A/N: Thank you to Thaddeusfavour from Livejournal for an idea that inspired this story.
Disclaimer: I don't own Psych or the characters, etc.
Shawn walked through the door of the SBPD and stopped in his tracks, bewildered. The usually bustling station was completely silent. Looking closer, he realized that not only was every person as still as himself, they were all doing the same thing. One way or another, everyone was keeping time. Buzz and a crowd of other officers were grouped under one of the clocks, watching it intently, while Juliet stared at the clock on her desk, and Lassiter's eyes were glued to his watch. For a moment, Shawn considered shouting 'fire!' just to see what would happen, but decided that it probably wasn't the best idea. After a few minutes, when nothing happened, Shawn tiptoed down the hallway to Lassiter's desk. "Hey," he found himself whispering. Lassiter didn't respond.
"Lassy?" he prodded. "What's going on?"
Without lifting his gaze, Lassiter said shortly, "Today is St. Patrick's Day."
"Yeaaaaah, so?" Shawn said, raising an eyebrow in confusion.
Sighing, Lassiter continued. "Every St. Patrick's Day at almost exactly noon, the same thing happens."
When he didn't elaborate, Shawn asked, "What?"
"Just wait and see; it would take too long to explain."
"Okay," Shawn shrugged, and then smirked as an idea hit him. Peeking around and determining that no one was looking at them or likely to do so anytime soon, he pushed Lassiter back from his desk, and, before the detective could object, Shawn sat down in his lap. When Lassiter opened his mouth to protest, Shawn put a finger over it to silence him, and pointed at the oblivious people surrounding them.
His cheeks red, Lassiter muttered, "Fine," and wrapped one arm around Shawn's waist, keeping the other, which held his watch, well within view.
Shawn smiled and snuggled closer, watching the minutes tick by.
Every person in the station turned towards the noise.
Buzz turned a deep shade of crimson, apologizing profusely as he scrambled to pick up the box of papers he had dropped.
After a few sighs and exchanged eye rolls, the room returned to its previous state of cemetery-like stillness. As noon approached, people started to fidget and glance back and forth between the door and whatever timepiece they were watching. With about 30 seconds to go, an unprepared countdown began, with even more people joining in as the amount of time remaining lessened.
"Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero!"
When nothing happened, Shawn looked at Lassiter, puzzled. "Uh—"
"Wait for it," he said curtly.
Sure enough, nearly immediately following Lassiter's statement, Shawn started to hear something coming from outside. If he had to describe it, he would say it sounded like a full-blown parade heading for the station at the speed of a train. As the volume increased, words became distinguishable.
"You threw…beer bottles…our yard!"
"Those were your bottles you—" The rest of the response was lost in the sounds of what was obviously a scuffle.
Shawn tried to turn his grin into a look of pity as Lassiter sighed heavily. When Lassiter removed his arm from Shawn's waist, Shawn hopped up, knowing the detective needed to be ready for whatever was about to happen. In the few seconds left, the two men exchanged looks, Lassiter's grateful and resigned, and Shawn's supportive and non-teasing for once. As Lassiter stood, Shawn checked again to make sure no one was looking, and then, putting a hand on the other man's shoulder, he kissed him quickly on the cheek. Flushing, Lassiter pushed him away, his eyes darting from side to side nervously. Shawn chuckled softly at his response; he knew Lassiter trusted him to keep their relationship a secret. Escaping before he could say anything, Shawn managed a glance back and was happy to see a smile cross the other man's face.
The doors to the station burst open and a multitude of green-clothed people in various stages of inebriation entered noisily. As they continued to stream through, some trying to exchange blows and others shouting at the tops of their voices, the waiting officers pulled them apart into two groups on opposite sides of the station, where they continued to hurl insults at each other.
Trying to help, Shawn jumped between two middle-aged men who were exchanging blows in the middle of the hallway, but was forced to duck out of the way as they both turned angrily on him. Finally, after 10 or 15 hectic minutes, the police managed to separate the two groups, if not calm them down.
Holding a megaphone, Lassiter walked to the center and stood on top of a wooden box that Shawn hadn't noticed there previously.
"Alright, listen up!" he shouted. "Attention!"
To Shawn's surprise, most of them turned to face him, though not without much grumbling. When they were almost quiet, Lassiter lifted the megaphone again, but before he could speak, something flew from one side of the room to the other, barely missing him. Within seconds, pencils, notebooks, staplers, mugs, and anything else that was lying around were being thrown back and forth. Officers tried desperately to stop them, while simultaneously attempting to avoid being brained by miscellaneous objects. Lassiter's voice boomed through the station to no effect. Shawn would normally have found such an event hilarious, and probably would have even joined in if it weren't for the fact that he was worried about Lassiter, who was right in the middle of the chaos. Racking his brain, his eyes lit up as an idea hit him. Bobbing and weaving as his dad had taught him, Shawn made his way over to Lassiter and tugged at the megaphone. Lassiter gave it up without resisting, looking at Shawn hopefully. Winking at him, Shawn lifted the megaphone and, taking a deep breath, shouted as loud as he could, "BEER!"
Lassiter's jaw dropped as half of the people turned to face him.
Shawn smirked proudly and added, "FREE Beer!"
The room froze, and every eye was trained on him. Lassiter signaled the equally stunned officers, who took the opportunity to separate the groups again and move any possible missiles out of reach. Grinning, Shawn saluted Lassiter and relinquished the megaphone.
Lassiter shook his head in amazement as he took it back. Regaining control, he said, "Patrick Finnegan and Seamus Hennessey?"
Two men walked forward, giving each other death glares. When they stood before Lassiter, he looked at them in annoyance and asked, "What's the problem this time?"
"He—" they both started, pointing angrily at each other.
"Stop!" Lassiter interrupted. "Hennessey, you go first."
"What?" exclaimed the man Shawn assumed to be Finnegan.
Lassiter sighed. "No arguing, Finnegan. You started last year."
Grumbling, Finnegan crossed his arms and looked away.
"Well, officer—" Hennessey started.
"Detective," Lassiter said, correcting him.
"Right, detective," he repeated. "Meself and me family were jest celebratin' an' mindin' our own business, y'know, when these bast—"
"Ah mean, when our neighbors started ta crowd into our yard an' make noise an' drop their trash an' beer bottles on it. We asked them ta move and clean up after themselves because we had ta have our barbeque, see, but they refused, an' started yellin' at us, an' said we were in their way…"
While Hennessey continued to list his grievances, Shawn watched in trepidation as Finnegan's face got more and more red. Apparently Lassiter noticed too, because he finally stopped Hennessey and gestured to Finnegan.
Trembling furiously, Finnegan told nearly the same story, but made his family the victims, and Hennessey's the villains. Listening to the men speak, the two groups started to get upset again. Before they could get out of control, Lassiter ended Finnegan's tirade and called for everyone's attention. However, he didn't get a chance to say anything else because Shawn, puzzled, asked, "But why can't you just have your barbeques at different times?"
Finnegan threw up his arms, saying, "Here we go."
Glaring at him, Hennessey started to explain loudly, "Because it has always been our tradition to start our barbeque at twelve. Himself and his kin there copied us!"
"We did not copy ye! We've always done it!"
"We were here first! Ye moved here an' started doin' it when ye saw us doin' it!"
"That be a lie!"
Lassiter looked at Shawn in annoyance, his face clearly saying, you had to ask.
Shawn mouthed sorry to him. Waving his hands to get their attention, he suggested mildly, "Couldn't you just combine the barbeques into one?"
From the glares he received, Shawn gathered the proposition had been made more than once before. "Or not." Putting his hands to his temples in order to think faster, a vague idea crossed his mind. When he concentrated on it, a plan began to form. With a fake shudder, he lowered his hands and walked over to Hennessey. Drawing him aside, he conferred with him in hushed tones. After a few minutes of muttering and wild gesturing, Hennessey nodded. Nodding back, Shawn ambled over to Finnegan and talked with him in the same way, drawing a nod from him as well. Everyone in the station watched in astonishment as the two Irishmen eyed each other warily, and then strolled forward and shook hands.
As Hennessey turned to leave, beckoning to his family members, Finnegan approached Lassiter and offered his hand to him.
"I thank ye for your time, offi—detective."
Speechless, Lassiter returned the handshake.
When everyone in the Finnegan and Hennessey groups had left the building, the officers crowded around Shawn, clamoring to know what he had said to them. Smirking secretively, Shawn simply shook his head and waved them off, saying, "Tricks of me trade, boys, tricks of me trade." Gradually, everyone returned to work, and a sense of normalcy filled the station once more. Peeking at Lassiter, Shawn couldn't help grinning at the look of curious bewilderment he was giving him. Deciding to torture him a little, Shawn waved slightly and started walking backwards towards the door. His grin widened when Lassiter opened his mouth indignantly, realizing Shawn wasn't going to tell him. Shawn mouthed see ya, before turning and rushing out the door. He knew Lassiter was going to pester him endlessly when they got home; in fact, he was looking forward to it.
Carlton frowned in annoyance as Shawn escaped. The little brat, making me wait. What in the hell did he say to them? Years and years of this, and the first time he's here for it he resolves it in the most peaceful way it's ever ended. In fact, the way they left, they may never come back. Peeved at being outdone once more by the younger man, he glowered at O'Hara as she practically skipped by his desk carrying green decorations. The cheerful smile she gave him in return did nothing to lift his spirits. After an afternoon filled with paperwork and the unusual crimes that always accompanied St. Patrick's Day, Carlton sighed in relief when it was time to leave. He got in his car thinking happily of all the ways he could force the truth out of Shawn.
Arriving at his apartment, Carlton was surprised to find it dark. He had thought Shawn would be there waiting for him. Shrugging out of his jacket and shoulder holster, he filled a glass with scotch and sat down on his sofa to wait. Impatient, he picked up the book he had been reading the night before and was soon immersed in it. When the doorbell rang, he had to pull himself away to answer the door.
"Finally," he said, slightly exasperated, as he opened it. Stopping, he gawked momentarily and then recovered and slammed the door shut again.
"Lassy!" came a singsong voice from the other side.
Carlton leaned his head against the wood, saying, "Go away!"
"Nope!" Shawn responded cheerfully.
When Carlton didn't move or answer, Shawn added mischievously, "Lassy, if you don't let me in I'm gonna start singing, and then the neighbors are gonna come out and--"
Whipping the door open, Carlton reached out and pulled Shawn inside. Scowling at him, Carlton said, "Would you mind telling me what possessed you to come here dressed as a giant shamrock?"
Shawn grinned at him. "It's St. Patrick's Day. I'm here to bring you good luck."
"Apparently not," Carlton muttered. "Why do I put up with you?"
More gracefully than Carlton would have believed possible of a man in a humongous clover suit, Shawn stepped forward and crushed their lips together. Closing his eyes, all negative thoughts left Carlton's mind until he tried to wrap his arms around Shawn. Blocked by padded cloth, he pulled away in annoyance. "Take off the suit," he ordered.
"But Lassy--" Shawn whined.
Carlton rolled his eyes. "Spencer."
"Alright, alright. Sheesh."
After watching him struggle in vain for a few minutes, Carlton sighed, and instructed him to turn around. "How on earth did you get this on?" he asked, fighting what was obviously a losing battle against the zipper on the back.
"Gus helped me."
"Ah, of course."
Finally, they managed to get Shawn out of the suit and they moved to the sofa. When Shawn leaned into Carlton's side, resting his head on the older man's shoulder, Carlton curled his arm around Shawn and they sat comfortably for a while, simply reveling in each other's presence.
"So," Carlton said eventually.
"Hmm?" A sleepy Shawn looked up at him curiously.
"What the hell did you say to them?"
"The Hennesseys and the Finnegans. How did you get them to just leave like that?"
"Oh. It was easy. I just read their minds psychically and then---eep!" Shawn squealed as Carlton swiped at his head.
"Seriously," Carlton chided.
Shawn crossed his arms and pretended to pout. "Why should I tell you? None of the other officers know…"
"None of the other officers are dating you."
"How do you know?" Shawn asked impishly, waggling his eyebrows.
Glaring at him, Carlton crooked his arm around the back of Shawn's neck and tugged him forward into a deep kiss. Invading the younger man's mouth with his tongue, he waited until Shawn gave a low moan. At the sound, Carlton broke away, leaving Shawn panting for more.
"Just a suspicion," he said, grinning.
Shawn stuck his tongue out at him childishly.
"Nope, sorry," Carlton said, shaking his head as if the action had been an invitation. "First you tell me."
"Okay, fiiiiine. You don't have to torture me!"
Carlton looked at him expectantly.
Shawn matched him eye for eye.
After a moment of silence, Carlton prodded, "Shawn?"
"Oh, you mean now?"
Giggling in a very unmanly way, Shawn ducked Carlton's swipe and lifted his arms in surrender. Eyeing the scowl that was starting to form on the detective's face, he evidently decided it was time to be serious.
"I told them to make it a competition," he said calmly, shrugging his shoulders as if that explained everything.
"I told them to make it a co—"
"Spencer! I heard you the first time. Explain yourself…please."
"Well, since you said please."
Carlton clenched his jaw.
"Okay, look, I just figured that since you're the police and all, you probably tried to break them apart each year, and you probably suggested they have the barbeques at different times, or combine them into one, right? Normally, your pacifist suggestions might have won people over, but with these groups it wasn't likely. Since they seemed so competitive, I thought maybe if they could make it a slightly organized competition of sorts, rather than an all out brawl, that could help solve the problem." Done with the explanation, Shawn peered at Lassiter curiously. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
Staring at Shawn blankly, Lassiter said disbelievingly, "I'm a failure."
"I'm a failure. The answer has been in front of me for years, but I never saw it. Then you come in and—that wasn't even psychic—you just did some basic deducing, and you solve everything. I don't deserve this job."
Shawn grimaced. "Lassy—"
Ignoring him, Lassiter continued to ramble on about being beaten by a civilian with no training or maturity.
"Lassy!" Shawn repeated, trying to get his attention. "Lassy, I'm not a psychic!"
Lassiter paused. "I knew that."
"But you don't know how I solve the cases."
"No…" he said, looking at Shawn with hopeful surprise. "You're going to tell me?"
Shawn nodded and took a deep breath. "You're not a failure, and I'm not just a civilian. You know how my dad was a cop? Well, he trained me. From when I was a kid."
"He taught me police procedure, and how to notice things that anybody else would miss, and…I have a photographic memory."
Lassiter gaped at him. "You have an eidetic memory?"
"Why didn't you just say that when—" he started.
"Would you have believed me?"
Shawn lifted an eyebrow.
"Alright, maybe not."
They sat quietly for a few minutes, Lassiter thinking and Shawn trying to gauge his reaction.
"Why aren't you a cop?"
"Can you really see me being a cop, Lassy?"
"No, but…Henry must have expected you to be one."
Lassiter looked at him almost sadly. "It was that bad?"
"You remember what I told you about my graduation?"
Nodding, Lassiter put a comforting hand on Shawn's leg. "I'm sorry."
"Thanks," Shawn said, smiling nervously at him. "So…what happens now?"
"You mean am I going to turn you in?"
Lassiter sighed at Shawn's nod. "You saw what happened today. We need you."
Shawn's eyes lit up with hope.
"No. I'm not going to turn you in," he said firmly, making up his mind. He gasped as Shawn jumped up and tackled him, shouting, "Thankyouthankyouthankyou!"
Before he could respond, they were lip to lip and Shawn was kissing him thoroughly. Leaning back, Lassiter stretched out on the sofa, allowing him to settle on top of him. Tongues and hands roamed, exploring haphazardly. Lassiter found the bottom of Shawn's shirt and started to pull it up slowly, his fingers sliding along the younger man's bare back. Smiling against Lassiter's mouth, Shawn broke away briefly to allow him to lift the shirt over his head. As Lassiter tossed the shirt to the side, Shawn removed the detective's tie and started to unbutton his shirt. Lassiter took hold of Shawn's hands, stopping him.
"May—" he began hoarsely, pausing to clear his throat. "Maybe we should take this somewhere else."
Shawn glanced towards the bedroom and then looked back at Lassiter, smirking. "Why? You think you're going to get lucky?"
"Well, it is St. Patrick's Day…"
"Hmmm, I don't know…the clover suit only has three leaves." Shawn shook his head. "That could be a sign. Maybe it just isn't meant to be."
"You're right," Lassiter replied, playing along. "Plus, I hate this holiday. You should go."
Shawn got up and shrugged. "If you say so." Walking towards the front door, he passed it and turned through a different doorway.
"That's not the way out," Lassiter informed him.
Lassiter chuckled and followed him into the bedroom. Maybe St. Patrick's Day isn't so bad after all.
A/N: This is my first sequel and my first established relationship fic, so I hope it turned out all right. It doesn't tie very much to Unexpected Valentine, but they are in the same series. There will be more in the series as well, although I haven't come up with a name yet. Some of the stories will be one chapter, and some will be longer. Many of them will probably be on holidays, but I may write some that aren't holiday-related. The next story will be for Easter. Please review and let me know what you thought of this one!
To see a picture I drew for this story go to my livejournal (click on homepage on my profile).