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2011 PSYCHFIC AWARDS CEREMONY

Written by: windscryer



"Goooood afternoon, Gus!" Shawn said in greeting. He went straight for the trunk, adding, "Pop this for me, will you, buddy?"

"Why?"

"Because I need in."

Gus bent and pressed the button to release the trunk catch, then shut his door and joined Shawn at the back of his car. "Why do you— Is that the karaoke machine?"

"It is! Good catch, Gus!"

"Why is the karaoke machine in my trunk?"

"Because I put it there," Shawn said, his tone indicating that should be obvious.

Gus huffed and said, "Yes, I can see that, Shawn. Why did you put it there?"

Shawn's brow furrowed. "Because we need it? I can speak loudly enough without it, but I don't want to strain my vocal cords. I'm singing at a wedding reception on Saturday and—"

"No, you're not."

"I might be. The bride hasn't confirmed, but I'm sure she's just busy."

"Shawn, she's not busy, she's ignoring you. Why would someone like—"

"Ooh! There they are!"

Gus sighed and accepted that particular thread of conversation wasn't going to be worth pursuing. Not right now anyway. So he returned to his original line of questioning. "What do we need the karaoke machine for?" Said machine was gracelessly shoved into his grasp and he accepted it only to prevent it being dropped and broken.

Shawn dug out another unmarked box, but refused to answer, tucking the box under one arm and shutting the trunk with the other.

"Gus, will you do me a favor?"

"No."

"Great! Go find the stand selling pineapples and let them know we need, oh... fifty-six of their prettiest pineapples?" He thought for a moment, then nodded. "Yeah, that should be enough. NO! Fifty-eight. One to cut up now and one for later," he added with a grin.

Gus didn't move and Shawn nearly walked into him when he turned.

"What?"

"They don't sell pineapples here, Shawn, and why on earth would we need fifty-eight of them anyway? Even you can't eat that many before they rot."

"Are you sure? I'm not. I've honestly never tried, though now I sort of want to."

"Please don't. I will die a happy man if I never know what havoc can be wrought on the human gastrointestinal tract by consuming fifty-eight pineapples in less than a week."

"How bad can it possibly be?" Shawn asked as he led the way toward the farmer's market they visited occasionally.

Well, Gus visited it regularly. Shawn only did so when he had nothing better to do and/or needed a large order of fruit for reasons best not examined too closely. These bulk purchases always ended up with someone (Shawn) in either the ER or hiding in the office until Juliet came by with a way for him to make amends and if one didn't ask then one could... usually escape punishment. Mostly.

"Probably at least as bad as that time you ate nothing but peaches for a week on a bet. Or that time you let a client pay us in fifteen bushels of cherries. Or what about—"

"I don't think those are the same thing, Gus. Those are inferior fruits, not pineapple."

"Fine, but this time you can stay at your dad's house. I am not going to be your personal bathroom attendant again."

Shawn gave him a weird look and Gus had no defense for it, so he changed the subject.

"So what are we doing again?"

"The Psychfic Awards!"

Gus groaned. "Not this nonsense again."

"It's not nonsense, Gus. It's devotion to the love of psychic detectiving in electronic format."

"Uh huh. Because that's totally normal."

Shawn ignored that as he stopped to check the tag on a so-far empty pavilion between a strawberry stand and a man selling oranges. "Awesome! This is us, Gus!" He set down the box and said, "We really can't get pineapples?"

"No, Shawn," Gus said and set down the karaoke machine. "We really can't. These are local farmers and we don't have any local pineapple farms."

Shawn frowned. "Why not?"

"Because pineapples aren't native to California? I don't know. Oh well. Guess we have to just pack up and go home." He started to heft the karaoke machine back up.

"Guuuuus!" Shawn whined. "We can't do that!" He then lowered his voice. "You know how they get when I make promises I can't keep!"

Gus arched an eyebrow. "You know, most people would take that as a sign they should stop making promises and get a restraining order."

Shawn gave Gus his best puppy-dog face.

"You know that doesn't work on me."

Shawn just kept blinking pathetically, lower lip pushing out a little bit more.

"Shawn—"

Shawn sniffed and a single tear rolled down his cheek.

Gus pressed his lips together. "You suck."

Shawn's lips turned upward and he clapped. "All right! Let's do this thing!"

Gus rolled his eyes and dug into the box to find a banner for the stall and zip-ties. "So what are we going to do about the pineapples?"

Shawn frowned and moved the table to where he could stand on it and reach the awning they had been supplied as part of the stall rental. "I don't know. I was really counting on there being pineapples here."

Gus thought about it as he handed Shawn zip ties and fed him more of the banner to secure in place.

"What if... Okay, what about this: They're an online fan club, right?"

"Yeah."

"So what if you gave them an online award?"

Shawn accepted another zip-tie. "Like a coupon for a free pineapple from Amazon?"

"I don't think Amazon sells pineapples either, Shawn."

"Of course they do, Gus. Amazon has everything . You can get dried, canned, or fresh from Hawaii by the case."

"Seriously?"

"Gus, I never joke about fresh pineapple. You know this."

Gus' head bobbed to the side. That was probably one of the most true statements Shawn had ever made in his life.

Shawn's eyes lit up. "Wait, of course! It's perfect, Gu—"

"No."

"But—"

"No, Shawn. I don't even want to think about how much it would cost to ship fifty-eight cases of pineapples all over the world."

"Oh they don't ship worldwide. We'd have to have them sent to us and then ship them on."

"Which would be even more expensive. Not to mention by the time they arrived, they'd probably be past ripe. You don't want to waste good pineapple like that, do you, Shawn?"

Shawn sighed. "No. You're right, Gus."

Another zip-tie went on.

"So, as I was saying: Why don't we send them something online? Like... a picture? Then the pineapples really could be gold or silver or bronze and we don't have to worry about being sued for mass poisoning."

Shawn mulled this over. "Some kind of banner they could post on a website, you mean?"

"Exactly! Free to ship and no chance of rotting."

"Okay. But where are we going to get—"

"Don't even worry about that, Shawn. I have a friend who does graphic design. I'm sure Jessica would be happy to help."

"Awesome!" Shawn said, securing the last tie and jumping down. "Now we just need..." He trailed off, digging in the box of things he'd brought. He pulled out two buttons and handed one to Gus.

"Official PFA Emcee?" Gus read.

"Just put it on and get ready to begin!"

Gus did and looked around. "Why are we doing this at a farmer's market again?"

"Because, Gus, this is the best we can do. If you had wisely invested our funds for this year's ceremony, we might be able to afford something more befitting this ceremony."

Gus glared at him. "Since when have I been in charge of that? No, scratch that, since when have we had funds specifically dedicated to furthering the delusions of your fan club?"

"Since we took up a collection at the station a few years back?"

Gus's eyes went blank as he tried to think— "Hold on. You said you were raising money for baby pandas in China."

"No, I just used a baby panda holding a Chinese flag as a mascot."

"Shawn, it was called the Rescue Baby Pandas in China Fund . We still have two boxes full of buttons and tiny flags at the office!"

"Really?" Shawn said perking up. "Because—"

"Assuming I even want to know, you can tell me later," Gus said, cutting him off with a sharp wave of his hand. "Just do your damn 'ceremony' so we can go and I can look online for a new farmer's market to patronize."

Shawn frowned. "Were the air quotes really necessary?"

"Yes, Shawn, they really were. Now speak." He gestured at the confused crowd milling about uncertainly, many of them pretending to look at nearby stands while they waited to see if they should actually be paying attention to the man standing on the unsteady folding chair also provided by the market.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Shawn blew on the mic and then grinned when he heard it respond with a slight whine.

"Can everyone hear me?" He pointed. "Over by the fish stands... yes?" He raised a "thumbs up" and got a few in return as attention all over the market turned his way.

"All right! Awesome! Welcome, everyone, to the Fifth Annual Psychfic Awards!" He clapped and a few people clapped in response, though most just stared at him or looked at people near themselves for an explanation.

"Fourth, Shawn," Gus corrected.

"What?"

"Fourth Annual."

Shawn covered the mic and scowled at his friend.

"I can do math, Gus. We opened Psych in 2006 and it's 2011. Eleven minus six is five."

Gus shook his head and sighed in fond exasperation as he counted them off on his fingers. "We had the first one in 2008 when you took over the canceled Writers' Commendation Awards."

Shawn shook his head. "I don't remember that episode, but go on."

"The second was at the station with that poem you paid someone to write."

"Gus! I angsted over each word of that—"
"Shawn." He gave his friend an unyielding look.

"Fine." Shawn pouted.

"And then last year where you arranged a huge banquet to solve a case and announce the awards—and then charged the department for the whole thing."

"Well it was only fair. We did catch their thief. And none of the guests would pay for it, rich snobs that they are. Besides, now you can see why I had to raise money for this year!"

"Under the guise of saving baby pandas?"

Shawn shrugged. "It was either that or sell calendars full of half dressed cops, but Lassie threatened to arrest me and Buzz said Francie didn't want to share." He made a face. "And then Officer Vargas was a little too eager to agree..."

Gus paused to let the horror of that statement wash over him as his very active imagination unwillingly produced images of people he regularly worked with in a state of 'sexy dishabille'. He shuddered, then forcibly shoved the images aside with mental images of beautiful women instead.

Unfortunately, this gave Shawn the perfect opening to restart his speech.

"Sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen, little hiccup in our, uh, math there. Welcome to the Fourth Annual Psychfic Awards! I'm Shawn Spencer. You might have seen me on the very memorable Explosion Gigantesca de Romance as Chad. Or on the news as Psychic Detective Shawn Spencer, Head Psychic for the Santa Barbara Police Department!"

Gus looked up at his friend. "You're really reminding people of that horrible telenovela you were on? Really?"

"All publicity is good publicity, Gus. Isn't that what they say?"

"They don't have crazy fans, Shawn. You don't need any more publicity."

"Gus, don't be a wet mogwai fed after midnight."

Gus threw up his hands. "Fine. Do whatever you want. But you're the one creating the monsters, not me!"

"Is this like a stand-up comedy booth?" someone in the crowd asked. "Can I—"

"No," Gus and Shawn said together.

Gus then glared at Shawn. "Just get this over with so I can go back to the office and find another farmer's market to go to in the future."

"Fine. I will." Shawn turned back to the crowd with a blinding smile. "We come together once a year to honor the finest minds and most exemplary typing skills to grace our fair archive and this year, we've really got some doozies, folks!"

Shawn dug out a folded sheet of paper and smoothed it against his thigh, then continued.

"First up is the American Duo Award ! See, Gus, I'm totally starting with how awesome we are as a team."

"Great. Keep going."

"The golden pineapple for first place goes to... windscryer! For her epic tale of heat exhaustion and best friendery:Highway to H-E-Double-Hockeysticks . The second place silver pineapple goes to Kirei for Black and White and Red All Over, and third place's bronze pineapple goes to ZedPM for Of Best Friends and Car Crashes! Yeah! Wooo!"

Shawn waited for the clapping to die down, surprised but pleased at the response.

"Our next award is the Back to the Future Award which, sadly, has nothing to do with honoring the best movie from a pivotal franchise from the most awesome decade ever."

"Shawn."

"Keep your khakis on, Gus. I'm just paying respect where it's due, okay? Anyway, this award is for the most vivid portrayal of those—quote-unquote—fond memories from my childhood where my father attempted to mold me into his very own Mini-Me, complete with horrifically-patterned shirts. Thankfully, he was a failure! Don't hear a lot of people say that, now do you? At any rate, the award for most PTSD-like flashback to Shawn's youth goes to... Psychrulz for A Bitter Pill! Second place goes to Peter Panic for Great Escape, and third place goes to jumpfall for The Inverse of This Relation! "

There was more clapping this time and Shawn grinned smugly at Gus.

"I don't believe they're getting into this," Gus said.

"People like to cheer for winners, Gus. Next is the Best Angst Award . Twilight fans and emo teens have nothing on the heart-wrenching tales spun at the fingertips of Psych fans, affectionately known as 'Psych-os'."

"Affectionately or fittingly?" Gus mumbled.

"Both, probably," Shawn agreed, getting a laugh or two from the obliging crowd. "But that's neither here nor there nor anywhere. It's also, coincidentally, not in a box and not with a fox."

"Wait, do you hear that?" Gus asked. Everyone froze and cocked their heads or looked around.

"Is it the sound of forgiveness?" Shawn asked after a moment when all he could detect was the hum of nearby traffic and the breeze.

"That reminds me: I'm blocking YouTube from the office computers, Shawn. That was just disturbing. I will never be able to look at llamas the same way again."

"You were already afraid of them. How much worse can it get?" Shawn asked, but Gus ignored him.

"And no, it's not the sound of forgiveness or the sound of people drowning. It's the sound of Theodor Geisel rolling in his grave."

Shawn very seriously said, "I have no idea who that is, but Dr. Seuss would probably love the publicity, as do all rational people, Gus ."

"Whatever, Shawn. Just do the award."

"Fine. I will. As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by my partner Burton 'Lllama-hating' Guster, the Best Angst award's golden pineapple goes to Syncop8ed Rhythm for Exposed! The silver pineapple goes to NoirCat for Never Meant For This, and the bronze pineapple goes to dragonnan for Fury Unraveled!"

He paused and looked at Gus. "Wait, wasn't she the one that wrote the story where I was—"

Gus averted his gaze and nodded tightly. "Yes."

Shawn cleared his throat and looked away himself. "Right. Okay then! Onto the.. uh... Best Bad Guy Award! Honoring the creators of the meanest and creepiest of the Santa Barbara criminal underworld, overworld, and sort-of-in-the-middlish-world, this year's golden pineapple goes to Collegekid06 for Emerson Goldberg in The Second Shawn! The silver pineapple goes to dragonnan for Jud Smart in Fury Unraveled —again? Definitely a fitting recipient anyway," he muttered, "and the bronze pineapple goes to silverluna for Saul in Hard To Believe It Will Be Okay!"

Shawn gave a full body shudder like a dog shaking off water. "Have to give credit where it's due, those ladies do know how to write a good bad guy."

"Yeah they do," Gus agreed with a scowl and a little shiver of his own.

"Aaaand moving on to happier subjects now! Next category is Best Banter! Whether it's me and Lassie or me and Gus or me and the office frog, this category honors the best verbal volleyball to ever hit this corner of the Internet! And the golden pineapple goes to... Kirei for As Easy As Die! The silver pineapple goes to Jenn1984 for Breaking and E(at)ntering, and the bronze pineapple goes to Okapi for Shawn's Adventure Down The Rabbit Hole!"

"You have conversations with the office frog?" was all Gus asked as the crowd cheered and clapped.

"Sometimes, Gus, knowing when to stay silent is better than knowing what to say."

"You got that from a fortune cookie."

"Possibly. That doesn't make it any less true. Also, if you immediately know the candlelight is fire, the meal was cooked a long time ago."

Gus' face screwed up. "What does that even mean?"

Shawn shrugged. "I have no idea, but if you say it three times in the bathroom with the lights turned off, a glowing space squid will appear in the mirror and give you super powers."

Gus just stared at him for a moment until Shawn blinked and asked, "What?"

"You need to stop having random TV show marathons on Netflix."

"But that makes it more fun, Gus!"

"Uh huh. What's the next award?"

"That would be... Best Episode Tag/Missing Scene ." Shawn looked skyward with a fond sigh. "Ah, yes. For those who just can't get enough and have to wring every last little bit of awesome out of our lives." He looked at Gus. "I can't blame them. I really can't."

Gus raised a hand. "I can. How would they like it if we invaded their—" A hand slapped over his mouth cut him off.

"Dude," Shawn hissed, "don't you dare finish that suggestion. They'd love it and you know it."

Gus' eyes widened and he swallowed audibly.

"Aaaaanyway," Shawn said with a laugh, "Back to the awards... The golden pineapple this year goes to Texasartchick for The Ties That Bind! The silver pineapple goes to dragonnan for The Execution of Mercy , and the bronze pineapple goes to Rose_Tree forA Very Shawn and Henry Tag!"

"Why do you put up with this, Shawn?" Gus asked, fidgeting a little bit in place.

"That's one of life's great mysteries, Gus. And speaking of great mysteries, our next category, the Best Mystery Award, honors the best of the best of the whodunit genre! This year the golden pineapple goes to Kirei for As Easy As Die —another consistent winner, I'm noticing. The silver pineapple goes to Psychrulz for A Bitter Pill , and the bronze pineapple goes to mia for Sweet and Low, Little Girl! Yeah! Woooooo!"

Gus rolled his eyes when the cheering just kept going, mostly at the encouragement of Shawn.

"Is that it?"

"What?"

"Is that the end?"

"Of course not, Gus."

"Then let's keep going with the... uh..." He squinted at Shawn's horrible chicken scratch. "Best Shark?"

"Best Short, Gus." Then his gaze turned distant and thoughtful. "Although that would be awesome if they wrote enough stories about sharks to justify their own category." His head tilted the other way and his eyes narrowed. "But what would you write about them? They spend all their time in the water. Just swimming and eating surfers and swimming some more."

"You can brainstorm ideas for shark stories later, do the award," Gus said, waving a hand impatiently in a "keep it moving" gesture.

"I don't know that brainstorming would help, Gus. If the ridiculous number of Jaws movies have taught us anything it's that sharks are not the most versatile villains."

"Shawn ."

Shawn stopped and then sighed. "Fine. Later. We'll watch all the Jaws movies in order and you'll see that they pretty much exhausted that plot line."

"Great," Gus said, hand waving faster. "Go. Award."

Shawn shot him an odd look, but said, "The category of Best Short —not shark—is for the best example of abbreviated storytelling. No long monologues here, no intricate descriptions of setting, just the facts, ma'am, and nothing more."

Gus rolled his eyes and yanked the paper from Shawn's hand. "The golden pineapple goes to Kirei for Zero to Hero in Five Minutes Flat. The silver pineapple goes to dragonnan for The Execution of Mercy , and the bronze pineapple goes to muppetmusic22 for This Only Happens on TV ." Gus clapped and the crowd followed, but he only gave them a few seconds before he was speaking again.. "Okay. Yay! Great stories. Now, speaking of short..." Gus said, the fidgeting becoming beyond noticeable now, "how about wrapping this up, Shawn?"

Shawn paused and looked down at his friend. "Really? I thought I was the one with ADD. I'm only, like, half done, Gus."

"Well hurry up."

Shawn let his hand with his notes drop. "Is something wrong, Gus?"

"I just don't want to be here all day."

Shawn arched an eyebrow, then watched Gus shift from foot to foot once more before it hit him what the problem was.

He looked to the crowd. "Can someone tell me where the porta-potties are? Anyone?"

Everyone looked around and half the crowd pointed over toward an area by the parking lot.

"Thanks!" Shawn said with a wave.

Gus glared. "Shawn!"

"Just go, Gus. Before you embarrass yourself further."

"You better hope I come back or you're walking home."

"Gus, I know you won't abandon me."

Gus snorted and headed off through the throng in the indicated direction at a quick pace.

"Or at least I know you won't abandon the karaoke machine!"

Gus' head shook in resignation and Shawn grinned at the crowd.

"Where were we?" He consulted his notes. "Oh right! Our next award is for the Best Standalone !" Cheers sounded as Shawn pointedly looked around at his empty pavilion—save himself.

"Ironic," he said with a nod. "Okay. This category honors the best tiny dose of awesome inside a larger medicine cabinet of win. And, yes, I waited to make that joke until the pharmaceutical salesman was gone." He leaned forward and stage whispered, "He gets kind of cranky sometimes when you don't take him seriously."

The crowd obliged Shawn with a laugh and he grinned and held up his notes. "The golden pineapple goes to dragonnan for Art! The silver pineapple goes to MusicalLuna for Dream , and the bronze pineapple goes to Stray for One or the Other - the Bookcase or the Bullet!"

Shawn waited out the cheers, then said, "Our next category is the... Oh," he said, suddenly feeling a little shifty himself."Um... heh." He swallowed. "So in case you were wondering what a psychic like me is doing hanging out with a pharmaceutical sales representative, here's a hint: Our next category is called the "Boo-Boo Award" and it just might be the most popular one on the site. Not with me, of course, but then no one ever asks my opinion, do they?"

"They might if every once in a while you actually waited long enough for them to be able to ask," Gus said as he rejoined Shawn under the tent.

"But why would I wait, Gus? I'm psychic. I already know they want it!"

Gus rolled his eyes. "Who won the award, Shawn?"

"Huh?" Shawn said blankly.

Gus gestured at the notes and Shawn's eyes followed. "Oh! Right! The golden pineapple goes to NoirCat for Happy Halloween! The silver pineapple goes to Lost_in_Translation for Hang Twelve , and the bronze pineapple goes to dragonnan for Fury Unraveled! … Again! Man, they really did like that story didn't they?"

"I don't know why this surprises you," Gus said seriously. "I really don't."

"I didn't say it surprised me, Gus. Alarmed would be the more appropriate word here I think. But on to happier— Ugh. Really?"

"What?" Gus said, looking over Shawn's shoulder. Then he smirked. "Oh. This one." He was downright amused as Shawn eyed the next few lines with distaste.

"First they beat me up, then they pour salt in the wound by forcing me to hug things out with my dad. Man, sometimes the price of fame just isn't worth it, I'm telling you, Gus—"

"Wa-wa-what did you say? Huh? You're breaking up on me. Sorry; I cannot hear you. I'm kinda busy. K-kinda busy. K-kinda busy. Sorry; I cannot hear you. I'm kinda busy."

Shawn's shoulders slumped as his head fell back and his eyes searched the heavens for patience. "And now he's calling me. Perfect." Shawn pulled out his phone, ignored the call, and stuffed it back in his pocket.

"Let's rip this band-aid off, shall we?" he said with a somewhat forced smile. "In the category of the How Many Hats? Award which takes creepy to a new level and focuses on the stellar relationship I share with my da—"

His phone trilled and he pursed his lips and looked at Gus. "He's not going to give up, is he?"

"Your dad? Seriously? When has he ever?"

"An excellent—if discouraging—point." Shawn pulled out his phone again, opened the text and sighed. "'When you're done with that ridiculous awards thing, my lawn needs to be mowed.'" Shawn snorted. "I'll get right on that, sure." The he frowned. "Wait, my dad knows how to text?"

The phone beeped again.

"'Yes, Shawn, I have known how to text longer than you have.'"Shawn snorted. "Well that's a lie—"

A beep.

"'No, it's not.'" Shawn looked at Gus and held up the phone. "Now this is just getting creepy. Okay! Let's just do this award, shall we? Before I need any further therapy..." he muttered as he looked for the spot on his sheet of paper. "Ah!The golden pineapple goes to Kirei for April Showers Make Me Cower! The silver pineapple goes to Kirei for Father Figures , and the bronze pineapple goes to NoirCat for Happy Halloween! Yeah! Wooo! And now on to— Oh hey this is more like it, Gus."

"Most Psych-Like?"

"Indeed! The stories that are like a good bag of Chex Mix: Not too many pretzels, Chex pieces, or peanuts, no, it's all the delicious elements working in tandem to create a perfect blend of awesome. The golden pineapple goes to ZedPM and DinerGuy for Feed a Cold, Starve A Fever... But What About A Psychic? The silver pineapple goes to Kirei for As Easy As Die , and the bronze pineapple goes to jumpfall for Disaster Button!"

Gus snorted, but he was clapping.

Shawn waited, then said, "This next category is the Gus to the last category's Shawn: A little more wordy and just slightly less awesome."

"Hey!"

"It only hurts because it's true, Gus," Shawn said. "But that's okay because without the Most Psych-Like Title Award we wouldn't get to see how incredibly creative these gals and guys can be!"

Gus gave him a dubious look. "Shawn, the entire awards shows how creative these people are."

"Well, okay yeah, but a good title is everything, Gus. It can make or break the entire story! War and Peace would have just been another story about the French and Indian War without an epic title!"

"War and Peace was about Russia, Shawn."

Shawn blinked. "Really? What book am I thinking of?"

"I have no idea, but knowing your library checkout history, there's a very good chance it doesn't exist."

Shawn shrugged. "Life's too short to spend it reading."

"I think the people you're giving these awards to would disagree, but let's just keep moving anyway."

"Okay. What were we—"

"Most Psych-Like Title ," Gus said with a sigh.

"Oh yeah! Okay, uhhh... Here it is! The golden pineapple goes to ZedPM for the impeccably named Three Creams, Four Sugars and One Man With A Gun! The silver pineapple goes to maniacgirl007 for O Brother, Where Are We , and the bronze pineapple goes to Kirei for How Shawn Got His Groove Back (...and Lassie Lost his Car)!"

"Those really are good titles," Gus said with a bob of his head to the side.

"Of course they are, Gus! We don't give out gold pineapples to just anyone at these awards."

"Shawn, we don't give out gold pineapples period , remember? We're just doing pictures of Photoshopped pineapples."

"We gave them out last year," Shawn countered.

Gus shook his head. "What's the next category?" he said in a poor attempt at deflecting.

Shawn grinned in acknowledgement of his win, but let it drop still.

"I'm glad you asked, Gus. It's the Most Wanted WIP Award! "

"'WIP'?"

"Work in progress. You know like how we heard rumor after rumor after rumor and saw all kinds of leaked scripts for the new Indiana Jones movie for, like, years ? This is like that. But hopefully these stories will have a better ending."
"There was nothing wrong with the fourth Indiana Jones movie, Shawn."

Shawn shot Gus a look of disgust. "Were you even in the same theater as I was?"

"Yes, Shawn, and it wasn't that bad."

Shawn shrugged. "It wasn't that good either. Anyway!" he said before Gus could continue the debate. "The Most Wanted WIPs this year are...In first place with the golden pineapple, Dreams On Fire by mia! The silver pineapple goes to JR88Fan for Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill , and the bronze pineapple goes to dragonnan for Paint It Black! Let's do better than Indy, okay, people? And I mean that in terms of both time and quality."

"Okay! Next we have—"

"Make way! Officer of the law coming through. Hey!" Lassiter paused to point a finger at a young man. "Watch it, Lightfingers, or I'll have you in a holding cell so fast your head's gonna spin like you're in a remake of The Exorcist , got it?"

The kid nodded, eyes wide with terror, and Lassie continued on, Juliet in his wake.

"Oh look! Here they are! Why, Detectives, I was just about to announce the award given to the retelling of your fantastic adventures!"

"Cut the crap, Spencer. We've had a report of disturbing the peace and guess what description they gave of the perpetrator."

"Is it a white male, about 5'11" with really fabulous hair and a great fashion sense? Because I haven't been near the peas at all today. I've been right here on this rickety chair all morning between the strawberries and the oranges and I have an entire crowd full of people who can confirm my alibi," he said gesturing at his rapt audience.

Lassiter grit his teeth. "Spencer—"

"Detective Lassiter, everybody!" Shawn said to the crowd. "Le gustan queso!"

An especially loud cheer came up from a stand near the end of the row where several people were holding up large orange blocks of cheddar.

Lassiter waved and smiled awkwardly, then turned back to Shawn. "What are you doing here and how can I make you stop it?"

"Announcing the Fifth—"

"Fourth," Gus interjected.

"Fourth Annual Psychfic Awards, and you can't. I paid for this booth with legally obtained funds—"

Gus snorted.

"And therefore I am well within my rights to continue what I am doing."

"It's a farmer's market. Aren't you supposed to be selling some kind of home-grown organic crap?"

Dead silence followed those words.

"Carlton," Juliet said, stepping up to save her partner from his own form of hoof-and-mouth disease. She tugged his arm and pulled him away for a heated whispering debate.

"He's just cranky, folks," Shawn assured them. "Probably a little iron deficient. Kids, eat your vegetables or you'll be just like him." Several wide-eyed children turned to their parents and began tugging them in the direction of different stalls.

Lassiter's voice rose again. "But what kind of farmer's market allows this sort of—"

"Carlton!"

Juliet glared and Lassiter sighed. "Fine." He stalked back and held out a hand. "Show me your permit."

"Gus?" Shawn said.

Gus did a scowling double-take. "Why would I know—"

"Because I put it on your desk for you to file, just like I do everything else."

Gus' mouth opened and closed. "Oh. Then it's probably in the filing cabinet."

"Great!" Juliet said, grinning. "Then we can just—"

"I've got a copy right here," a short, balding man said, maneuvering through the crowd with a huge binder in his hands.

"Even better! Carlton, let's let Shawn keep going while we look at the permit with Mister..."

"Haversham," the man said. "Dante Haversham."

"Great. Mr. Haversham. Carlton?"

Lassiter sighed, looking between Shawn and Juliet, then threw up his hands and retreated to the table at the back of the pavilion. "Fine. Whatever."

"Excellent! And while you're doing that... For the SBPD Award , the category that, as I said, honors the retelling of the amazing adventures of Santa Barbara's own thin blue line, the golden pineapple goes to ZedPM for Three Creams, Four Sugars and One Man with a Gun! The silver pineapple goes to Ann Margaret for Break Point , and the bronze pineapple goes to Texasartchick for The Ties That Bind!"

Lassiter came back mumbling and looking very scowly indeed, but he just said. "Do this as fast as you can or I'll arrest you for... loitering."

"Lassie—"

"Carlton—"

"Oh just keep going! Please. "

"That's our Detective Lassiter, ladies and gentlemen. Always ready to rain on any parade that he's not the Grand Marshal of. And speaking of Detective Lassiter, our next category is for the stories that feature him and me and either that vein in his forehead or his twitchy trigger finger. Sometimes all four of us!"

"Spencer," came one low growl in tandem with two sharp barks of, "Shawn! "

"Before he kills me, in the category of the You Astound Me Award the golden pineapple goes to dragonnan for Lassie (And Shawn's) Great Adventure! Ooh right! We had a great time, didn't we, Detective?"

"I don't remember," Lassiter said flatly. "I must have repressed those memories."

"We could recreate it if you'd—"

"NO!" Lassiter closed his eyes and took a deep breath through his nose as he rolled his neck and shoulders. "Just finish up already. I have real criminals to catch and you're obstructing justice—sadly not in a way that I can charge you for... yet."

"Okay then! The silver pineapple goes to Kirei for How Shawn Got His Groove Back (...and Lassie Lost His Car)— " Lassiter growled audibly again. "—and the bronze pineapple goes to DinerGuy for Lassie Don't Fetch! "

"What? How did—" Lassiter's hand went to his gun as he scanned the crowd. "Stalking an officer of the law is—"

"Relax , Lassie! Fans are not a bad thing. It means people like you, contrary to all logic and reason."

"Spencer—"

"Besides, a little thing like a restraining order will only make them happier," Shawn said quickly. "Trust me, I know. Next up is the category of Best Romance . I'd like all of you to meet my best romance, the beautiful, dazzling, and dangerously sexy—or is it sexily dangerous?—Detective Juliet O'Hara!"

She nodded and smiled to the crowd as Shawn wrapped an arm around her shoulders and tugged her close.

"Would you like to do the honors, Jules?"

"Sure, Shawn."

He handed her the paper and then pointed out the spot.

"Ah. Okay." He moved the microphone to the proper distance and she read. "For the category of Best Romance the golden pineapple goes to patster for Secrets ." She paused and smiled for the cheering. "The silver pineapple goes to Kirei for It Ain't Over Till the 80s Band Sings , and the bronze pineapple goes to CollegeKid06 for Five Times Juliet Said No (And One Time She Said Yes)."

"Juliet O'Hara, ladies and gentlemen!" Shawn said, extending an arm as Juliet bowed slightly.

She stepped back to Lassiter's side as he stared at her.

"How can you condone this?"

She rolled her eyes. "Oh come on, Carlton. Loosen up. He's got a permit and everyone's obviously having fun. Try and get into it. You might be surprised at how fun it can be to just join in."

He continued staring.

"What?"

"I'm surrounded by pod people," he finally said with a shake of his head. "You've all been brainwashed."

She snorted. "Hardly." Then she left him to his rueful head shaking and returned her attention to Shawn.

"Sadly, my friends, our time is almost up. I know, I know," he said as a few disappointed "aw's" circulated through the crowd. "But all good things must come to an end. Also, the market closes in—" He checked his watch and looked to Gus. "Half an hour?"

"Give or take ten minutes," Gus agreed.

"So we close out with our last three award categories who represent the people of Psychfic, highlighting those who are overall awesome in some way: Our top three grandstalkers—"

"That's still not a word," Gus said.

"And I still don't care, Gus," Shawn replied without missing a beat. "The best New Kid on the Block—after Joey, of course—and my number one fan of the year!"

"Grandstalkers?" Juliet asked during the pause for clapping and whistles.

"Best Reviewers ," Gus clarified.

"Ah. Right."

Shawn ignored them. "The most dedicated and verboten—"

"I think you mean 'verbose'," Gus corrected. "'Verboten' is German for 'forbidden'."

Shawn pointed. "What he said—reviewer is this year's winner of the golden pineapple... silverluna!" Cheers and applause filled the air for a moment, then Shawn added, "The silver pineapple goes to dragonnan, and the bronze pineapple goes to Sakoratay! Great job, ladies! All of you! Wooo!"

"Is he done yet?" Lassiter asked as he pulled himself from where he'd buried his face in his hand.

"Nope," Shawn said. "If you had been paying attention, Lassie, you'd know I have two more awards to give out. First an emerald pineapple for the lovely Syncop8ed Rhythm, our Best New Writer ." He paused for clapping, then leaned forward and lowered his voice.

"And now, the award you have all been waiting for. The most talented, most spectacular, most dedicated to sharing the joy and wonder of every little tiny detail of my life no matter how private... Our Best Overall Writer this year, ladies and gentlemen is... Drumroll, Gus!"

Gus tapped a furious staccato against the pole of the awning making it shiver. Lassiter gave him an odd look, then sent the balance of the disbelief Shawn's way.

"Dragonnan!"

The crowd exploded in cheers, whistles and applause.

"All right! Yeah!" Shawn let them go on for a moment. "Thank you. All of you. You've been a wonderful audience and, I have to say, the most supportive group of random strangers we have ever done this for. You're all great people. Take care and see you next year!" He punched a fist in the air and then stepped down. He looked between the two detectives and his best friend.

"Are you done?" Lassiter asked. "Finally?"

"Nope. Not even a little bit. What kind of awards show would this be without an after-party?"

"It's noon , Spencer."

"It's five o'clock somewhere, Lassie."

"Yeah, well, then get on a plane and go find that somewhere. Just so long as it's out of my jurisdiction, I don't care—"

"Carlton ."

He stopped and looked at Juliet. She just gave him a quelling look and then turned to Shawn.

"I would love to join you in the after party."

"Excellent!"

"O'Hara!"

"But ." She waited until both of them had fallen silent. "It is only lunch. So how about we go to Red Robin and have some gourmet burgers and then we can have a more... fitting after-party after work? Deal?"

"What if we go to Red Robin, get those gourmet burgers, and Gus and I have a couple of Screaming Red Zombies while you and Lassie have Freckled Lemonades?"

She smiled. "As long as you promise to take the rest of the day off and don't try to solve any crimes with a BAC that keeps you from legally driving."

"Or Gus and Lassie can have the Freckled Lemonades and we can have the Screaming Red Zombies," he said with a waggle of his eyebrows. "Then we both have a designated driver."

She laughed. "Nice try, Shawn, but I'm still on duty."

He sighed. "Well, it was worth a try."

"No, it wasn't," she said, but she was still smiling.

He shrugged. "Meet at Red Robin then?"

"See you there," she agreed, taking her spluttering partner's arm and dragging him back to the car.

Gus and Shawn turned to the task of packing up and did so quietly between the few people that came to ask Shawn questions which he answered while Gus continued packing and rolled his eyes.

As they were walking back to the car, Gus asked, figuring forewarned was forearmed, "So... do you have any idea what you're going to do next year?"

"Oh, Gus. Do I ever ."

"Does it involve us being arrested?" Gus asked, suspicion heightened by the tone of Shawn's voice.

"That depends, Gus. How much practice do you plan on getting on Mario Kart in the next year?"

Gus stopped, started at his best friend's back, then started walking again, shaking his head. "You know, I think next year I'm finally going to make that trip to visit my Aunt Marie in Bermuda."

"Ooh! Change of plans! We can do a voodoo theme!"

"No, Shawn, we cannot."

"But—"

"No."

"Sometimes, Gus, you're no fun."

"I know, Shawn. And sometimes I'm actually okay with that." Shawn opened his mouth. "This would be one of those times, yes."

Shawn just pouted.

--Until next year, everyone!!!--

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