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Trick or Treat

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Summary: [Psych non-crossover fic]: As Halloween nears, a murder in Santa Barbara links directly to Shawn and Gus, but even more directly to Shawn's past.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > PsychNatalieKushnerFR13919,098194,3243 Oct 0631 Oct 06Yes

Halloween: 20 Years Later

LEGAL A/N: Psych and all characters belong to Steve Franks, Tagline Pictures, NBC Universal Television Studios, GEP Productions and USA Network.

9. Halloween: 20 Years Later

Shawn slowly opened his eyes, his skull throbbing incessantly. Surrounded by darkness and cold air, his senses were all thrown off, but it wasn’t long before he turned on his observation skills. He noted the smell of must and mold and the chilly, dust-covered cement. He listened to the echoing hum of a distant air conditioning system and the low, thumping of the music – My Chemical Romance’s “The Black Parade.” Even without his sharp eyes he could tell he was in the basement.

He tried to move his body but felt the grinding sting of rope tightly binding his wrists behind him. He struggled beneath the long black cape of his costume, but it was no use. Tied up in a basement, Shawn thought to himself. I hate Halloween.

He heard a pop and burn from overhead. Light emerged from the ceiling as Shawn groggily gazed up at the single, naked bulb hanging down. Instantly he began to make out shapes around him. Just a few feet away, Gus was stretched out and unconscious, his hands tied behind his back the same way and his scrubs covered in dust.

“Gus,” he faintly whispered. “Gus! Wake up!” A grimace came across Burton Guster’s face, hearing the sound of his name, and his dark eyes eased open. Gus glanced up at the ceiling, then glanced over at Shawn with a confused look.

“Are we in Mexico?” Gus asked worriedly.

“Shawn?” they heard another whisper from the side. Shawn and Gus glanced over to see Juliet on her stomach in her pirate costume, her hands apparently tied behind her back as well. Beside her, Cristina Kubrick was laid out on the ground on her back, gazing around at the basement in confusion. Passed her, Shawn saw Jen Myers and Henry tied up the same way, both of them conscious and just as worried as everyone else.

“What’s going on?” Jen asked with a terrified voice.

Shawn glanced up and stared back around at the ceiling. There was no trap door above them. They were moved to a completely new location of the house – away from anyone that could hear or help them. This brought a new thought into Shawn’s head.

“Cristina,” Shawn incredulously declared in frustration, “who in the hell puts trap damn doors in their house?”

Cristina looked over at him with apologetic eyes. “Diddy did—”

“Don’t say it,” Gus cut her off, equally annoyed.

Jen said with a terrified, bewildered voice, “What’s going on here? What’s happening?”

“Just stay calm, miss,” Henry ordered. “Everything will be fine—”

With a snap, another two other florescent lights came on and the captives could see the basement even more clearly. An array of long, sharp weapons hung down from the ceiling, including knives, fire axes, garden shears, fire pokers, needle-like daggers, even a sickle.

“Are those your decorations, too?” Juliet scoffed as she stared at the dangerous, overhanging weapons.

Cristina stared up at the arsenal overhead with fearful eyes. “No,” she calmly replied, swallowing hard. Shawn and Gus glanced at each other dreadfully, then glanced around as they heard the sounds of approaching footsteps.

A deep, raspy voice declared from the darkness of a doorway at the top of a wooden staircase, “Hello, Detectives. Do you want to play a game?”

“I’ve had enough games,” Henry snapped. “This is about you and me, Hodder. Let these people go.”

“It’s not just about you and I, Detective Spencer,” the voice answered. In the darkness, they could make out a silhouette of a tall man wearing a fedora hat. “It’s not about Kane Hodder either.”

“What?” Henry whispered in confusion.

“Let me tell you a bedtime story, Detective,” the voice continued. One by one, they could hear the creaky footsteps of the silhouette as it moved down the wooden steps. Shawn viewed the enlarged right hand of the silhouette and could barely see the green and red stripes of the sweater worn by the killer. “One Halloween a long time ago, six naughty children lost their way and were taken by the Cobra,” the Shadow declared. “The Cobra had very special plans for these kids, but it was an arrogant police officer that stopped him from finishing them. But what this mean detective didn’t understand is that the Cobra wasn't just a killer – he was a legend. He thought he could destroy the legend. Legends never die.”

The Shadow moved down to the bottom of the steps and stopped. They could hear in his voice the smile which stretched his face. “Now the legend has returned. This time, he’s chosen six more children, including the arrogant detective. This time… nothing will stop him.”

The six hostages were stunned into silence. “Right…” Shawn said sarcastically, breaking the tension. “Thanks a bushel for that,” he said emotionlessly. “I hate to ruin the ending, but I’m afraid I’ve already got it figured out… Elliot.”

They turned towards the shadowed figure as he stepped closer into the light, reaching up and removing the rubber, burned-face mask and removing it, confirming Shawn’s accusation.

“Elliot Craven?” Henry repeated. “What the hell are you doing?”

“It’s really quite simple, Dad,” Shawn explained. “You see the arrogant detective had a partner who studied for years more than regular officers just so he could become the best cop possible. Unfortunately, they stuck him with the biggest prick in the force. The dim-witted partner’s best just wasn’t enough for the Santa Barbara PD. So he was discharged and he was driven mad when his arrogant partner got all the attention for nabbing the Cobra Killer.” Shawn eyed Elliot with a smug expression. “You knew every detail of the Cobra killings, even details that weren’t released to the public because you was there when they happened. And you’ve been planning the Cobra’s comeback for years.”

Elliot stared at him with a satisfied, proud smile as Shawn asked, “Tell us, Mr. Mergers and Acquisitions, what exactly was your big deal in Phoenix? Sure, you acquired Strode Technologies for your own, but you also took a trip to the federal prison where Hodder was being held. You helped him plan his escape.”

“I don’t get it,” Juliet declared, stunned. “We were watching Craven, too. How was he able to kill so many so fast?”

“Easy,” Shawn answered. “With a little help from his friends. There are six victims here for the slaughter, but seven were taken.” He eyed Elliot, catching him at his own game. “So where is she, Elliot?” They heard the hammer being pulled back on a revolver as Jessica King emerged and descended down the stairs with Juliet’s gun on Shawn.

“Jessica?!” Gus exclaimed in shock.

Cristina stared up at her, bewildered. “What the hell are you doing?”

“You’ve been working with Elliot the whole time, haven’t you?” Shawn accused. “Working against us… throwing us off the path? You two wanted to recreate the entire spree, down to the last detail. That’s-that’s why you convinced Cristina to throw this party and helped her plan it out! You befriended and invited Jen, daughter of Senator Laurie Myers, because twenty years ago the Cobra was going to kill the daughter of a California Representative! You’re both obsessed.”

“I’m in love,” Jessica strongly corrected as she glanced over at Elliot with passionate eyes. “You’ll do anything to take care of the ones you love.”

“Even kill?” Henry asked in disgust.

“Hey!” Elliot snapped at Henry. “What do you think you know about being a human being?”

“You’re a killer, Elliot,” Henry declared.

“Don’t think you can judge me,” Elliot sneered. “When’s the last time you cared about anybody but yourself?”

“What are you, the ‘caring’ serial killer?” Shawn belligerently asked.

“Quiet, Shawn,” Henry ordered.

“You took everything from me!” Elliot roared. “My whole life I wanted nothing but to be a cop like my father! On his deathbed that’s what I promised him I would become.” He grew more frantic as he held up the Freddy Krueger glove with razor-sharp knives on the four fingers of his right hand. “That was my destiny! My future! My father’s legacy! You took that from me!”

There was a moment of calm right before the rupture of the dam as Elliot declared, “Now, Henry, it’s only fair that I take something from you.” He reached down and snatched Shawn by the hair, yanking him up on his knees.

“Elliot, don’t!” Henry roared with all the terror of a father about to lose his only son wrapped in his voice. It was enough to shock both Shawn and Elliot, but only fueled the killer’s fury, willing even more agony upon his former partner.

“Stop!” Gus called out.

“Shut up!” Jessica spat as she aimed the gun at both Gus and Henry.

“Let him go, Craven!” Juliet warned.

Shawn glanced down and saw the razor blade glove slowly approach his neck until he could feel the individual points of the knives on his throat. He gazed up at Elliot, feeling every muscle in his body clench with fear. For the first time in his life he stared at true hatred and felt the end of his life careening towards him.

“Did you see this coming?” Elliot cruelly asked with a smile on his face. He made the smallest incision across Shawn’s neck, right beneath his jaw. “Do you already know what your death with be like? Got any idea how much it’ll hurt?”

Shawn was silent with a stone face as he gazed up at Elliot, but maintained himself with all the courage he could muster as he tried to pull free of his restraints behind his back.

“What do you say we find out?” Elliot grinned. Shawn was out of time. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Juliet’s leg shoot out as she kicked Jessica’s feet out from under her. Juliet had slipped out of her ropes while both Jessica and Elliot were distracted and now Jessica was toppling to the floor, the gun skidding across the cement. Juliet made a rush for the free gun, but Jessica grabbed a hold of her as the two women wrestled viciously across the floor.

Gus scooted towards the gun as Cristina and Jen scrambled to their feet. “Run!” Henry ordered them as the two women rushed off towards the stairs. Henry fought with his ropes as Gus inched closer and closer towards the weapon. Elliot let Shawn go and ran towards Gus, grabbing him by the shoulder. Elliot pulled back his bladed glove and was seconds away from plunging the fingers down into Gus’ back when Shawn head-butted Elliot, sending all three of them to the floor.

Henry, now free of his restraints, came to his feet and tackled Elliot back down before he could get up off of the ground again. Henry used all of his strength to push down the younger, stronger Elliot, but as soon as he was on the floor, Shawn and Gus held both of Elliot’s arms down to the ground by sitting on them.

Gus sat firmly on Elliot’s right hand and was able to cut through one of his ropes on the Freddy glove, freeing himself. Gus and Henry both held Elliot’s right arm down as Gus grabbed a hold of the glove, removing it from the hand.

Jessica knocked her elbow into Juliet’s face, sending the junior detective to the floor ferociously. Jessica glanced back at the gun on the floor and made a dive for it, but was stopped inches away. Jen angrily jumped on her back and pulled her to the ground. Jessica clawed at Jen’s arms as the girls screamed viciously until Jessica saw one of the red leather boots in her view. She glanced up to see Cristina rear a wrench back as she baseball-batted the traitor across the face.

“That’s for ruining my party!” Cristina barked as Jessica fell to the ground.

Elliot kneed Henry in the stomach, knocking him off as he back-punched Gus in the face. Gus and Henry both flew backwards as Elliot brutally grabbed a hold of Shawn. He wrapped a muscular arm around Shawn’s throat, holding him helpless in a choke-hold.

“You can’t win!” Elliot hissed in Shawn’s ear he squeezed tighter. Shawn, with his hands still tied behind his back, began to feel his head lighten as he felt the mounting, devastating pressure within. The powerful force crushing his larynx did not loosen until the second he heard Juliet’s voice in a dangerous tone.

“Let him go!” she declared, holding the revolver high with a strong grip. She aimed at Craven’s skull as he glanced over and saw the barrel pointing towards him. He only flinched his squeezing for a moment before he continued the strangulation.

Elliot glared at her with a crazed expression. “Not until Henry loses!” It was clear that he was so infatuated with killing Shawn at that moment that he dared Juliet to pull the trigger. “Not until he loses!”

The police academy-trained rules of engagement were quickly vanishing from her mind as she saw Shawn’s face turn an eerie blue. He was dangerously near blacking out. Juliet aimed and squeezed the trigger.

It was a half-instant before she squeezed the trigger all the way back before she paused. Henry Spencer appeared in a flash wielding the giant wrench. He pulled it back and cracked it across Elliot’s skull. Elliot saw a flash of light at the moment of impact as his grip on Henry’s son instantly loosened.

Shawn fell forward to the floor, landing on his side as he gasped and coughed for air. “Shawn!” he heard Gus’ panicked voice as his best friend quickly joined him at his side. Shawn felt all the oxygen rush to his head as he stared up at Gus in a daze.

Elliot, confused and bewildered, could not feel the pain of his injury quite yet. He stumbled forward, turning around towards Henry. Standing behind him now, Juliet gazed at the wound that Henry caused to the back of Craven’s skull with a disgusted grimace. As he stared at the floor, Elliot reached back in a trance-like state and touched the wetness beneath the frayed costume fedora. Elliot pulled his hand in front of his eyes, seeing it covered in hot, red liquid.

The killer’s eyes drifted up numbly to Henry, who stood before him with a cold, intimidating expression. Henry slowly stepped up to Elliot. Juliet still had the gun raised, in a state of shock and confusion. She wasn’t sure now which one she was about to shoot. Henry gripped the wrench tightly as he approached Craven, keeping his fierce gaze on him. Elliot watched motionlessly as the man walked towards him, coming eye-to-eye just inches away.

“Mr. Spencer…” Juliet nervously warned.

Gus glanced up from his friend and viewed the scene about to unfold with equal worry. What was he about to do? He turned back to Shawn and began to free him from the ropes, still keeping a nervous eye on the situation.

Elliot stared into Henry’s eyes; it was much like watching a scary movie unfold and not knowing what horrible thing was about to come next. Inside the father’s eyes, he could read the admonition posted for Elliot to see. It was the same threat that he had given the Cobra Killer twenty years before in the midst of their game of hunter and hunted, and it was delivered with the same passion that could only be garnered by a real father.

Henry leaned forward and every other body in the room froze in place. The retired police detective delivered the warning in a low enough whisper for only Elliot to hear. “If you touch my son again, I’ll kill you.

Elliot shuddered at the quiet roar, feeling the intensity and heat of every word. It was the same sentence, the same passion, which Henry had said to the real Cobra when his son was threatened long ago. It was the real reason that Henry fought so hard to take down the serial killer, and it was a side of himself that he would never show to anyone. Especially not his own son.

But Elliot knew without a doubt it was a side important enough to make a good cop into a killer.

Elliot stepped away and slowly dropped to his knees, putting his hands behind his head. Juliet stared back and forth between Henry and Elliot with confusion, not having heard the transaction between them. “Elliot Craven…” Juliet slowly began, “…you’re under arrest for the murders of George Romero, Sean Cunningham, Jonathan Carpenter, Toby Hooper…”

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Red and white police lights flashed and washed against Cristina Kubrick’s Montecito home as the crowd of hundreds of celebrities filed out of the building still with a buzz. They were kindly escorted by members of the Santa Barbara Police Department, who also tried to keep the reporters at bay.

Officer Buzz McNabb was on the scene at the door. He helped random people down the steps onto the sidewalk when he glanced up and saw Lassiter stumbling out of the doorway with both arms around Agents Crane and Ellis, all of them giggling like schoolchildren.

“Sir?” McNabb declared in confusion and disbelief as he stared at his inebriated superior dressed in a yellow, foam Twinkie costume.

Lassiter glanced over and laid eyes on McNabb. “Nabby!” he bellowed cheerfully. “How’s it goin? Hey! You’ve got to meet that Swayze guy! Real nice man! Awesome dancer…”

The two F.B.I. agents exploded with laughter as the three of them stumbled off down the sidewalk. McNabb watched them go with a perplexed expression.

Juliet and another uniformed officer led a handcuffed Elliot Craven to the back of a police cruiser. He stared down at the open back of the car, then lowered himself into the seat. Juliet slammed the door, leaving alone in the back. Elliot glanced out the window to an adjacent car, viewing Jessica King who sat in the back of the separate cruiser with her eyes deadened.

Two uniformed officers appeared on either side of the car, opening the front doors and entering. Jessica glanced over at Elliot as the engine turned over. He watched a small, bittersweet smile form on her face. He read the three words on her lips that she mouthed to him, “I love you…” Seconds later, the car pulled away, carrying her from him for the last time.

Cristina and Shawn walked side-by-side, the Devil and the Dark Knight sharing a conversation. “So you got these powers when you were eighteen, right?” Cristina asked, fully intrigued.

“Yep,” Shawn said with a more quiet voice than usual. “Now I’m working for the Santa Barbara PD. We take private cases, too, though.”

“That’s amazing!” Cristina excitedly declared. “It would make an awesome movie.” Shawn glanced over at her as her face fell flat. “No,” she declared, shaking her head. The excitement built back up as a new thought occurred to her. “A TV show!” She smacked her hands together victoriously, “Damn, I’m good!”

She glanced up at Shawn. “I just want to say, thanks for everything.” Yet another thought popped up in her head. “So… you can see the future, right? Can you do me a favor?”

“What is it?”

Lord of the Rings 4,” she anxiously asked. “What do you think?”

Shawn glanced down at the ground tenderly, then looked back up at her with a shrug. “You know those Tolkien fans,” he forced a nervous grin. “If you film it, they will come.”

A blaring ring sounded out as Cristina reached down and retrieved her Blackberry. “Ooh,” she apologized. “I’ve got to take this. Thank you again, Shawn.” She answered the call, putting the phone to her ear with a stoked tone of voice. “Vince!” she exclaimed as she walked away. “Oh, my god! You will not believe what just happened!”

Shawn stood by and watched her walk off with a slight smile. Now standing alone on the lawn of the mansion, he turned around and stared at the house behind him, the police lights flashing all around.

“How’s your throat?” Gus asked, approaching him from the side.

“Won’t be able to talk right for a few days,” Shawn whispered. He reached up and gingerly touched the bruised ring around his neck.

“I’ve got something at home for that,” Gus nodded helpfully.

“Will it relieve the stinging I’ve-Just-Swallowed-Acid feeling?” Shawn asked.

“I didn’t know Batman was such a baby.”

“Hey! It’s the Dark Knight.”

Gus softly laughed as he glanced around. “Well, I guess I can rack tonight up as an unlucky-in-love night.”

“Right,” Shawn nodded. “I thought I usually fell for the bad ones.”

“Yeah,” Gus shrugged.

“But none of my bad ones were serial-killing accomplices,” Shawn noted.

“Are you trying to rub this in?” Gus asked.

“Just a little bit.”

Gus sighed, “Well it’s been fun, but I’ve think I’ve had enough Halloween to last me for one… ever. I’m going home.”

“All right, dude,” Shawn nodded as he glanced back at the house.

Gus turned away, then paused glancing back as he gave Shawn a friendly punch in the arm. “I’m glad you’re still with us, man,” Gus declared seriously. Shawn glanced back at him and gave him a peaceful nod for a reply. Gus turned around and began the long walk back to his car, leaving Shawn alone again, but not for very long.

Shawn turned around and saw Henry slowly stepping up to him with his hands in his pockets and his eyes on the building. It was almost as if two strangers were converging at a bus stop. Henry and Shawn stood side by side as they gazed at the flashing lights.

“How you feeling?” Henry finally said after a long bout of silence.

“Okay,” Shawn answered.

Both of them gazed down at the soft blades of grass beneath their feet which must have cost thousands of dollars to grow and maintain. Shawn glanced at his end of his cape which was pretty much torn. Henry removed and replaced his baseball cap, firmly keeping it snug on his head.

From across the lawn, Shawn and Henry both set their attention on the same thing. Through the gigantic crowd lining out of the mansion, they noticed the small detail of Juliet walking towards the parked police cruiser with Elliot inside as she sat down in the passenger’s side and another uniformed officer got into the driver’s seat. They slammed the doors closed, turned over the engine, and slowly began their drive to the station.

Shawn and Henry carefully eyed Elliot who sat alone in the back seat, mulling over the epitome of his life. They could see in his expression that even though he was defeated, the pure hatred he had for Henry Spencer remained. It was the fear that Henry burned into Elliot which made him back down.

Shawn swallowed hard and glanced down at the ground. He heard the passion in his father’s voice when he gave the warning to Elliot and would always remember every word. But that was a side of himself which he would not show anyone. Especially not his own father.

But at least now Shawn knew the truth. His father didn’t really hate him. Smoke and mirrors. It was always all a trick. The real question was if he hated his father for hiding the truth.

“Wanna get something to eat?” Henry asked idly, not making eye contact with his son.

Shawn gazed out into the blank space before him and replied, “Sure.”

The End

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