"Go away, I'm busy." Doing the crossword puzzle counted as busy, at least when Spencer was involved.
"Ten down is eggplant. Twelve down is heliotrope. Six across is-"
"Shawn, get off my desk."
"But I brought you a present." The box danced in front of his face briefly.
He considered poking it with a pen. "I don't want a present from you."
"That doesn't change the fact that you have one, so open it."
Would it be childish of him simply to refuse? Anyone else he would have yelled at or just ignored. Unfortunately neither of those worked with Shawn. That left him with two options. He could throw the gift away, and therefore be forced to listen to Shawn's whining and pouting for the next quarter century, or he could just open the damn thing and get it over with.
He picked up the box. It didn't rattle, there was no squeaking, nothing sounded broken inside the box. The wrapping paper was best described as garish - twelve across - with shiny red poinsettia and silver bells across a field of green. If he were to take the flashlight out of his desk and shine it on the present, he'd probably blind the entire department. Almost worth it if it would get rid of Shawn.
One finger dug slipped under a fold. The paper ripped, sounding oh so pleasing to Carlton's ears, revealing a plain brown box. He tossed the paper aside and glared at the box. It was tall, thin. Carlton popped the top open, pulled out the brown paper on top. Inside was... a doll?
It looked strangely familiar.
"What the hell is this?"
Shawn scooted closer. "It's me! Can't you see that?"
The doll did indeed look like Shawn, complete with molded brown hair and that obnoxious grin he always wore, though the clothes reminded him more of the early superhero action figures. Thankfully there was no spandex, but there was a large green P stitched onto the doll's shirt and it wore a matching cape. Really, there were no words to describe it. He wasn't even sure he wanted to. The sheer thought that somewhere, someone had actually made Shawn - or a reasonable likeness - into a doll was mind boggling.
Lassiter finally looked up and wished he hadn't. Shawn's smile practically split his face. It was a wonder the young man wasn't bouncing on Lassiter's desk. If he did, Carlton probably would have shot him.
"Well, don't you like it?"
There really was only one possible answer. "No."
Did voodoo work on action figures? Hell, did voodoo work at all?
"What?!" There was Shawn's outburst, right on cue. Sometimes that boy was far too easy to play with. "How can you not like it? It's an action figure... of me!"
"You just answered your own question."
Lassiter turned the doll in his hands. What to do with this? He could just throw it away but that seemed like such a waste. Perhaps this was a good gift after all. Carlton leaned back in his chair and smiled. What to do? On his right, the full gamut of office supplies - pencils, pens, paperclips, staples. On his left, the more fun toys - his pocket knife, a 9mm. Then there were the options further out. He could get a tool kit off the janitor which meant access to a hammer, screwdriver, maybe even a power drill. He wondered how hard it would be to get a hold of a power sander. Boiling pitch was probably straight out.
"Don't you want to play with it?"
He looked at Shawn with a smile. "Oh, I'd love to." The fake psychic started to squirm.
Reaching into the drawer on his right, Carlton pulled out a paperclip and carefully straightened one end.
"Well, we know the psychic stuff is all bullshit, so now let's try out voodoo." Carlton grinned and shoved the paperclip through the doll's head. The plastic resisted a little as he started to push, then gave way with a tiny pop.
Shawn fell off his desk, hands on his head as he twitched madly on the floor. It looked an awful lot like his 'psychic episodes' but the screams of pain was new. Could they charge a man with homicide via voodoo? That was almost as preposterous as a psychic solving crimes. Stranger things had happened.
Carlton half-stood to lean over the desk and stare down at Shawn. They were gathering quite a crowd, though no one stepped forward yet to help the fake psychic - they probably thought it was another one of his vision. They had their very own boy who cried wolf.
All of a sudden, Shawn stopped and hopped to his feet, huge grin firmly in place. "Just kidding! Now, Lassy, did you honestly think that was going to work?"
His chair creaked as he fell back into it, his good mood temporarily ruined. "A man can hope."
He picked up the doll, now with its very own paperclip lobotomy, and glared. Maybe pins would work. At the very least it'd improve the dolls appearance. He could keep it in his desk, stab a new one in every time Shawn opened his mouth.
"Don't worry. Even if you destroy this one, I've got a bunch of spares so I can just give you a new one. Apparently when you do custom work like that, they make you order in bulk. But on the bright side, I have enough for the whole office. Isn't that great?"
Lassiter dropped the doll in the drawer and slammed it shut. "Fantastic." The power sander was beginning to sound better and better.
"Hey, you know what I was thinking? We could get one of you made in your little cop outfit and then our dolls could play together. I bet we could even get a playset made that looks like the police department. How cool would that be?"
He reached for the left drawer. "I'm only going to warn you once, Spencer. If you even think of trying that, I will shoot you and trust me, that does count as justifiable homicide."
Shawn just grinned. "Merry Christmas to you too, Lassy."