Author Note: This was a spur of the moment story...
"What the hell…" Gus said as he walked into the Psych office. The scene before him stopped him in his tracks, the bag of food in his hand forgotten. There were streams of garland here and there, some hanging down from the ceiling though he couldn't see how they'd been stuck there in the first place. A tiny tree took up space in one of the corners but the thing looked almost as pitiful as Charlie Brown's tree. The few ornaments on the branches nearly brought the tree down; it was a miracle the poor thing was still standing. Fake snow had been sprayed on the window and the smell lingered, making him wrinkle the Super Sniffer a bit. There were balls of tissue paper in various colors all over the floor and empty cardboard rolls that once held festive wrapping paper. Christmas carols, sounding as though they were being sung by the Muppets, streamed from the stereo he could no longer locate.
And then there was Shawn.
Sitting in the chair behind his desk the fake-psychic looked like a Christmas disaster. His Santa hat was askew, threatening to fall off onto the floor where it would be camouflaged in the bits of wrapping paper and ribbon. A dark smear that appeared to be marker of some sort decorated his left cheek while pieces of crumbled tape clung to his red sweater. He had a band-aid wrapped around one of his fingers either to hide a paper cut or a knick from the scissors.
Gus wasn't even sure he wanted to know what had happened here but he was prompted to ask, his curiosity getting the best of him. "Why does it look like someone fed Santa too many cookies and egg nog and he chucked all over our office?"
Shawn looked up, pushing the red hat back, a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth. "It's Christmas, Gus. I just wanted to bring some cheer to the office. You don't like?"
He gave the room another quick look over. "Um…."
"Who cares," Shawn said as he jumped out of his chair. Surprised by the sudden movement Gus nearly dropped the bag of food, their lunch, that he'd brought in. "This year is going to be spectacular, Gus. My father is never going to guess what I got him though I already know what he got me. And I'm finally going to get my kiss."
Gus was forced to roll his eyes as he set the bag on his desk, the only place that remained free of Christmas cheer. "You're still stuck on that? It's not going to happen man. We're talking about Lassiter here, the man who doesn't like you. He can't even stand to be in the same room as you…"
"I have a plan this year," Shawn said. "And would you stop being such a grinch. What's with the sour face?"
"I'm just thinking about what I should pack when we have to leave town because Lassiter wants to kill you," he said, "and me by association. This is going to be a horrible year."
"Pfft," Shawn said.
Gus glared at him. "How can you be so sure that things are going to work out? You know as well as I do that Lassiter is looking for any excuse possible to arrest you. What makes you think he won't use the kiss as assault on an officer?"
"Duh," he replied with a roll of his eyes. "Then he would have to tell everyone what I did."
"You're never going to pull this off," commented Gus. He began to pull food out of the bag and placing it on his desk.
Shawn grabbed one of the white Styrofoam containers and popped the lid open. "Jules' party starts in a few hours. That gives me enough time to finish wrapping my presents."
"Wrapping presents? Is that why you have marker on your cheek?"
The fake-psychic narrowed his eyes. "It was a battle of wills…the marker thought he won but I put him in his place." Shawn marched back over to his desk and fell into the chair. The motion was enough to send the hat sliding off his head.
Meanwhile Gus found that he had little appetite left. "So much for my holiday," he muttered under his breath.
He knocked on the door and threw a glance back over his shoulder at Gus, who looked like someone had just run their nails down a blackboard. He smiled. "Come on, where's your Christmas spirit?"
"I left it back at the office."
The door opened before he got the chance to say anything else. Detective Juliet O'Hara stood there wearing a seasonal sweater and black slacks. Her blond hair was pulled up into a ponytail. Taking a cue from Shawn she'd adorned a headband with foe reindeer antlers attacked. The little bells on them jingled with every move she made. When she saw them her smiled widened.
"Jules," he said, rushing to hug her. She smelled vaguely of cinnamon and sugar cookies. "Is everything set?"
She winked. "You bet it is. He's here, too. Though I don't know how long he plans to stay. He's not exactly Mister Cheery this time of year, or so I've come to learn."
"The same could be said for a certain psychic's friend," Shawn said, pointing back over his shoulder.
Gus, having heard him, grumbled. "I'm only bitter because your attempt to have a merry holiday is bringing me down. I actually like living in Santa Barbra, Shawn. I grew up here. My folks still live here."
"He's afraid he'll have to move," he said, looking at Jules.
"Lassiter is in a pretty bad mood…"
"Ah, not you too!"
She shrugged sheepishly. "Sorry. I'm all on board for this but…what you want is in the kitchen. I've managed to keep everyone else by putting the food in the dining room and having games in the living room. You go on a head and I'll send him back…"
"How can you be helping him with this?" Gus asked.
"It's in the spirit of Christmas."
"It's crazy is what it is."
Shawn left them to their bickering and headed toward the kitchen, a smile on his face and a slight bounce in his step. This year was going to be different, he just knew it. With the help of Juliet he would finally get the kiss he'd been longing for all year. He could hear the sounds of the other officers from other rooms in the house but none of them mattered to him. Though he'd brought gifts for a few of them, Juliet and Buzz especially, most of them would be little more than background noise.
Popping a peppermint into his mouth he leaned back against the counter and waited.
He let his eyes drift toward the ceiling, suppressing a grin.
A minute later he heard the familiar sound of Lassiter muttering something under his breath. He wondered how Jules tricked her partner into going to the kitchen. Not that it mattered. Whatever insignificant task she had cooked up would be long forgotten in the next few minutes.
"Spencer," Lassiter said with a mix of disgust and surprise. "Why am I not surprised?"
"Lassy-face," he smiled, making sure that his voice was cheery. "Merry Christmas, Lassy. Have you been a good boy?"
"Cut the crap, Spencer," the detective said.
"What's wrong with everyone? Nobody has any spirit."
Lassiter had no response for that one.
Shawn beckoned with his finger. "Come here, I want to let you in on a little secret."
The detective frowned. "What are you up to?"
"Nothing," Shawn said. "I just think that you deserve a big gift this year. Come over here and I'll tell you something you've been waiting to hear all year."
"This had better be good…"
He waited until Lassiter was facing him before allowing a grin to break out on his face. He could see Juliet and Gus standing in the entryway to the kitchen watching. Now that he had the detective's attention he pointed his finger at the mistletoe that hung down from the ceiling.
Lassiter looked up and all the color drained from his face. "Spencer-"
The fake-psychic didn't give him time to finish the sentence before grabbing the lapels of his jacket and drawing him close. Before Lassiter even had a chance to register what was happening Shawn planted one on him. And even though he could tell that Lassiter wasn't responding in kind the kiss turned out to be all he desired and more. Jules started giggling, breaking the moment.
Lassiter shoved him, pushing him back against the counter. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
"Merry Christmas, Lassy-face."
"Spencer," the detective growled.
Shawn edged away from the counter and over to Jules. "Thanks for the party. I really did have a good time but Gus and I should be leaving now." He grabbed Gus by the wrist, dragging him toward the front door.
"I'm going to be living on the streets," he whined.