“You know Carlton, I’m shocked that you actually came out with us. Usually you always say you’re going to the shooting range,” O’Hara says and Carlton rolls his eyes. Of course he wouldn’t want to go drinking with them, he’d be too self conscious over what he could say to them while drunk, plus he’d be too fixated on making sure they are safe to unwind and have any sort of good time.
“Yeah Lassie, usually you’re too cool to hang out with us,” Spencer says from where he is draped over Guster talking adamantly to McNab. Woody and Vick are more interested in their drinks than the conversation and Carlton is certain that the elder Spencer was not invited.
Thank God. The man would probably critique his drinking style or something.
"So spill Lassie, what made you finally decide to come out with us?" Spencer says.
"I'm intending to get you drunk and then get you to reveal how you've been faking being psychic," Carlton says. It's not the truth but it sounds like something he would do.
"Pretty sure that would inadmissible," Spencer says with a wink.
"Only if you get a good lawyer and a lenient judge. And considering how much money you borrow from people you're public defender will have a hell of a time, "Carlton says.
"McNab you okay?" Guster says and they all turn their attention to McNab. He has a few tears in his eyes.
"My wife is amazing and perfect. Why would she be with me?" He sniffles and Carlton is shocked. Sure McNab isn't perfect but compared to some of the scumbags he's met McNab is the metaphorical knight in shining armor.
"Jules you go get him some food and water. I don't think he ate anything today so the alcohol is affecting him more than normal," Spencer says and she gets up and goes for it.
"Hey Buzz can you look at me?" He asks and the officer looks up.
"You just said your wife is perfect, right?"
"Yes. So perfect. I love her so much!"
"So, perfect means she doesn't make mistakes. Right?"
"Then that means her marrying you was not a mistake. Because you just said she's perfect and doesn't make mistakes," Spencer says and McNab seems to be nodding along and Carlton has to thank God for drunk logic.
O'Hara comes back with the water and food and puts it in front of McNab.
It takes a bit of time but he finally seems to sober up a little bit to the point where he seems decently aware of what is going on around him.
"Thanks Shawn. You always know what to say when I get like that," McNab says.
"From now on I'll sticking Jules on you to make sure you're eating," Spencer says and McNab actually looks very frightened.
"Sorry. I forgot my lunch at home and I didn't want to buy food because my wife always makes me lunch and I make hers,"McNab says.
"That is disgustingly sweet," Spencer says.
"Uh oh," Guster says and Spencer follows Gusters line of sight and the smile drops from his face and he grips his napkin tightly.
"Shawn? What is it?" O'Hara asks putting a hand on his arm and the phony psychic flinches. Carlton turns in time to spot a guy who just entered the bar.
"I...I need to get out of here," Spencer says trying to climb out of the booth. But the movement seems to draw the man's attention to them and he zeroes in on Spencer.
Carlton is certain that he has never seen the fake psychic that still or that quiet before.
“Shawn? Is everything alright?” McNab asks and Carlton watches the man starts to make his way across the bar towards their table and he can hear a soft whimper leaving Spencer’s mouth and he finally recognizes the look on Spencer’s face. It’s one he’s seen on the faces of women when he has had to answer domestic disturbance calls. From the looks on the others' faces he thinks they’ve made the connection as well.
“Sh…” O’Hara starts to say but the guy has already made it to their table and is leering at Spencer.
“Hey Shawn, long time no see,” he says.
“Go away Nate,” Guster says and Carlton is pretty sure he’s never seen Guster truly angry.
But he has today.
“Gus, I don’t know why you hate me so much,” Nate says innocently and the taste that voice leaves in Carlton’s mouth is some kind of cross between piss and vinegar. He’s seen men look more innocent standing outside of a busted in store window holding goods from inside.
“Shawn, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friends?” the man asks.
“Uh...Nate...This us D…”
“I’m Carlton. This is Buzz, Juliet, Karen, and Woody,” Carlton says.
“Wow, Shawn how’d you get so many friends? When we were together you had Gus and even then he could barely give you the time of day,” Nate says and Gus looks at the table guilt written over his face.
“I think that’s a bit out of line,” O’Hara says.
“If you knew Shawn you’d know that people keep him around because they want him for something. Mr. Spencer wanted the ultimate detective. Gus kept you around because you’re his only friend, but ignored you when it was better for his career. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone at this table is only keeping you around so that they can get into your pants. Hell, your own mother runs off any chance she gets to talk at a conference or whatever the fuck she does,” Nate says and suddenly McNab is standing between Nate and Shawn.
“I think it’s time you leave,” Buzz says and Carlton is pretty sure he’s never seen McNab this angry before. The officer always seems to be the physical embodiment of a puppy.
Even Carlton is a little afraid.
“You can’t make me do anything,” Nate snaps.
“We kind of can,” McNab says and pulls out his badge. Carlton follows suit and so does Karen and O’Hara. So do the five people at the next table and the four at the table on the other side. Actually all the other patrons of the bar pull out badges.
“You aren’t very bright. You just insulted someone who has the friendship of the entire SPBD...in a cop bar no less,” McNab says and two officers from vice come over and lead Nate out of the bar. McNab takes a breath and then sits down and puts an arm on Shawn’s arm.
“Shawn? Can you look at me. Are you okay?” Buzz asks and Carlton drags his attention back to Shawn who is shivering a little.
Shawn looks up at Buzz and smiles at him.
"Your wife definitely did not make a mistake," Shawn says giving him a grin.
"Shawn...you don't believe anything he said do you? That I'm only around because you're my only friend right?" Gus asks and Shawn stares at him.
"No...when I was with him yeah I did. But since I've been back in Santa Barbara I've been working to get rid of some of the things he put in my head. Besides hard to say you don't like me when you've been following me in my psychic work," Shawn says.
"Damn right. Plus I don't let just anyone ride in the Blueberry," Guster says and Carlton is certain there was a heartfelt conversation buried in the nonsense. One that just the two of them can understand.
"Plus you have the whole SBPD in your corner. We may act like you're a pain in the ass but you're our pain in the ass. We've got your back," McNab says and Carlton can see Gus texting someone.
"Thanks Buzz...and I for one think that we should not end our evening on such a sour note. So...one more round everyone?" Shawn says and they all nod.
Half way through the round McNabchecks checks his phone and looks at Gus.
"You filmed me standing up for Shawn and sent it to my wife?"
"Yeah, I figured she'd like to see the shining knight she married," Shawn grins.
Carlton has to admit that, minus Nate, tonight was actually pretty fun. Maybe he'll do this again.