Disclaimer: As always... I do not own Psych!
The shrill beeping of his cell phone jolted Shawn awake from his uneasy sleep. He fumbled blindly in the dark of the hotel room and let out a small cheer of triumph when his fingers wrapped around the sleek cell phone. Shawn flipped his phone open and was blinded by the screen for a few seconds. His eyes adjusted to the screen's brightness and Shawn saw that what had woken him was a newly received text message.
"Why is someone texting me at..." Shawn paused and rolled over to check the time on the digital clock on the bedside table, "two-thirty in the morning?"
Shawn opened the text message. He read it once before reading it three more times. Less than a minute later Shawn was out the door of the hotel room, checked out and on his bike heading south. The text message stuck in his as he drove.
Lassiter's been shot and it doesn't look good
Just thought that I'd let you know.
Shawn moved along the highway, determined to make it back to Santa Barbra as fast as he could. He didn't care if he broke the speed limit or started a state-wide police chase. Shawn just needed to get back home to see Lassie and see if he was okay, even if Shawn had vowed that he wasn't going to go back when he left three months ago.
"I'm coming. Don't die before I get there, Lassie," Shawn whispered to himself as he accelerated his bike.
Three months ago...
Shawn was numb throughout the entire debriefing and hadn't heard a word that Chief Vick, Juliet or Lassiter had said. The case was solved but Shawn couldn't bring himself to feel the normal joy and relief that came when he solved a case. This case had gone so horribly wrong – and it was all Shawn's fault.
Shawn didn't hear the Chief call him. He could barely hear anything past the roaring in his ears and his own self-deprecating thoughts.
If I had only seen the business card sooner, the puzzle would have fit itself together. But no! I overlooked such a blatant clue and that sick bastard was able to rape and kill two more little girls. Damn it, it's all my fault! Shawn cursed himself mentally.
Lassiter's booming voice brought Shawn out of his dark thoughts. He focused his attention on the other people in the room and noticed that all their attention was on him.
Lassiter sighed in exasperation. He glared at the psychic as he replied. "Were you even listening, Spencer?"
"Obviously not or you wouldn't have had to yell my name to get my attention, Lassiter," Shawn snipped.
He wasn't in the mood for this. Shawn knew he had screwed up the case, even if no one else knew it. If he hadn't of overlooked that business card, there would only be one grieving family and not three. He didn't want to sit in the Chief's office and hear about the final details of the case and all the points, pieces of evidence and everything else. Shawn knew it all and he would always know is all thanks to his unique mind.
Damn it, Shawn growled mentally. I can't do this. I can't be here right now!
Shawn abruptly forced himself out his usual chair in front of the Chief's desk. He turned sharply on his heel and left the office, ignoring Jules and Chief Vick calling after him. He couldn't just sit there and rehash the details and outcome of his worst case ever. Shawn couldn't take the look in everyone's eyes.
Why didn't you solve this case sooner? Their eyes screamed at Shawn every time someone looked at him.
Bursting angrily through the front doors of the police station and into the parking lot, Shawn trudged towards his motorcycle. It was raining heavily but it didn't faze Shawn at all. He just moved through it and let himself become soaked as he made his way to his bike slowly.
"Perfect end to a perfect day," Shaw spat bitterly as he finally made it to the far end of the parking lot where he had parked his bike.
Just as Shawn neared his motorcycle, he heard the sound of fast approaching footsteps against the wet pavement and Shawn instantly knew who was behind him. He knew only one person who worse size eleven dress shoes – men's.
"What do you want, Carlton?"
Silence followed Shawn's question. Only the sound of the rain met their ears. Lassiter didn't say anything and he didn't move an inch. Shawn rolled his eyes.
"If that's all you want to say, Lassiter, then I'll be on my way." Shawn fished his keys out of his jeans and climbed onto his bike.
Shawn had just put his key into the ignition when Lassiter finally spoke. "Shawn, what's wrong?"
The quiet question that the detective asked startled Shawn. Confused hazel eyes met concerned blue eyes. "Excuse me? I'm sorry the rain must be affecting my hearing because there is no way that the great Head Detective Carlton Lassiter just asked me if something was okay."
Lassiter glared at Shawn's sarcastic response. "Listen, Spencer. For once if my life, I actually care about what's bothering you," Lassiter growled. "You've been acting odd for the last two days. Hell! Even when we got this case, you were off. So how about you just take the stick out of your ass and tell me what's wrong."
Shawn's anger flared. "That's rich coming from you Lassiter. You're "Mister Stick Up your Ass!" So stop with the fake charity act. You don't care!"
Shawn turned the key and kick started his motorcycle. He was just about to take off when Lassiter's hand clamped down on his arm, preventing him from leaving.
"Listen," Lassiter paused. "This case was one that I knew you'd be able to solve without much trouble. You've solved harder cases within the span of a minute. So... Why couldn't you solve this one without – "
"Without anyone else getting killed?" Shawn snarled. "Because, Lassiter, I'm not perfect nor am I a psychic and I fucked up." Shawn shrugged off Lassiter's hand and pointedly ignored Lassiter's shocked expression. "Just be happy, Lassiter. No more annoying fake psychic hanging around you anymore. Have a nice life and tell Jules goodbye for me."
Shawn revved his bike before he took off into the rain and away from Lassiter. He didn't look back and he had no plans to.
"I'm not coming back this time," Shawn whispered as he sped out of Santa Barbra. "I've fucked everything up beyond repair for sure this time. The case, my job, and my chance with..."
Shawn focused on the road in front of him and pushed his thoughts to the back of his mind. There was no point in thinking about everything he was leaving behind.
No point in remembering what you were willingly leaving behind.
Shawn brought his thoughts back to the present as he roared passed the "Welcome to Santa Barbra" sign. It had only been three months since he left but it felt like he had never left as Shawn roared down the familiar streets. There was only one hospital in Santa Barbra and Shawn had been more times than anyone else. That's where Lassiter would be brought to deal with his injury.
Arriving at Santa Barbra General Hospital, Shawn parked his motorcycle and raced to the Nurses' Station. "I'm looking for a patient," Shawn gasped out when he reached the desk.
"Name," the disinterested nurse asked.
"Carlton, Detective Carlton Lassiter."
There was the clacking of nails on a keyboard as the nurse looked up the information. "No, Carl Loiter has been admitted to the hospital."
Shawn stared at her dumbly. "What? That can't be right. I got a message saying that he was – Wait a minute! Did you say 'Carl Loiter'?"
"Duh. That's who you asked for."
Shawn growled angrily at the nurse. "No, I asked for Carlton Lassiter." He had to grind his teeth to stop himself from strangling the nurse.
"Well, why didn't you say so earlier?" The nurse snapped her gum as she spoke. "Carlton Lassiter. He's in room 624."
Shawn took off towards the elevator as soon as he received the room number. He fidgeted uncontrollably as he waited for the elevator to reach the sixth floor. Every other person in the elevator kept their distance, eyeing Shawn warily as he twitched in place.
There was the familiar 'ding' as the elevator finally reached the sixth floor and with it, Shawn raced down the hall looking desperately for room 624. He wandered around for fifteen minutes before finding the room and realising that he had passed it about ten times.
"Finally!" Shawn breathed a sigh of relief. He looked up and down the hallway. There was no one around at all. "Did everyone already visit him?"
Deciding that everyone had probably already visited the injured detective, since it had been a couple hours since Shawn had received the text, Shawn knocked softly on the door. He waited a moment before quietly slipping into the room. It was dark in the hospital room as Shawn walked towards the lone hospital bed.
"Lassiter?" Shawn received no response. He reached the bed and noticed that it looked like no patient had even been in the room. "Oh God," Shawn gasped. "I was too late."
Shawn slumped dejectedly onto the expertly made bed and let his head fall into his hands. Now I've screwed everything up, Shawn thought bitterly.
"Great! Now I'm hearing things," Shawn groaned into his hands. "Karma really is a bitch if I've now become able to talk to the dead after pretending for so long."
"I never should have come back."
Shawn whipped around and was about to yell at the annoying person calling his name when his eyes landed on Lassiter leaning against the closed door. He was watching Shawn with a slight trace of amusement in his eyes,
Shawn gaped at the detective before stumbling towards him. He grabbed Lassiter in a tight hug and tried to wrap his mind around what was going on. "You're not dead," Shawn murmured as he nuzzled Lassiter's neck. "God, I thought I didn't make it in time." He started to shake slightly with emotion as he spoke.
Carlton looked down in shock at the man who had attached himself to his torso. When he felt Shawn start to shake, Lassiter wrapped his arms tightly around the younger man and whispered soothing words into his ear. "I'm fine, Shawn. Don't worry, I wasn't injured," Lassiter spoke calmly as he stroked Shawn's hair.
The younger man pulled away and looked into clear blue eyes. "You're not injured? You're fine?"
"I'm perfectly fine and bullet free. This was just a trick that Gus and O'Hara helped me come up with to get you to come home. Considering you wouldn't listen to Gus and just com – "
A swift and strong punch to his jaw cut off the rest of Carlton's statement. He hit the door, hard. Wiping a hand across his jaw and lips, he discovered a bit of blood in the corner of his mouth. "What the hell, Shawn?!"
"You prick," Shawn yelled. "I thought you were dying and then I get here to an empty hospital room and I think you're dead! Thanks for fucking with my feelings, Lassiter!"
Shawn pushed the stunned detective away from the door and went to leave the room but before he could even turn the doorknob, he found himself pulled away from the door. He was held flush against Lassiter's chest and the detective held his arms to his sides.
"Let me go," Shawn growled as he tried to break free from Lassiter's strong grip.
"Not a chance. Not until we have a little chat, Shawn." He held onto the struggling man tighter, forcing Shawn's back to press hard into his chest.
Shawn tried to struggle himself free but it was hopeless. "I don't want to talk to you. Let go before I scream rape."
"No one will come."
"Like hell," Shawn quipped. He got ready to scream but Lassiter clamped a hand over his mouth. "Mmf!"
"Okay. So someone will probably come if you scream, so don't." Lassiter didn't remove his hand. "I just want to talk. You can leave freely when we're done."
Shawn nodded. He figured that the sooner he listened, the sooner he'd be free. Lassiter removed his hands from Shawn but made sure to block the exit. The younger man sat on the bed and waited for the detective to start.
"Well?" Shawn asked after about five minutes of silence.
"Why'd you leave, Shawn?"
Shawn locked eyes with Lassiter. "Don't you listen to the horror stories my dad tells you?? I left because it's what I do."
"I don't believe that for one second, Shawn," Lassiter growled. "I was watching you during that case three months ago. Near the end of it, you weren't you anymore."
"It was a horrible and difficult case. None of us were ourselves by the end of it."
"True," Lassiter agreed. "But something was really off with you."
"Look, Lassiter. I don't know what you want me to say..."
"The truth, Shawn."
Shawn stared at Lassiter blankly. He knew Lassiter wasn't going to let him leave this mini-interrogation unless he spoke the complete truth. He sighed.
"Why are you asking about that, Lassiter?"
"What do you mean?"
"I would've thought that you would be wondering about why I finally admitted to you that I was the fake you always knew I was."
"We'll get to that. Now stop sidetracking and answer my question."
Shawn sighed once more. "You're an ass, Lassiter."
"I know," Carlton smirked.
Shawn sized up his chances of making it to the door. He didn't have a chance, especially with Lassiter leaning against the door. "Fine. If it'll get me out of here then I'll tell you."
"About time you saw it my way."
"I left... I left because I couldn't do it anymore. You happy now?" Shawn moved to the door and waited for Lassiter to move. He didn't. "Well? You know now, now move"
Lassiter moved away from the door slightly. Assuming that he was free, Shawn grabbed the doorknob. A hand closed around his wrist before he could open the door. He met the detective's eyes and raised an eyebrow in question.
"What?" Shawn growled. His eyes narrowed as he glared at the detective.
"We're not done."
Shawn's anger flared at the detective's words. Fuming, he broke free of Lassiter's grip and spun to face the determined gaze of the detective. "What the hell do you want from me, huh? Why the fuck do you care, Lassiter? Why now?"
"Because you made me care about you," Lassiter roared back at Shawn.
"Well, I'm sorry for making Tin Man Lassiter feel something! Let me leave and you can go back to being hollow," Shawn snarled.
Turning once more to leave the room, Shawn didn't see Lassiter move. Before he could even blink, Shawn found himself slammed against the wall near the door. Lassiter pressed flush against him, hard and demanding lips upon his own.
The kiss was fierce and demanding. Lassiter dominated the kiss and Shawn. He forced both to bend to his will and follow the detective's movements. Shawn had no choice but to succumb to Lassiter and he returned the harsh kiss, letting all of his anger loose to help intensify it.
They broke for air and gasped into each other's mouths. Shawn's eyes were screwed shut but he could feel Lassiter's piercing blue eyes on him.
"I don't want to be hollow," Lassiter breathed against Shawn's lips. "You are not allowed to do that to me again."
Shawn's eyes snapped open and he stared into unwavering eyes. "What do you mean?" His voice was hush and nervous as he spoke. "You hate me."
"Think for a minute, Shawn," Lassiter quipped and flicked the younger man on the forehead. "I spent two years being forced to work with you. Did you really think that I hated you all that time?"
Lassiter laughed. "No, I didn't. Before you left... That case, I saw how it ate away at you, Shawn. I wanted to know why and help you. I still do."
Shawn sagged, most his weight resting against Lassiter. "I failed them," he murmured softly.
"Because of me, two more little girls were killed by that sick bastard."
"It wasn't your fault. Shawn, you couldn't have known where he was going to strike next," Lassiter stressed.
"I could have! If I hadn't fucked up and overlooked that card... I could have stopped him..." Shawn's voice trailed off. He kept his eyes downcast and rested more of his weight against the detective.
"Card," Lassiter said softly. He tried to think of the card that Shawn was talking about. "You man that doctor's business card?"
Shawn nodded sullenly.
"Shawn," Carlton tried to gain the younger man's attention. Shawn wouldn't meet Lassiter's eyes, so he placed his hand on the younger man's chin and forced him to meet his eyes. "Shawn, there is no way you could have seen that card at the crime scenes. It was barely noticeable. No one saw it. You can't blame yourself because of that."
Shawn bristled at Lassiter's words. "I did notice it! I saw it but I overlooked it. I didn't think it was worth anything and because of that two more little girls died." He shoved at the detective's chest but Carlton wouldn't move. "Just fuck off, you don't understand... Just leave me alone."
Carlton took in Shawn's appearance. The younger man looked so broken and hurt, far from how he used to be. "This has been eating at you for the last three months," he whispered sadly. "Why didn't you talk to someone? Gus, Juliet, the Chief, your dad or hell, even me! Shawn, talk to me."
"There's nothing left for me to say. You have your answer. I left because I caused the deaths of two innocent little girls," Shawn said brokenly, his voice hollow. "Just let me go, please."
The way that Shawn kept pleading with Carlton to just let him go, didn't sit well with him at all. He didn't even want to think about what Shawn would do if he let him leave right now.
The younger man didn't even react to his name.
"Please, Shawn. Don't do this to me," Carlton pleaded.
Hazel eyes tinged with hopelessness met worried blue eyes. Something flickered in Shawn's eyes as he regarded Carlton. "Don't you want to know how I solved those cases?"
Lassiter frowned. Shawn was changing the subject again but at least he wasn't trying to leave. "How'd you do it Shawn?"
Shawn smiled a hollow smile. "I have an eidetic memory. Plus, my father trained me to be a cop as soon as I could talk."
"No hocus-pocus or inside source?"
"None. Just me," Shawn's smiled faded. "Look what it got me."
Carlton was starting to get really frustrated with Shawn. He missed the old Shawn, who was so full of energy and compassion. "Shawn, listen, I – "
"Please, Carlton. Just let go... Let me go. I'll finally be gone and you'll be rid of me once and for all," Shawn interrupted. "It's what you've always wanted."
That did it. Lassiter snapped. He pushed Shawn into the wall roughly and smacked the younger man across the face, jarring Shawn away from his dark thoughts.
"Now you listen to me, Spencer and you listen good," Carlton growled. "This pity part of yours has to stop. I know you've hurting over that case but no one blames you for not saying anything about the card.
"Hell, it didn't even lead to the killer. It just led to a connection between the victims. That's it."
"But – "
"No buts, Shawn," Carlton gently spoke as he pulled Shawn against him. "No one blames you so you shouldn't blame yourself. You solved the case when you noticed that all the girls went to the same park after going to the doctor's. That's where he was kidnapping them from."
Carlton carded a hand through Shawn's untamed hair, trying to sooth him as he spoke. He felt Shawn relax against his chest. "It still hurts, though," Shawn mumbled as he nuzzled into Carlton's chest.
"I know. It will for awhile and the last three months, dealing with all this pain on your own didn't help. You just need to heal," Carlton spoke softly into Shawn's hair. "You're going to be okay. I promise."
Shawn gripped Lassiter's shirt in desperation. "What do I do now?"
Carlton pulled Shawn from where the younger man had buried his face in his chest. He looked deeply into Shawn's eyes and saw all the pain and fear swirling in the hazel eyes. "Shawn..." Carlton paused. He tried to find the right words to help reduce some of Shawn's pain. "Shawn, just come home."
Shawn looked into Carlton's eyes and saw nothing but promise and caring in their blue depths. "Come home?" Shawn questioned quietly.
"Yes, Shawn," Carlton said gently.
"I... I don't think... I can't." Shawn eyes were focused on the floor as he spoke and his whole body went tense.
Carlton moved a hand to cup Shawn's cheek and gently brought his eyes up to meet his. He could feel the tension radiating off of the younger man. "Why not? There's no reason for you not to come home, Shawn."
His eyes still wouldn't quite meet Carlton's eyes and he stared blankly at the wall over Lassiter's shoulder. "It won't be the same. My apartment is gone and I have no job to go back to. There's nothing left for me there... It'd be better if I just stayed gone."
"Is that really what you think, Shawn?" Carlton asked Shawn firmly. Shawn nodded in response but the motion seemed somewhat robotic. "You're wrong."
"How am I wrong, Lassiter?"
"Everyone wants you to come home, Shawn! Gus and your dad have been taking care of your apartment so that it's there for when you come home."
Shawn was shocked when he heard that. There was no way that he would have ever expected that his dad would take care of his place. "But..."
"You still have your job with the SBPD. Don't you want to continue helping with the cases?"
"B-but that can't be right! I told you before I left that I was a fake! There's no way the Chief would continue to let me work cases now that the truth is out. How do I know she isn't going to arrest me and lock me up for fraud as soon as I step out of this hospital?"
"She can't arrest you," Carlton said cryptically.
Shawn arched eyebrow at the detective. "Why's that? Are you going to arrest me first?" He tried to put some distance between himself and Carlton.
Carlton just tightened his arms around Shawn's waist and refused to allow the younger man to put even an inch of distance between them. "No one is going to arrest you, Shawn, because I never told the Chief that you admitted to being a fake. No one beside me, Gus, and your dad knows."
"Oh..." Shawn was shocked silent. He never told anyone? "But why didn't you...?"
Carlton smiled softly at Shawn. "Because we need you on those cases, Shawn. Sure, O'Hara and I would solve them without your meddling but you are there to help us bring the criminals to justice swiftly and your there to be there for the families. You just being there give them more hope than two detectives just saying the standard 'We'll find who did this' speech."
"You really mean that?" Shawn could barely keep the doubt he felt out of his voice when he asked. He knew that there was no reason for Lassiter to lie to him but still. Why would he be trying so hard to keep me here if he was just playing with me? Shawn asked himself.
Carlton saw the overwhelming doubt and the small bit of hope swimming in Shawn's eyes. He could understand that Shawn might think that he was just playing with him since they were never the best of friends before but ever since the younger man had left, Carlton had felt like a piece of him was gone. There was no way that he was playing with Shawn and he knew he had to prove it to him.
"I would never lie about needing you, Shawn."
Shawn's eyes widened. Not only had Carlton said that he wasn't lying but the detective had also said that he needed Shawn. There was no trace of a lie on his face or in his eyes and Shawn new instantly that he had meant it, all of it.
With a sense of relief washing through him and a weight lifted off his shoulders, Shawn grasped the back of Carlton's neck and dragged the detective down to meet his lips in a powerful kiss. He pressed himself fully into the older man and gripped him tight, as if this was some sort of dream and Lassiter would disappear.
Carlton returned the kiss instantly and his arms were wrapped securely around Shawn in a caring yet possessive embrace. They eventually had to pull away so that they could get much need oxygen into their lungs but they never released the tight grip that held them together.
"So," Carlton said softly, his lips brushing against Shawn's as he spoke.
Shawn was silent for a moment. He knew what Carlton was asking even if the detective hadn't really asked the question. Are you coming home? Shawn smiled softly into the side of the detective's neck and felt Carlton tighten his grip just a little bit more around his waist. He placed a small kiss to Lassiter's neck and then pulled away – just a bit – to look into waiting blue eyes and Shawn was sure that his own eyes sparkled with his silent answer.
Carlton pulled Shawn close once more and placed a soft, sweet kiss on his lips. The kiss was unlike their previous ones. It was more of a soft caress than a powerful and passionate joining. When he pulled away, Carlton spoke softly into Shawn's ear.
"Welcome home, Shawn."
"It's good to be home..."
Well there you have it! Another story done! Thanks for reading!