at the table. He smiled at the thought of his dad treating Neal like a suspect, each of them on either side of the table.

“Okay, before we officially start, I’m going to channel your father.”

“Really?” Shawn whined.

“What possessed you to go without backup?”

Whoa, he does sound like Dad. “I don’t know. We were already on the way and treating it like a road trip; talking over old times, singing along with the radio. I just didn’t think. We were on a bit of a high, thinking we could do it ourselves.” Which was mostly true.

Thankfully, Peter didn’t follow with a lecture. His dad would take care of that later.

“Right.” Peter picked up a pad from the table and made a few notes. Well, by the movement of the pen, they would be more like doodles.

“You know shorthand? I’m impressed.”

“We don’t always have access to a recorder.”

“I thought you always had one of those little pocket ones.”

“I loaned it to your dad,” Peter admitted. “You ready?”

“Sure. The sooner we get started, right?”

“What made you decide on Cameron James?”

“That was Neal. He knows the art world, so, of the two, he must’ve realized that James was the better choice. I didn’t ask why, just went with it.”

“What happened when you reached Mr. James’ home?”

“Neal told Security why we were there and gave his name. James let us in. We thought it was because he would share his collection with someone who would really appreciate it. Anyway, we drove up to the house and two guys met us at the door. One of them moved the car around to the back since they were expecting someone else.”

“Ridley?”

“That’s what we thought. So the other security guy took us to the study where James was waiting. I noticed lots of art and antiques on the way and I’m pretty sure all of them were real. There was this really big Renaissance painting in pride of place. You couldn’t miss it once you walked in. Neal seemed to study it without being obvious, you know? We started off with the reason we were there; he was going to be offered stolen property and we wanted it to go back to the museum. Neal said something about it going back to the museum so everyone could see it.”

Peter put his pen down; a sign that what came next would be off the record. “Seriously? Neal said that?”

“The context may have been a bit different, but, yeah, he said those words.”

“I’m guessing that approach didn’t work.”

“That painting Neal was checking out was apparently stolen from a church in Sicily and Neal threatened to let you know unless he helped us with Ridley.”

“And that’s when he came in.” Peter had picked up the pen.

“Yeah. He came in with two big goons, all of them armed. He was pissed that we got there ahead of him but he covered it pretty quickly by saying it wasn’t unexpected.”

“Is that what led to the shooting?”

“Not directly.” Shawn looked at Peter. “Do you want the play-by-play or the general idea?”

“You can gloss over the inconsequential stuff, but if anything is pertinent, you can quote.”

Shawn closed his eyes and put his hand to his head. Though not needed for being “psychic”, it still helped him focus.

“Ridley flipped on his salesman switch and worked on James, telling him about such a unique piece, something that had once been thought to be the Holy Grail.”

“Did he use ‘Antioch Chalice’ at all?”

Shawn searched his memory for the phrase. “No. I think he knew he didn’t have to. He then tried to turn James against us saying that we were just using him to get the chalice and we’d turn him over and his collection would be confiscated.” He opened his eyes. “We, uh, didn’t react well to that. We might have resorted to insults and name-calling.”

Peter quirked an eyebrow.

“Okay, that might have been just me. We tried to convince James that dealing with someone like Ridley wouldn’t be a one-time thing and that being a repeat customer would put him on the FBI’s radar.”

“He already is on our radar,” commented Peter.

“He didn’t know that. So tempers got a bit heated. Ridley turned his gun on us and James shot him.” Shawn cringed inwardly as he replayed the moment the bullet struck Ridley. It wasn’t the first time he had seen someone shot (poor Mary), but it was the first time he was looking them in the eye when it happened. “Ridley’s men shot James and then the security guys burst in. Neal and I rushed over to James to stop the bleeding. Then you got there.”

“So, he said nothing about the location of the chalice before he died?”

“No, nothing.” Then it struck him. How could he have been so dense to overlook the obvious? You were in shock, his brain reassured. Now you’re ready.

“We need to find out where he was staying,” Shawn declared as he stood. “Probably one of those luxury hotel spa places, one with high-end room safes.”

“He brought it with him.”

“Of course he did. He was not about to leave it back in Santa Barbara and he wasn’t about to bring it to the meet.”

“So he kept it in the hotel safe to remove if James agreed to the sale.”

Shawn began jumping up and down in his “solved it” dance. He slowed to a stop when he caught Peter staring at him.

At that moment, the door opened and Neal rushed in followed by Henry. “I know where the chalice is!” he announced.

“Yeah, already figured out it’s at his hotel,” said Shawn. “We just need to figure out which one.”

Peter checked his watch. “Damn! I have to go talk to James. You should call the top hotels and ask around. Call me when you find the right one.”

Neal grinned. “There’s only one hotel around here where a guy like Ridley would stay: The Viceroy.”

“All right!” Shawn started jumping again. “Let’s go get it!”

“You two are not setting foot outside until Gus comes back with new clothes,” Henry told them. “Going to some swanky place like that with rumpled and blood-stained clothes is gonna bring more attention than we want.”

“Fine,” Shawn said as he collapsed back onto the couch. “We’ll wait.”

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