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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 > PsychNatalieKushnerFR13919,098194,2953 Oct 0631 Oct 06Yes

A Nightmare on Elm Street

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



1: A Nightmare on Elm Street


Thursday, October 30, 1986


Eleven-year-old Shawn Spencer was sprawled out on the hardwood floor of his Santa Barbara home. Lying on his stomach with his hands propped beneath his chin, he gazed up aimlessly at the living room television set in front of him, watching the images of The Cosby Show progress on that humdrum Thursday night. Outside, the sun was just barely beginning to set as golden leaves fell from the oak trees outside onto the crisp lawn – another chore for Shawn to build his character doing.

In the midst of one of the pre-recorded laugh tracks, Henry Spencer’s booming voice cut through the banter like an axe, “Shawn!”

The young boy pushed himself into a sitting position immediately as the ground shook beneath him, his father’s approaching footsteps reverberating across the floor. Henry sounded as if he had cinder blocks for feet as he marched into the room wearing his black officer’s uniform, his reddish-blonde hair swept to the side as his flashing eyes glowered down at his son. One hand held Shawn’s nearly-empty backpack – he never came to school prepared – and the other gripped a black robe and plastic Darth Vader helmet.

It was the latter that angered him more.

“Shawn, what did I tell you about this?” Henry barked.

Wide-eyed, he stared up at his father with jaw agape until he received some strange, crazy notion to argue. “But, Dad, Halloween is tomorrow!”

“I don’t care!” he answered sharply. “I told you that you’re not going anywhere!”

“I was going to go with Gus and his dad,” he pouted.

“It doesn’t matter, Shawn. I am your father and I told you – no trick-or-treating, no parties, and no candy.”

“Dad, you don’t understand!” Shawn cried out. His father turned to him with a moment of patience as Shawn explained desperately, “I have to sit there in class while all the other kids talk about what they’re gonna do on Halloween and I’m the only one that can’t go!”

Henry’s tone became a bit darker as he looked outside of the living room window defensively. “Those other parents don’t know how dangerous it is.”

Shawn stared up at him in a wash of confusion and even more desperation as he tried to hold on to his favorite holiday. “Everybody’s going! A bunch of people have asked me to trick-or-treating with them! What do I say—?”

“Tell them you’re grounded!” Henry snapped. Shawn silenced himself immediately and stared up at his dad in shock, his eyes beginning to sting. Henry dropped the backpack on the living room floor and crumpled up the costume. “Enough whining. You’ve got homework to do.”

Henry turned on his heel and marched back out of the room, coldness in every step. Defeated and heartbroken once again, Shawn turned away and stared down at the floor as his vision blurred.


Saturday, October 28, 2006


Gus sat on one end of his couch with a frown firmly planted on his face. With the cuffs on his light blue collared shirt undone, he hoped to relax for the evening inside of his apartment, but instead he was going to have to suffer through watching idiotic teenagers be laughably slaughtered by a masked buffoon. He glanced over with a deadened expression at Shawn, who had his Converse sneakers up on his coffee table again, and dug his hand in a bag of Cheetos.

“It’s late, Shawn,” Gus declared with frustration.

“So?” Shawn shrugged as he wiped his hand on the leg of his blue jeans, right beneath the edge of his blue t-shirt.

“So I’m not watching any more of Freddy,” Gus tiredly protested.

“Freddy?” Shawn repeated in confusion. “What are you talking about, this is Jason. See the hockey mask?”

“The movie’s stupid, Shawn!” he said, rolling his eyes.

“Of course it’s stupid,” Shawn replied and scooped another handful of Cheetos into his mouth. “They’re all stupid. That’s the point. And this is Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. They just spent an hour and a half on a cruise ship. He hasn’t even taken Manhattan yet—”
“And he’ll have to do it without me,” Gus explained, “because I want to sleep. Now.”

“What?” Shawn laughed. “Dude, are you scared? Don’t tell me this is a repeat of the time we watched Candyman together.”

“I’m not scared,” Gus defensively declared. “And don’t you have a party or something to go to?”

“A Halloween party?” He scoffed and turned back to the TV. “Please, I’m not ten.”

“Oh, that’s right,” Gus remembered. “You, the guy who parties for every holiday including Flag Day, won’t go to a Halloween party.”

“Gus,” Shawn said softly, staring at him with a serious expression. “You know I’m only comfortable dressing up around you.” Gus rolled his eyes and looked away as Shawn gazed at the screen as yet another teenager was being stalked by the machete-wielding psychopath. “Halloween’s for children and candy corporations anyway.”
He crunched on another mouthful of Cheetos and mumbled through the crunching, “M-Hey, do-you -ave any peanu-buttr to go wit- dees?”

Gus gazed at him with a disgusted expression as he translated the request. The ringing of his cell phone interrupted his gag as Gus reached into the pocket of his slacks. “Hold that thought and keep it to yourself.” He answered the cell phone, placing it to his ear, “Burton Guster.”

Shawn could hear faint, high-pitched mumbles coming from the earpiece as a look of surprise came across Gus’ face. “Juliet?” Gus declared, confused.
Shawn glared at Gus jealously. “She has your phone number?”

Gus put up a hand in Shawn’s face as he glanced over at the clock. “Now?” he asked. After a few more mumbles and Shawn trying to listen in on the call, Gus finally responded. “Oh-okay, we’ll be there right away.” He hung up the cell phone and looked at Shawn who had a bitter frown on his face.
“It’s for business purposes,” Gus answered.

Shawn stared at him in still silence, then lifted his Cheeto-covered hand and wiped it on Gus’ suede couch cushion. Gus glanced down at the trail of Cheeto-salt, then looked up at Shawn angrily. “We’ve got a case,” Gus said through gritted teeth. “Let’s go.”

Gus began to wipe off the salt as he came to a stand. Shawn sat on the couch, still mulling over his jealousy. “Do you have her number?” Shawn asked, staring at him with narrow eyes. Gus gazed down at him with an impishly blank expression which could not be construed as ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ then turned around and walked out of the living room. Shawn watched him go even more bitterly and exacted vengeance by wiping his other hand on the couch.




Juliet O’Hara stood in the kitchen of 1428 Elm Street and gazed at the beefy man lying face down on his linoleum floor. A dozen police officers moved around her, snapping photographs and taking notes on the scene. Her stomach slowly churned as she gazed at the bluish complexion of the man’s face. Her daze was broken by the cheerful sound of Shawn’s voice as he and Gus marched into the kitchen from the side door.

“Fear not, sweet Juliet,” he announced, “Psych-Man is here.” From the moment Shawn’s eyes hit the ground and viewed the body, he was already absorbing information. He glanced up at the table near the body and noticed a bowl of candy corn. Right next to it sat a full glass of water. He stared back down at the bluish face of the victim.

He sharply inhaled, closing his eyes and placing the tips of his fingers to his temples. Rubbing his temples, he received “visions from beyond” which were anything but. Gus gazed down at the victim with a heavy frown full of pity. “Who was he?” Gus asked.

“George Romero,” she responded. “Late 50s. Owned a sporting goods store a few miles from here. So far, we believe he was alone all night and—”

“You think he choked,” Shawn cut in, ending his continuous, monotone hum. Juliet nodded in agreement, placing her hands in front of her. Shawn glanced around at the dozens of officers and added, “But the spirits are telling me otherwise. This was no accident.”

“Then what do the spirits think it was?” Interim Chief Carlton Lassiter asked as he strolled into the kitchen from the living room. Shawn glanced passed Lassiter and spotted a television set that was still on. It was some old, black-and-white B-movie currently showing a sleeping damsel-in-distress-type woman who was about to become a victim to the snakes which were slithering up her bed.

Shawn immediately explained, “You see, I’m trying to hear them more clearly, but it seems that there’s a doubtful presence in the room that’s making it more difficult.” Shawn left the kitchen, Gus, Juliet and Lassiter following and moved into the living room, taking in the setting and searching for more clues. He stopped near the hallway which led to the rest of the house and turned back towards the others. “I’m still sensing the presence. I think Interim Chief Lassiter is giving off some sort of anti-spirit musk.”

“That’s strange,” Juliet declared. “He’s the one who requested I call.”

Gus and Shawn both stared at her, bewildered. “Come again?” said Gus.

“Do mine ears deceive me?” Shawn asked with a swaggering smile. “Detective Lassiter, are you finally done doubting my gift?” Lassiter flashed him a disgusted glare as he marched towards Shawn menacingly. He couldn’t contain the slightly-girlish squeak. “Don’t hit me!”

Shawn leapt out of the way as Lassiter moved into the hallway. He grabbed the doorknob of the first door on the left. “I’m starting to doubt your innocence,” Lassiter explained, pushing the door open to reveal George Romero’s bedroom.

Shawn and Gus leaned in to view the room and a message scrawled out in black permanent ink on the far wall: ‘TRICK OR TREAT, SPENCER?’
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