Red Sky At Morning
A Psych/The Mentalist crossover, placed in The Mentalist category because it needs some love. AU, obviously.
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. Six years to the day Burton Guster was found murdered, Carlton Lassiter never thought he'd see Shawn Spencer walk into the Santa Barbara PD.
A/N: I would love to turn this into a proper story, with a plot and chapters and actual stuff. Really I would. Somebody kick my muse and give it coffee. For now, it stays a oneshot. Patrick Jane reminds me of a sedate, sober Shawn Spencer, and Red John was the perfect catalyst to turn one into the other.
He didn't know why it popped into his head, but for some reason, when his eyes flickered over to the desk calendar that morning, the realisation came.
Six years to the day since claimed psychic Shawn Spencer walked out of a police station press conference, drove back to Psych, and found his best friend murdered, a grotesque smiley-face hanging over him on the wall, painted in blood.
Painted in his best friend's blood. The mark of a serial killer called Red John. A serial killer Shawn had been working to catch, who he had gone on public television and practically taunted.
Who repaid the gesture with a sick smile.
Painted in blood.
The next morning, Shawn left Santa Barbara without a trace. Carlton had been the one to discover Psych locked up tight, taped in Police Caution-yellow, all the amenities still there, gathering dust. His apartment by contrast was barren. There had been rumors, of course. He'd run off to Mexico. He'd committed suicide. He'd gotten kidnapped. Killed. He was hiding.
All popular, all possibilities Lassiter refused to believe, because he just couldn't picture Shawn doing any of it.
Except perhaps the Mexico thing, but for six years? No. This was Spencer, with Guster's blood on his hands. There wasn't any doubt in Carlton's mind that he was alive, and fighting.
So, Six years to the day, Carlton Lassiter, Interim Chief, glanced up absently from his paperwork, and found himself staring at a dead man.
And he was surprised.
To be honest, if his attention hadn't been grabbed by the conversation taking place between the California Bureau of Investigation agents and the front desk, Lassiter might've- would have- missed him entirely. Yet there he was. Standing apart and behind of the CBI feds, his eyes taking in the police station with silence, scanning everything at a sedate, leisurely pace.
He looked different. Older. His hair was less tamed by fashion and gel, and a natural curl had crept into the bottle-blond tips. Gone were the jeans, the quirky shirts. If Lassiter had a word for what he saw, it would've been "sober." The Shawn Spencer he knew, had known, was replaced by this stranger, dressed to the nines in slacks and a waistcoat, of all things.
Gray and white, vibrancy washed away, a face in the crowd.
Carlton rose from his chair and moved towards the group, in time to catch Spencer's lightly muttered remark towards the woman of the federal pair. "You do realize he had nothing to do with the murder," the psychic said, and for a moment, he sounded like he used to, cocksure and airily smug. "He just doesn't want to tell us he was banging the pool boy. The wife did it."
"So help me, Jane, I will shave your eyebrows if you don't have proof," the agent responded through exasperatedly grit teeth. Another Deja Vu, only Lassiter was on the outside looking in.
Three pairs of eyes turned on him. Spencer's eyes widened. A grin spread over his face. And there, there was the spark that had been so expertly covered, still burning in those eyes. "Lassi!"
Six years. No word, no note, no sign, and countless hours Lassiter had put into apologies, rants, whatever he would say to Spencer if he ever showed up again...
And he found he couldn't say a thing.