Shawn Spencer automatically hunched his shoulders and tried to hide behind Gus as Henry charged his way through the milling crows clogging the halls of the SBPD headquarters. But Henry had already reached him, his expression devoid of amusement as Gus pushed Shawn away and gave Henry a hello.
“Hi dad. What do you need?” Knowing Henry, it was highly likely that he’d stopped by just to lecture to Shawn about his moral failings.
“You to bring me a bottle of wine and show up at the house by four thirty.”
Shawn looked unimpressed. “Flattered, Pop, but I’m already spoken for.”
Henry frowned. “I’m inviting you to dinner, Shawn. With Juliet. And the wine.”
Shawn frowned. “You keep emphasizing the wine. And while sweet, sweet liquor speeds up the bonding process, I really think you care more about it than my being there. Why?”
“Because I’ll need one of you there to help me deal with the other.” Henry stood up with a sigh. “Goodbye Shawn. Hello, Gus.”
“I’m not here!” Gus called from behind a potted plant.
Shawn shook his head as his father rushed off. “That poor, sweet, deluded man,” Shawn sighed. “Gus, I think he’s in love.”
Gus peeked through the leaves, raising an eyebrow. “Huh. Come to think of it, he did smell like Aqua Vite and gum.”
“The scent of a man who’s totally whipped,” Shawn said. “We’re going to have to get him out of this.”
“By going to that dinner. And bringing wine – and your grandma’s famous sweet potato casserole.”
“Shawn, that hot dish takes four hours to make and it put that dish together…and I’m gonna do it anyway,” muttered Gus as he rushed after Shawn.
They arrived on time, with two hot dishes at their side. Shawn even combed down his hair – which frankly made him look squarer than the food he and Juliet had dumped into the chafing dishes they’d brought along. Gus tries to straighten his own bow tie as they wait for the door to open.
“Worst case scenario,” Shawn mumbled as his father turned on the porch light, “is that she’s plotting to kill dad tonight. If that happens, we go Omega Plot Jules.”
Gus nodded solemnly. “We let her take care of it and raid the fridge.”
“Dibs on the turkey and the blueberry pie.”
“What are you guys talking about?” Juliet hissed.
“Don’t worry, Jules. Just let the power of the gun flooow through your bones!” Juliet batted away his hands, facing forward with an enormous smile when the front door opened.
Henry took their coats and food, ushering them into the kitchen. As he ditched those in the bedroom, Shawn marched forth to the kitchen, index finger extended.
“Shawn, this is….” Henry called as he raced down the kitchen stairs to the landing.
“No, dad, save what little breath you have left,” Shawn said. “I don’t know who you think you are, you shameless hussy, but only one of us is allowed to sponge off of my dad, and that’s me…” He trailed off at the sight of the older man sitting at the head of the table. His face was a familiar one, one seen at many a holiday and important birthday. “Uncle Lou?” he blurted out.
It was indeed his Uncle Lou, an old friend of his fathers who often appeared at various family functions with a big grin and a present for Shawn.
“I was trying to tell you gently,” Henry said, while Shawn stood still and sputtered. “Lou, this is Shawn’s best friend, Gus, and his girlfriend, Juliet.”
Juliet smiled brilliantly and shoved the hot dish forward. Gus could only break the awkwardness by blurting out ‘we used to pee together’ in addendum to his introduction.
“Shawn, are you all right?” Henry asked, as he seated the rest of his guests.
“Well, pop. At first I was afraid. I was petrified. But now,” Shawn declared proudly, “I have TWO pops,” he grinned. “Who can spoil me and take me to Disneyland!” Shawn lurched across the table and almost pulled Lou’s head off as he enthusiastically tossed his arms around his father – and his father’s boyfriend ‘s - heads. “This is the best accidental public outing ever!”
“Is he always this talkative when he’s happy?” Lou asked Shawn’s armpit.
“Just try to ignore it, he’ll wear himself out and sleep on the car ride home.” Henry pushed himself out of Shawn’s clutching grip and proceeded to dish out the meal.