Shawn glanced left, made sure the coast was clear before moving left. He held his breath and took one tentative step forward, checking left and right again, not wanting to catch any unwanted attention. He was on a serious mission and the last thing he needed was to fail before he'd even started. The target looked up and Shawn quickly ducked into a nearby doorway. Pressing himself against the wall, he slowly counted to ten in his head. He peered around the corner and sighed in relief when he saw his target had gone back to work. It was time to put his plan into action he thought as he stepped out of the doorway and back into the corridor.
"What on earth are you doing?"
Shawn spun around, coming face to face with Juliet O'Hara, hands on her hips, head tilted to one side and a slight smirk on her lips. "Nothing," he answered quickly.
"Doesn't look like nothing," Juliet replied with suspicious eyes.
"Fine," Shawn said with a dramatic sigh, caving easily. "I'm spying on Lassiter."
Juliet resisted the urge to count to ten. "Why?"
Shawn grinned. "Why not?"
Juliet rolled her eyes. Brushing past Shawn, she strolled back to her desk only for Shawn to follow her. "Okay okay, you twisted my arm, I'll tell you everything."
"What did you do now?"
"Nothing!" Shawn cried at the accusation. "Nothing," he repeated at her disbelieving expression. "Yet," he added a moment later.
"Didn't you solve the Gregory murder yesterday?" Juliet asked, raising an eyebrow in Shawn's direction as she began to tidy up the files on her desk.
She dropped a pile of reports into her outbox with a dull thud before turning to look back at Shawn, "What do you want Shawn?"
He crossed his arms across his chest, "So that's it huh? You only like to see me when I can help with a case? I feel so used!" Shawn waited a beat before adding, "In a non-fun used way."
Juliet smiled. "I'm sorry Shawn, go ahead."
"Okay," Shawn leaned forward and whispered, "Does Lassie look okay to you?"
Juliet frowned, "What?"
"Lassie," Shawn repeated, "He look okay?"
Juliet twisted her head round towards her partner's desk and surreptitiously watched Lassiter. Her eyes narrowed, Lassiter was busy writing up a report. "He looks like he does every day."
"Really? You think?" Shawn asked and Juliet jumped at the voice by her ear. Her head spun round and she glared at Shawn who simply leaned back and smiled innocently. "He's unhappy."
"Why on earth would you think that?"
"Psychic vibrations?" Shawn tried; Juliet wasn't convinced. "Okay, I have three reasons why I think Lassie's unhappy."
"Okay," Juliet folded her arms. "Name them."
"One," Shawn stuck one finger in the air, "He hasn't moaned about me being here yet and I've been here for over an hour."
"He's busy." She sighed, adding a silent like I am.
"Two." A second finger joined the first. "He always happy after catching the criminal. Does he look happy to you?"
"He didn't catch the criminal, you did."
Shawn frowned, "Oh right." He shook his head and added a third finger. "Third and most importantly….it was his birthday on Saturday and no one remembered."
Juliet's eyes widened, "What?"
"I however did remember, not sure he appreciated my present though. Pineapple muffins, made 'em myself." Shawn paused. "Okay, Gus made them but I helped by licking out the bowl."
"We forgot his birthday?" Juliet frowned and bit her lip as she remembered her calendar at home with Saturday circled in thick red pen. "How?"
Shawn dropped down into Juliet's chair, "He probably didn't remind anyone after last year's fiasco." He pushed off with his feet and did a three hundred and sixty spin.
"That wasn't my fault," Juliet reminded Shawn.
He stopped the chair with his feet and looked up at Juliet "He came this close to following through on his promise to shoot me." He reminded her, holding his fingers an inch apart. "Actually it was more like this close" He added, closing the gap between his thumb and index finger.
Juliet rolled her eyes. "You're exaggerating," she told him.
"Fine." He pulled himself to his feet. "I won't tell you what me and Gus have planned." With as much drama as he could muster, he turned his back on Juliet and stormed off.
Juliet rose from her seat and quickly followed the Psychic. "Okay, okay, you've twisted my arm, tell me the plan." Never in her life had she seen such a devious grin.
"You're kidding me," Juliet said, eyeing up the clear board at the Psych office. "You're kidding me," she repeated.
"Gus, am I the kidding kind?" Shawn asked.
"Yes," Gus answered instantly.
"Okay I am, but this time I'm not."
"Operation Make Carlton Lassiter Laugh?" Juliet read the title written up on the board.
"Snappy don't you think?" Shawn asked. "Gus wanted to go with Carlton Lassiter is unhappy so we should find a way to rectify the problem, but I'm just not a fan of the word 'rectify'," Shawn thought for a second. "Or problem," he added.
Gus snorted. "Probably because both words are used often enough to describe you."
Shawn clapped his hands. "Burton 'Chuckles' Guster, here all night ladies and Gentlemen!"
"Seriously?" Juliet asked again.
Shawn turned back to Juliet. "Look Jules, we're just looking for some insight into what Lassie likes."
"And you think I know?" she asked. "I'm the one that threw the surprise birthday in the first place."
"See? You've helped already, no surprises." He turned to the white board and scribbled surprises under a "no" column. He underlined it twice and added a frowning face.
"Shawn you knew that already." Juliet reminded the Psychic.
"Come on Jules! You must know something about him!"
"He likes to catch criminals." she shrugged. "Oooh!" Juliet's eyes widened. "Why don't you help him solve a case again, you know, from behind the scenes?"
"It's been done before, and he knew it was me that helped him," Shawn sighed. "You know what we need to do?" he asked with a grin.
Gus knew that look. "No…no way."
"Oh come on! It'll be fun!"
Gus glared, "I have two words, Shawn. 'Mexican Border'."
"Was I the only one that had fun? Both times?"
Juliet interrupted the pair quickly, "Stop, please." They both stopped and looked at her. "What do we need to do Shawn?" she asked, already regretting asking it.
Shawn grinned again.
"Seriously?" Juliet whispered. "Seriously? This is your brilliant plan?"
"Yeah and?" Shawn whispered back. "I think its genius."
"I think its breaking and entering!" Gus added.
"Don't be a silly sausage, its only breaking and entering if you break something."
"And how do you plan on 'entering' Lassiter's house, he's not exactly going to leave the front door unlocked," Gus challenged.
Shawn snorted. "Of course not, on the other hand, he seems to take a page out of the Burton Guster book of home security."
Gus frowned, "What?"
Shawn leaned down and picked up a rock near the front door. "When will people learn that this rock doesn't fool anyone?" he said, flipping open the bottom and pulling out a key. He pushed the key into the lock and opened the door. "See? Easy like Sunday morning."
"What?" Juliet asked.
Gus shook his head. "Don't ask," he told her, stepping into the dark house behind Shawn.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," she said to herself before following the two men in the house. She joined the men in the living room. "Why are we doing this?" she asked.
"To understand the mystery that is Carlton Lassiter. There must be something here that tells us what he likes." Shawn scanned the room and gasped.
"What?" Juliet asked. "What is it?"
"The man has no TV!" Shawn replied in shock. "How can you live without a TV?"
She shrugged and tilted her head to read the spines of the books lining the shelves, "Some people are actually happier without a TV, Shawn."
"Maybe….in bizzaro world."
"How about we split up, cover more ground," Juliet suggested.
"Good idea, you take the rest of the downstairs, and me and Gus'll take upstairs." Juliet nodded.
Gus was left chasing after Shawn as Shawn left the room quickly and jogged up the stairs. "You really think we'll find something?"
"Don't see why not," Shawn replied with a shrug. He found Lassiter's bedroom easily. The pair stepped into the room. "Look at this place," Shawn said in horror. The bed was made perfectly, the books on the shelf were organised in order of height. Shawn had never seen such a tidy bedroom.
"This? Explains a lot."
"No kidding," Shawn agreed.
"Well that was useless," Juliet sighed as they climbed back into the car.
"You're telling me," Gus replied. "If I didn't know better I'd think Adrian Monk lived in that house."
"Who?" Shawn asked.
"Monk? That OCD guy on TV?"
"Oh yeah, that show is so unrealistic, we're supposed to believe he can solve the crimes just be looking at things?" Shawn laughed to himself and shook his head.
Gus cleared his throat.
"Oh right," Shawn grinned.
"So what's next guys?" Juliet interrupted.
"Plan C!" Shawn exclaimed.
Juliet frowned. "Wait, what happened to plan B?"
"Plan B was Lassie's house," Shawn explained.
"Okay, what was plan A?"
Shawn looked at Gus for a moment and then at Juliet. "I don't want to talk about it," he mumbled before grabbed the car keys out of Gus' hand and starting the car.
Juliet shook her head in confusion. "What's plan C?" She asked although she wasn't sure she really wanted to know.
"There's someone in this town that knows Carlton Lassiter better than he knows himself," Shawn declared.
Shawn pulled up outside the house and stopped the engine. He glanced at Juliet through the rear view mirror and grinned.
"No," Juliet shook her head. "I am not going in there."
"Come on Jules!"
"Nope, not happening."
"It's just one old lady."
"Yeah, just one old lady who accused me of having an affair with my partner and splitting up his marriage! I told her Lassiter was getting divorced before he did! That woman hates me!"
Shawn sighed, "Hate is such a strong word." Shawn rolled his eyes as Juliet folded her arms stubbornly. "Come on! She can't be that bad, we'll just go in ask her what Lassie likes and leave, what's the worst that could-"
"Don't even finish that sentence Shawn," Gus warned, pointing a finger in Shawn's direction. "Last time you said that I ended up washing Mrs. Wilson's car and mowing her lawn for six months to pay for the damages. Physical and psychological." Gus shivered.
For the thirtieth time that day Juliet wondered what she'd gotten herself into. "Fine, I'll go, but you do all the talking."
"Well duh," Shawn replied as he climbed out of the car, Gus not far behind him. Juliet let out a sigh before getting out of the car and trudging up the garden path.
She hid behind Shawn as he knocked on the wooden door. This was a really bad idea, and there had been quite a few bad ideas floating around today. A moment later the door swung open and a stern looking woman peered at the threesome over her glasses.
"Hi," Shawn greeted, "My name's Shawn Spencer, this is my friend Gustaf Gustafson." Gus nodded at the woman.
"I don't care what you're selling I'm not interested!" Mrs. Lassiter said before slamming the door in their face. Shawn and Gus looked at each other before Shawn knocked on the door for a second time and again the door was opened.
"You two still here?" she asked sourly,
"We're not salesmen, Mrs. Lassiter.".
"How do you know my name?" she demanded.
"We're friends of your son Mrs. Lassiter, we work with him."
"Oh yeah? Then how come I've never heard of either of you?" Shifting her weight from one foot to the other, she placed her hand on her large hip.
"Well you know how Lassie is, doesn't like to brag about how awesome his friends are," Shawn replied with a grin.
Mrs. Lassiter raised an eyebrow, she lifted her hand away from her waist and crossed her arms tightly across her chest, "What do you want?"
"We know it was Lassiter's birthday on Saturday," Gus stepped in, "And we were wondering if you had any present ideas?"
Mrs. Lassiter glared at them for a second before slamming the door in their face for a second time.
"For goodness sake," Juliet rolled her eyes, she reached in between Shawn and Gus and knocked on the door.
"Get off my doorstep!" a muffled voice replied from behind the door, "Or I'll call my son! He's a cop you know!"
"We know he's a cop," Juliet replied, "He's my partner."
The door flung open and Mrs Lassiter glared at Juliet, "You're the floozy who split up my son's marriage!"
"What? No!" Juliet frowned. "I didn't even meet Carlton until after they'd split!" she defended herself.
Mrs Lassiter's eyes narrowed, "So you say."
"Hey!" Juliet took a step towards the older woman but Shawn held her back.
"Look, we just want to do something nice for Lassiter," Shawn cut in quickly, "You help us and we'll leave you alone."
"You're resorting to bribery now?" she asked in shock.
"Just a simple exchange," Shawn tried. "Or how about a few things he doesn't like? That way we can cross a few things off our list."
Mrs. Lassiter studied the threesome for a second. "Snow globes," she said before slamming the door for a fourth time.
"But…" Shawn said to the closed door. "We already knew that!" he shouted. He received no answer.
"Nice try Shawn but we aren't going to get anything out of Miss Daisy."
"Really?" Shawn raised an eyebrow at Juliet. "We need to work on your movie references."
"Shawn-" Juliet started when a sudden spray of cold water hit her face. She gasped and ran down the garden path. She stopped at the car and turned to stare incredulously at Shawn standing underneath Mrs Lassiter's sprinklers which had suspiciously switched on.
"Oh she is evil." Gus shook his head.
"That's it," Juliet decided.
Shawn frowned as he stepped out from under the sprinklers and shook his head. Droplets splashed everywhere and Juliet took a step back. "What's it?"
"I've spent the better half of the day breaking into my partner's house and antagonising his mother and all we've learned is he doesn't like snow globes! Which we already knew!"
"Come on Jules! Creating happiness in a person takes time."
Juliet help up a finger. "One more hour and then I'm done."
Shawn frowned, "Yeah, well I don't work well to a time limit."
"Take it or leave it," Juliet replied, placing a hand on her hip. "I skipped out on a pile of paperwork to help you on this quest and if I don't get back to it soon I'll be in so much trouble."
He threw his arms up into the air, "Relax!"
"You tell me to relax one more time I'll-" Juliet paused.
"That's it!" Juliet grinned.
"What's it?" Gus asked.
"What we have to do to make Carlton happy." Juliet's grinned widened.
"You're nuts," Shawn declared as they walked up the stairs to the station.
"Shawn." Juliet rolled her eyes.
"No, you're really really nuts, and this is coming from me."
"We've tried everything else."
"It won't work," Shawn sung.
"Yes it will!" Juliet sung back.
Shawn frowned and folded his arms across his chest stubbornly.
"Come on! You know he's been wanting to see this since you first met," Juliet hooked her handcuffs on one finger and dangled them in front of Shawn. "Hold your hands out."
Shawn grumbled under his breath before holding his hands out. Juliet took his wrists and snapped the handcuffs on tightly. "Ow!" The sharp pinch of the handcuffs turned his skin red and Shawn pulled his wrists away from Juliet. He eyed her warily.
"Oh shut up you big baby." She pushed the handcuffs key into her back pocket.
"I think you're enjoying this a little too much." He shook his conjoined wrists at her, pointing two fingers at her.
"Maybe I am," Juliet smirked.
Shawn raised an eyebrow, "You like tying up men huh?"
Juliet gripped his bicep tightly and yanked him forward, "Does your mind ever leave the gutter?"
"But it's so comfy."
"Come on, let's get this show on the road," Juliet opened the station door and pulled Shawn inside, "Make it look good."
Shawn threw his head back and scoffed, "I think I can handle a little over-acting." He told her arrogantly.
As soon as Juliet pulled Shawn past the front desk Shawn started struggling. "Oh why are you doing this to me?" he cried, gaining the attention of most of the room. "I did nothing wrong!"
"Shut up," Juliet replied. She searched the room for Carlton and grinned when she saw him at his desk.
"It wasn't me! Please you have to believe me!" Shawn pulled himself from Juliet's grip and dropped to his knees. He clasped his hands together. "I'm begging you, don't do this!"
"Get up," Juliet yanked him to his feet. "Don't think you can get away this time Shawn," she told him
"I have rights! I want my phone call! I want a lawyer! I want a pineapple smoothie!"
Juliet dragged him through the room and stopped beside Lassiter's desk.
"Where the hell have you been O'Hara," Lassiter said without looking up from his desk. "You don't know what I've had to deal with. There are some completely idiotic officers working here, couldn't fill in a B42 form if their life depended on it, I don't know how many times I told them how, they just didn't listen, God I hate it when people don't listen."
"Guess who I have just-"
"That's nice O'Hara," Lassiter said with an uninterested sigh.
"But-" Juliet tried again.
A young uniformed officer appeared and places more unfinished reports on his desk. Instead of glaring at the officer and letting out some remark about how his time would be better spent out on the streets catching criminals, his shoulders sagged wearily and he flipped open the first file, "You going to disappear again or actually get some work done?"
"Okay that's it!" Shawn cried, pulling himself easily out of Juliet's grasp. "What does a guy have to do to make you smile? Seriously please just tell us because I have tried absolutely everything today. I missed a Different Strokes marathon to help you. Me and Gus made you pineapple muffins which you have barely even sniffed!" Shawn pointed his cuffed hands at the untouched basket on the corner of Lassiter's desk.
"We broke into your house, which by the way, seriously needs redecorating not to mention a TV, hoping to find something, any clue as to what you might like for a birthday present. Is that too much to ask? Really? But no, there was nothing, not even at your mom's house. It's easier getting blood out of a stone that getting your mother to give us an idea of what you might like. I'm starting to get a good idea why you're so cranky all the time! It's impossible to make you smile unless there's criminals and guns involved! Now I'm done! I give up!" Shawn took in a deep breath and let it out, sagging slightly.
Lassiter, who was halfway through a sip of coffee spit his mouthful back into the cup and placed the cup down, a smile teasing at the edge of his lips which quickly turned into uncontrollable laughter.
"Did you think of that all by yourself Spencer? Or were you helped from 'beyond' the whatever," Lassiter managed to say as he stood. He shook his head and walked off, still chuckling as he disappeared around the corner.
Juliet and Shawn looked at each other in disbelief, unable to comprehend what had just happened. Slowly, Shawn looked down as his hands and shook his head.
"Can you un-cuff me now?"
Juliet snatched one of Lassiter's muffins and grinned. "No."