By: Oldach's Dream
Disclaimer: Nope. Keep on looking. Rightful owner does not reside here.
Summary: A half-drabble, half-hurt/comfort, kind of internal monologue thing in Lassiter's point of view. With dialogue. And a plot. Oh, and it's a Shassie. And a One-shot.
A/N: I got computer back!!!!!!!!!!!! Ya-ha! Ya-ha! And instead of another update for Telling Tales, you get this!! By the way, if you're not reading Telling Tales, go read it, you'll enjoy it. And you'll nejoy this. And some German man gave me alcohol, so if this sounds funny - ignore it, the story itself was written LAST night. Not now. Right now...everything is kinda funny:) Anyway, read and review!!
In For A Penny, In For A Pound…And Then Some…Plus More
One day, about eight months – okay, eight months, two weeks and three days, but who was counting, really? – after Shawn Spencer and Carlton Lassiter 'hooked up' and started 'hanging out' in the purely teenage, early-twenties, bar-hopping, college student definition of 'hooking up and hanging out' the chief went to call the fake-psychic for a consult and received no answer.
"That's strange," she mumbled, hanging up the phone and looking up at Lassiter and his junior partner. "I don't think he's ever not answered before."
Lassiter felt an irrational and humiliating – if anyone else ever happened to become aware of it – lurch in the pit of his stomach. It was O'Hara who unintentionally comforted him by saying to the chief, "He probably just left his phone somewhere. Try calling Gus."
Karen Vick nodded her agreement and picked up the phone yet again. Several long seconds later and she hung it up, yet again. "That's strange." She repeated.
"Not really," O'Hara was right there again to offer that comforting logic. "It's the middle of the afternoon. He's probably at work."
"And Spencer is probably sleeping off a hangover or something," Lassiter heard himself saying. Which was a little odd because he knew that his…he knew that Shawn – that Spencer – he corrected his own thoughts and if it was physically possible to glare at yourself without aid of a mirror or similarly reflective surface, that's exactly what he'd been doing right now – he knew that Spencer didn't drink in excess too often. Or at all, actually, if memory served. And it did.
But the chief and O'Hara seemed able enough to shrug off their concern or worry or doubt or whatever it was that they were feeling enough to move on and decide that going over the case files again was the only thing that they could do at the moment.
"And I'll have McNab and Grant stake out the apartments." The chief added just as they were headed out the door. "I know it probably won't get us anywhere, but I want all our bases covered."
And covering bases was an important philosophy in the head detective's book, so he nodded his agreement and went back to his desk to look over the case files – again. He found nothing new or interesting – no details to piece together in a revealing fashion, no leads other than the ones he'd already come up with, no Shawn to take one look at the damn file and solve the case.
Not that Head Detective Carlton Lassiter particularly wanted Shawn Spencer in his place of work right now. The pseudo-psychic was a nuisance, really. Always flailing all over the place, touching everything – and everyone – being loud, disruptive, attractive. Raising his arms above his head so Lassiter could get a peak at the flat, muscle hardened stomach, those hip bones he loved to run his hands over… no, Shawn was nothing but an annoyance.
The only time – and Lassiter believed this with every fiber of his being – that Shawn Spencer wasn't completely unbearable, was when they were having sex. That's it. Period. End of sentence. Thought process over. Sex good. Sex healthy. Sex…very, very good, actually. But that was okay. That was all he wanted. That was all they'd agreed to. Not that they'd really agreed to anything. It had just started and now carried on. And that's the way he wanted it. That's how it had been with his last partner – just sex.
That was the only time he could stand the younger man, anyways.
Okay, maybe he wasn't so, so bad when they were flirting. But only when Lassiter was flirting back because, in reality, Shawn had been flirting with him basically since the first day he'd appeared in his life. So, no…the flirting was only okay when Lassiter was a willing participant. Because Spencer's sharp wit and quick mind made him a genuinely interesting person to talk to – flirt with, he berated himself again – sometimes. That was it. The sex and the flirting. They pretty much went together anyway, right? So it was all good. It was all sexual. Sexual wasn't complicated.
He could only deal with Spencer when they were flirting or having sex –that was fine.
Of course…there was the whole sleeping thing, too. So Lassiter didn't mind Shawn – Spencer – so much when he was sleeping, so what? He wasn't annoying when he was sleeping. He didn't make funny faces or obnoxious sounds when he was sleeping. He wasn't always right when he was sleeping. He wasn't infuriatingly competitive or childish or loud. He was just…quiet. An oddly quiet sleeper, actually, Lassiter had been a bit surprised to realize. He didn't snore unless he had a cold or his allergies were acting up. He didn't toss or turn or sprawl himself out, either. Sometimes he would cling. To a pillow, the blanket, or Lassiter himself – but for some reason, that just wasn't so annoying, either. But only because it was warm and soft and comfortable. Not because of Shawn himself.
He could deal with Shawn – Spencer, damn it, Spencer – but only when they were flirting – not talking, flirting – having sex or sleeping next to each other. That was okay. That was fine. That was casual.
Eating, however, was an entirely different story. It couldn't be helped that Lassiter didn't mind the younger man so much when they were eating. Shawn spent a remarkable amount of time actually eating. There were no sudden movements or deep, ominous voices. The occasional quip about the couple a few tables over or a funny anecdote about him and Gus and their eighth grade field trip to a Hershey factory…that wasn't so bad. In Lassiter's defense, the story had been quite entertaining – and he hadn't been able to look at Gus the same way for weeks.
For the most part, though, Shawn was an okay person to dine with. He was incredibly appreciative when you cooked for him, too – but only because he couldn't cook for crap. Literally. His kitchen consisted of the things one would normally find in a college dorm, just in less abundant amounts.
So okay, fine. He could put up with Shawn when they were having sex – really great sex – when they were flirting, when they were sleeping next to each other or when they were eating together.
Statistically speaking, they ate together most often when they woke up together – which was obviously proceeded by sleeping next each other. So…add waking up next to one another to the list of times when Shawn Spencer wasn't that unbearable.
Lassiter validated it with the fact that Shawn was not a morning person by far. At all. In fact, the older man had never seen less of a morning person in his life – and he'd actually gone to college and lived in a dorm for several years. He'd never seen anyone worse. The younger man's morning vocabulary consisted of a few, varying forms of grunts and words such as "Bathroom." And "Coffee." And "Sponge Bob." That last one the head detective still hadn't quite figured out. But he would.
Because he didn't mind Shawn so much in the morning. Or at night. Or in the evening – when they did the majority of their social eating and public flirting.
And sometimes – sometimes, mind you – it was okay to see him in the afternoon. If only because he made everything just a little more interesting. Okay, yeah, he was loud and obnoxious and he flailed around and he was always right and he couldn't keep his arms at his sides and he had incredibly sexy hip bones and a deep, rough voice while they were having sex that Lassiter never heard any other time, but…crap. What had he been thinking about?
"Lassiter!" The high-pitched half-shout pulled him out of the daze he hadn't realized he'd been in.
Still, he was a police officer and managed to come back to his surroundings quite quickly. "Yes, O'Hara?" He asked patiently, if not a little uncomfortably.
"Are you alright?" The young woman was standing before his desk, wringing her hands in a slightly nervous manner. "You've been staring at the same page in that file for the past twenty minutes."
"I'm fine." He snapped at once. Because he was Head Detective Carlton Lassiter and he was always fine. He didn't need a bothersome, fake-psychic prancing around the police headquarters making funny faces and goofy sounds to make him feel not-so-damn-tense. He was fine. "I'm fine."
"Okay," O'Hara nodded in agreement – though any idiot could see that she didn't agree one bit. "I was just thinking that it's almost lunch time and if you wanted to take a break for an hour or so I could call the landlord from the apartment where the last robbery was and see if he remembered anything more."
"I doubt he has," Lassiter recalled the man in question. "He was probably too stoned at the time to get anything useful."
O'Hara shrugged noncommittally, "Maybe. But it's worth a shot."
The older man sighed heavily but nodded all the same. "Fine." He agreed and stood up, pulling jacket off the back of his swivel chair and putting it on. "Call him. I'll go to lunch."
And lunch was exactly where he was going. Really. He just happened to have a craving for some genuine chicken teriyaki. And there just happened to be a really good Asian restaurant over by Shawn's apartment building. So he got in his car and drove in that direction.
It wasn't his fault there was construction on the main road and the detour got him all twisted around on back streets. It's not like he was in this area all that often. Really. He wasn't. Thus, it was completely unexpected and unintended when he found himself on the same street as Shawn's apartment building.
Because, really, he wasn't concerned about the younger man. Just because there had been a rash of break-ins around this neighborhood, in buildings the same approximate size and build as the one Shawn lived in. It was stupid – a lot of apartments in Santa Barbara looked like Shawn's. That's why the police weren't staking out all of them – that kind of manpower didn't exist.
Besides, nobody had been murdered. One man had fallen off his balcony in a struggle with the robber and broken his leg. And arm. And hit his head pretty bad. And maybe he was still unconscious and maybe that was why the chief wanted Shawn and his sidekick involved in the first place – because this was now officially an attempted murder investigation. But that was okay, really. That was fine.
Because there was no reason to think that Shawn was the victim of any sort of crime. Lassiter wasn't a big believer in ironic humor, and Shawn Spencer being the victim of anything would be nothing but ironic. Maybe humor. Dark humor. But he didn't believe in that, so it was fine. Everything was fine.
Shawn was fine.
That was why Lassiter was now parked in front of the younger man's apartment building looking through his passenger side window like some kind of crazed stalker. This wasn't doing a damn thing – he couldn't see Shawn's apartment from this side of the building, anyway. And the side you could see it from was resident parking only area and there was – quite obviously - never a damn place to park. Not that Lassiter was here often enough to really know that. It was just a guess. An educated guess. A hypothesis. A statistical thing.
Well…now that he was here – a completely unintentional, coincidence, bad-luck/timing occurrence – he might as well go up and at least knock on the door, right? Shawn needed to hear about the case, anyway – the sooner they got more people on this the better – and it was mid-afternoon which was basically almost late afternoon which might as well be almost evening - which was one of the only times the detective didn't mind seeing the younger man.
So, really, it made more sense to go up and knock than it did not too. It was more logical. And Carlton Lassiter was nothing if not a man of logic. Plus, if Shawn actually – on some off, bizarre chance – had been a victim of a robbery, it was probably better to get to him before he lost too much blood. If he was bleeding. He might just be unconscious. Or unconscious and bleeding.
He was slamming his car door behind him and walking quickly up the front path of the apartment building before he got stuck with the image of a battered, bleeding Shawn Spencer in his mind for too long. Because really, everything was fine.
The apartment building wasn't one of those where you needed a key to get through the front door, and soon Lassiter was eating up the hallway in long strides to get to Shawn's front door. Of course, he only remembered where it was at all because he was an incredibly observant man. A police officer, a detective. And a damn good one. It wasn't because he'd been here so many times that it had become a habit. Really.
When he knocked on Shawn's front door it was a rhythmic, calm tap with his fist. It was in no way hurried or frantic. Because he had no reason to be frantic. Nothing currently taking place – in his mind or reality – was causing him worry. Worry, at this junction, wasn't logical. So a flaky police consultant didn't answer his cell phone? So that same flaky police consultant just happened to live in an apartment building that looked almost identical to the ones that had been being robbed up and down the city for at least two week now? So that same flaky guy hardly ever didn't answer his cell phone? So what? Shawn Spencer was a flake. He probably dropped it under the seat of Gus' car or forgot to charge it or left it on a Ferris wheel…
Lassiter knocked again when several seconds elapsed and his first one didn't get a response. Maybe it was a little louder this time. Maybe he heard a disgruntled neighbor shout, "Shut up!" But there was always the chance that she hadn't been talking to him, so it was fine.
And when he had to knock a third time, he did not feel like pulling out his gun and blasting the damn lock to bits. He did not feel like kicking down the door and causing permanent damage to the existing structure. Because he wasn't frantic. He wasn't panicking. He was fine.
And when, after that third knock, the door finally did open, and a disgruntled, hazy-eyed, ruffled-hair Shawn did peak his head through, he didn't want to sigh in relief. He didn't have to resist the urge to actually hug the younger man tightly and kiss him frantically. He was fine, because everything was fine and he'd known it was so there wasn't any relief to be felt. Really.
"Where the hell were you?" The anger surprised both men, and the younger of the two widened his eyes slightly for a moment before one hand went up to rub at those eyes tiredly.
"Canada," the sarcasm was there and so very obvious. "Scored some awesome drugs. Wanna share?"
Lassiter didn't even bother trying to formulate a witty comeback. Because everything was fine. In a so very not fine way. "The chief tried to call you earlier. We have a case we could use your – we have a case."
"Okay," Shawn seemed out of it, he was mumbling and scratching the back of his neck and shuffling his feet and for some reason seeing the younger man so discombobulated made the older man's anger - that was so very illogical in the first place – fade into absolutely nothing. Except maybe some concern and guilt, but that was only because – despite some ongoing debates amongst a few rookies - he was human. "Well, I can come in later."
"Shawn," Lassiter sighed and the use of his first name must have caught the younger man off guard because he looked up and seemed confused. "What's wrong?"
Always so playful and careless, the fake-psychic could do nothing now but shake his head back and forth and insist, "Nothing. I just…nothing, really."
Lassiter smiled on somewhat sadly at that pathetic attempt at an explanation or excuse or brush off or whatever that been and pushed the front door open wide enough to allow himself access into the apartment.
Shawn rolled his eyes but didn't fight it. Just stepped back and let the older man through. The apartment itself looked as it always did – randomly messy but in an oddly organized kind of way. Lassiter wasn't sure how Shawn did it, but he seemed to group everything he owned together by genre. Except the CD's themselves, with were so varied and in such a lack of order that the detective couldn't even look in that direction without cringing.
Right now, though, that meant very little to him. The only thing that he was concerned with was the young man wearing sweatpants and a ratty old T-shirt standing several feet away from him glancing around in a distracted manner with a look on his face that was reminiscent of a sad boy who had just lost his pet dog. Or puppy. Puppy seemed more accurate.
"What's wrong?" He asked again, catching his gaze and not looking away.
"Nothing," Shawn mumbled again. "I just…went over to my dad's last night for dinner," and then the words were coming fast and all the explanation was there and there were too many emotions to pick out but all together it was just...sad.
"And I knew it would be a bad night because Gus couldn't come and be the buffer and it's…the anniversary of their divorce is coming up. And he heard about that stupid kidnapping case last month and he did that whole 'you're irresponsible grow the hell up' speech and I accidentally mentioned mom and he started in on that and I just really didn't want to hear it so I tried to walk out and he started this big…thing and I was there for hours, and no I have no real idea how I managed that and then I did leave and drove around on my bike for a long time and ended up running out of gas in the next city over and I had to call a place to tow my bike at three in the morning and I didn't get back here until late and I still couldn't sleep and by the time I actually did the sun was already up and now I'm tired and cranky and I'm ranting at you like it's your fault or something." He took a deep breath and bowed his head. "Sorry."
And Lassiter wasn't surprised at all because…because he had known the second Shawn hadn't answered his phone that nothing was fine and that meant that something was defiantly wrong. So he'd sat there for half an hour contemplating internally exactly how much he didn't hate the young man with whom he had this offbeat relationship with. Because, in his mind, that was the only way he'd been able to cope with his…fear. He hadn't known what it was or what to do with it, because he wasn't used to being afraid. Not for someone else like he had been for Shawn in the last two hours.
"Its fine," he said without thinking, and only revised that statement after he'd stepped closer and pulled Shawn to him and – yeah, he was a mushy sentimental teddy bear on the inside, what's your point? – hugged him fairly tight.
He circled his arms around Shawn's waist, pulled until their chests and hips pressed together, and felt as the younger man raised his own arms and felt his hands clutch at the back of Lassiter's shirt in an oddly needy sort of way that would only ever come out in small gestures like this – never in words or anything else.
But Lassiter didn't mind. Not at all. Right now he was offering Shawn his comfort while selfishly embracing his own. Shawn was fine. Physically fine, at least. Everything else could be dealt with and worked through – God knows it had been before and, as long as father and son kept communicating on a regular basis, would continue to have to be. But there was no death or injury to deal with.
And in a cop's world, that was always a plus.
So they stood in the center of Shawn's apartment, clinging like lost men to one another – and Lassiter couldn't help but feel at home. He felt at home with Shawn Spencer in his arms and as sappy and romantic and not-him as that sentiment seemed, he couldn't help what he felt. What he knew.
Because now he was sure,
"Everything's gonna be fine."
A/N: Feel free to review. This was born out of nothing and exists for no known reason...except maybe to get the voices in my head to leave me alone:)