"Carlton, I'm sure it's fine." Carlton's jaw clenched and his knuckles went white around the steering wheel. "Really, I think—"

"O'Hara," Carlton growled, "shut. Up." Juliet closed her mouth, teeth hitting together with an audible click. She hung on as Carlton took a corner too fast, tires squealing.

There were blue and red lights flashing from two blocks away, half of Santa Barbara's emergency personnel converging on the home of one Carlton Lassiter, where one Shawn Spencer was spending his days. Carlton slowed as he approached the barrier.

"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to—"

"Move." The officer didn't even ask for Carlton's ID, just paled and stepped away, motioning them forward. Juliet tried to offer him a comforting smile, but it came out more like a grimace.

Carlton pulled up onto the grass of his front lawn, alarmed by the lack of activity in the vicinity: no swarming law enforcement personnel, no one at the command center. A black SWAT van was parked across the street, various other official vehicles lining the street.

"Carlton—" He ignored O'Hara and sprinted into the house, prepared for the worst. Which meant he wasn't prepared for the sight of his kitchen.

"Lassy!" Shawn called, smiling manically. Carlton was too dumbfounded to register Shawn pulling him out into the hall. "How's it hanging?"

"There's a bomb squad in my *kitchen*, Spencer!" Carlton reminded himself that he (supposedly) loved Shawn Spencer, and love (supposedly) transcended all things.

"To be fair, there's also McNab, a couple firefighters..." Shawn trailed off, smiling broadly in the face of Carlton's glare.

"There is a bomb squad in my kitchen," Carlton repeated, enunciating every word. "WHY is there a bomb squad in my kitchen?"

"They were hungry, and it would have been rude to just kick them out into the cold." Shawn smiled disingenuously and spread his arms wide. "And did you know the pineapple is the international fruit of welcome and hospitality?"

"We're in Santa Barbara, Spencer. There is no such thing as cold!"

"I'll have you know that—"


"Oh, well, I may have found a stellar way to clear out our refrigerator and get rid off all those leftovers from—"

"Spencer!" Carlton growled dangerously, hand twitching for his sidearm.

"Oh. Well, Gus and I were working on a case—this guy was cheating on his wife and his girlfriend! With twins! They have these matching tattoos on their—"

"Mrugsiffffgggggg!" Carlton said.

"I'm just looking, Lassyface," Shawn assured him, patting Carlton on the ass. "Your strong Irish jawline is more than enough for me."

Carlton reminded himself, AGAIN, that he (only kind of) loved Shawn Spencer, and love (really didn't) transcends all things. Even Shawn Spencer himself.

"You have exactly ten seconds to tell me why there are SWAT vans and police cars lining the street," Carlton managed through clenched teeth, "and why all of my neighbors have been evacuated."

"Someone thought there was a bomb," Shawn said in his most "Duh, Lassy!" tone. Carlton really, really hated that tone of voice. It made him lose all semblance of sanity.

"Spencer," Carlton said, sounding deceptively light. Shawn swallowed and stepped back even as Carlton took a step forward. "If you" step "do not" step "tell me" step "what the ifuck/i" Shawn hit the wall and couldn't retreat any further "is going on" Carlton loomed over him, blue eye glittering "you are sleeping on the couch for the rest of your life."


Carlton sighed. Carlton closed his eyes. Carlton ignored Shawn's tongue swiping childishly against his palm where it kept Shawn's mouth from wreaking any more havoc with Carlton's blood pressure. Carlton needed to stop thinking about himself in the third person, because Carlton was pretty sure that was the first sign of insanity.

"We're going to start this whole thing over," Carlton decided. "I am going to rewind the last ten minutes of my life and we're going to tape over them like this conversation never happened. Got it?" He glared at Shawn until he nodded earnestly. Carlton cautiously pulled his hand away, waiting for Shawn to destroy his carefully constructed Time Warp Bubble.

"There's a bomb squad in my kitchen, Shawn," Carlton said, voice even and much more terrifying than when he was yelling. "Why is there a bomb squad in my kitchen?"

"Why, funny you should ask, Carlton," Shawn said in his most 'grown up' voice. He sounded like Carlton's high school Science teacher, the one who was a Vietnam vet and had flashbacks in the middle of class. "Someone tried to blow up Gus and the fine, upstanding members of the Santa Barbara bomb quad were kind enough to make sure that didn't happen. So I invited them to stay for some pineapple pound cake and delicious leftovers, in an effort to show them how truly ecstatic I was that my best friend is in one large Gus-sized piece instead of a million vaguely Gus-like pieces."

Carlton blinked, stared at Shawn for a moment, then caught him up in a giant hug. Jesus, Shawn had almost died today. And Gus too. But Shawn had almost died and he was joking about it.

"Carlton," Shawn wheezed, trying to breathe. "Carlton. I can't...s'not..." Carlton abruptly let go, holding Shawn at arms length, eyes wild.

"You do not get to be exploded!" Carlton yelled, shaking Shawn for emphasis. Shawn braced himself and broke free of Carlton's hold. Carlton was staring at him, wide-eyed and crazy looking. Shawn ran his fingers through Carlton's hair and pressed up against him. Carlton made a tight, strangled noise and leaned into the touch like he was touch-starved. God, Shawn.

"Syntax, Lassarooney," Shawn whispered, giving Carlton Eskimo kisses. He could feel the tension draining out of Carlton with every touch, and he pressed a soft kiss to Carlton's lips. "No one can take you serious with bad grammar."

Carlton's laugh still boarded on hysterical, but he didn't look so strung out anymore. They melted into one another bodies as close as they could get, Carlton assuring himself Shawn wasn't exploded, and Shawn perhaps admitting he (and Gus) had come close to death today and that was a little bit scary.

The sound of something shattering on the floor and a series of cat calls interrupted them. They pulled away and looked towards the kitchen.

"There's a bomb squad in my kitchen, Spencer."

"Don't forget about the paramedics!" Carlton glared at him, and Shawn smiled winsomely, his hand sneaking around to cop a feel of Carlton's (really very lovely) ass.

"Right," Carlton said, knocking Shawn's hand away and heading towards the kitchen. "I'll make sure to thank them all while I kick them out."