Disclaimer: Psych and all related characters are not mine and they never will be. So sad.
Lassiter paused outside the Psych office, taking in the closed sign on the window with a frown. Spencer's motorcycle was here though and after a moment he pushed the door open and walked in anyway. After being out in the bright Santa Barbara sun the inside of the office seemed very dark and he had to squint to see anything.
Light from outside filtered in through the blinds and the detective just managed to make out the form of the other man leaning back in his desk chair.
"Lassy, you took long enough getting here."
Spencer's voice was relaxed and amused but Lassiter was willing to bet those emotions didn't reach his eyes. Not much did these days. Not since…
"You were expecting me?"
Spencer chuckled then and his voice was dry when he answered. "Psychic, right?"
There was an uncomfortable silence, or at least, uncomfortable in Lassiter's opinion. Spencer didn't seem to mind.
Lassiter cleared his throat. "O'Hara's worried about you," he said abruptly. "She wants you to visit her. She says she has something to talk to you about."
Spencer looked away then, his eyes focusing on Guster's empty desk. "She'll be okay," he said after a minute and when he looked back at the detective his expression was unreadable. "She'll be out of the hospital tomorrow and she'll be fine. Everything will go back to normal for you guys."
Again Spencer's eyes strayed to the empty desk across from his own and Lassiter shifted uncomfortably, feeling out of his element. "The Chief still wants you to consult on cases," he said. "She's got one she wants you to look at first thing in the morning."
"I know," Spencer muttered and Lassiter nodded, knowing there was something he wasn't seeing.
"So you'll be there?"
There was a long pause during which Lassiter had no idea what was going through Spencer's head. "You know the answer to that," he said at last and Lassiter frowned. "It's why you're here."
"What the hell do you mean, Spencer?" the detective demanded gruffly, watching as yet again Spencer's eyes traveled to Guster's desk.
"I can't take on anymore cases, Lassy," the younger man said quietly and with an unpleasant lurch of his stomach Lassiter realized a part of him had expected this all along and he glanced at that other desk in Spencer's office and hesitated, feeling there was something he should say.
"Spencer, Guster wouldn't want…"
That was as far as he got though; Spencer was on his feet in an instant, his expression dangerous. "Don't you dare tell me what Gus would want, Detective," he spat, making the last word sound like an insult, and dimly Lassiter realized that Spencer had never called him that before. Not ever. "The only person who can tell us that is Gus and he's dead."
Spencer looked shocked then, as though his own words had taken him by surprise and Lassiter wondered if it was the first time he had allowed himself to say them out loud.
"He's dead," he repeated again, softer this time, and there was a look of such pain and despair in his eyes that Lassiter desperately wished someone else was here besides himself. Someone who knew Spencer better, someone who could comfort him or just talk without making an ass out of themselves.
Someone like Guster.
Lassiter swallowed. "Spencer…"
He was interrupted again though as the younger man sighed and shook his head, some of the unreadable mask from before slipping back over his features. "Don't, Lassy. Just… don't. You finally got what you wanted. I'm not psychic. I won't be interfering in police investigations anymore. You win."
He sagged back into his chair then, looking the very picture of defeat and Lassiter frowned, very uncomfortable now. It was no secret he had wanted Spencer discredited and gone but not like this. Not at this cost.
Guster's empty desk seemed very loud just then.
He hadn't wanted this.
He hadn't found it the least bit satisfying when Spencer, voice broken, had finally admitted he wasn't psychic as his friend's body was being lowered into the ground.
He hadn't been pleased when the not psychic had practically begged to be arrested.
He hadn't even felt disappointed when the Chief had refused. And when she had insisted she still wanted Spencer to consult on cases he had agreed. Personal feelings aside the man was good. He was meant to solve crime.
Spencer was watching these thoughts pass over his face with a faint sardonic grin, as though he knew what the detective was thinking. "Doesn't matter," he said softly, apparently in answer to his thoughts and Lassiter tried not to think about how he felt about that. "Gus is dead and Jules is in the hospital and I can't do it anymore."
It was then that Lassiter noticed it. The seemingly innocent backpack leaning against Spencer's desk. The practically bare state of the office and the fact that Spencer was wearing his leather jacket with his helmet on the desk beside him and he swore internally, reflecting that Spencer himself would probably have noticed it all from the start.
It wasn't a question. The answer was obvious.
"You know the answer. It's why you're here."
Spencer had said that and with a feeling of almost amazement Lassiter realized the younger man was right. Somewhere inside he had known, or suspected, that Spencer was leaving. That was why he had come.
To say good-bye.
He swallowed again as Spencer stood up once more and grabbed his backpack, slinging it over his shoulder, helmet in hand.
"Where will you go?"
Spencer shrugged carelessly. "Anywhere. Doesn't matter. Away."
Lassiter nodded and he wanted to say something but he didn't know what. He had for the most part disliked Spencer from the moment they'd met. What was he supposed to say in the face of that? That he may not have liked him but he did at least respect him? Grudgingly, but still.
He was fairly confident Spencer knew that though.
Spencer grinned at him then and Lassiter again had the uncomfortable feeling the younger man knew exactly what he was thinking but when he walked by him to leave all he did was clap the detective on the shoulder.
"Take care, Lassy."
And he was gone and through the window of the Psych office Lassiter watched as Shawn Spencer, fake psychic detective, drove out of his life.
The next day when he picked O'Hara up from the hospital the first thing she had said was, "He's gone, isn't he?"
When he had nodded in the affirmative her eyes had, to his horror, filled with tears.
She had proceeded to tell him that she had woken up a couple of days ago to find a note on the table beside her hospital bed.
A note from Spencer.
In it he'd told her how he loved her.
How he would always love her.
How sorry he was.
Six months passed before he ran into Henry Spencer in a grocery store isle one Sunday afternoon.
He heard from Shawn on occasion, the retired police officer told him. Post cards would every now and then show up in the mail. Once or twice he'd gotten an e-mail.
He had aged, Lassiter couldn't help but notice.
Shawn would be back, Henry told him. He always came back.
He just needed time. Time to dull the pain of the memories.
He would be back.
Lassiter nodded and he wondered.
A/N: Hope someone out there enjoyed. I love reviews. Just thought I'd throw that out there. :grins: