Step Lively Now by Catherine De Wilde

Shawn swung his pint to the tune of a bawdy drinking song and slung an arm around Juliet's shoulders. "This was an excellent idea, my fair Jules."

"I didn't even know Santa Barbara had an Irish Festival," Gus added. He'd loosened the green tie donned for the occasion and sipped his own pint.

"Really, it was just the perfect excuse to get very, very drunk," Juliet said with a devilish little grin.

"I'll drink to that," Gus laughed and knocked his pint against Juliet's, adding to the beer already sloshed across their end of the picnic table. The drinking song came to its natural end (something about loose wenches and jealous wives) and the band parked next to them started into a ballad. The three comrades drained their drinks and took to wandering the booths.

Within an hour Shawn abandoned his green polo for a "Kiss Me If You're Irish" T-shirt and started working off the buzz from the beer. He wasn't sober enough yet, though, to properly mock Juliet when she literally squealed like a schoolgirl and dragged them through the crowd towards a thrust stage.

"Oh my God, they've got step dancing!"

"Step dancing?" Gus asked. Clearly he wasn't buzzed enough to not indulge in a little teasing. "You got a thing for the people with the twitchy feet, Juliet?"

She punched him playfully in the arm. "Don't make fun, Guster. Just see, it's amazing."

They joined the growing crowd surrounding the stage, where girls in red dresses and boys in pea-green shirts lined up. They seemed to be waiting for something. Shawn was just beginning to look around for whatever the signal was supposed to be when a voice, familiar despite the rolling Irish accent, came over the speakers.

"If you hail from the shores of the Emerald Isle, or wish ye did..." All three whipped around, searching the owner of that voice, and all three jaws dropped when they found it.

Gus squinted. "Is that..."

"Carlton Lassiter?" Juliet finished. And indeed it was Lassiter, moving gracefully through the crowd, brushing shoulders and grinning cockily into his headset. Shawn just gaped, unable to find words. But his eyes roved over the shiny green fabric, the draping sleeves and leather straps lacing the shirt shut across a powerful chest.

"If the blood in yer veins is as green as a shamrock and your heart's full of blarney, then the Saint of the Step loves ya. You belong to the Saint of the Step!" The light piping music shifted into the pulse of the fiddle and the step. People in the audience bounced and danced in sync with the performers, but the junior detective, the pharmaceutical salesman, and the fake psychic were too distracted by the presence of their colleague to take notice.

And then he started dancing, heels clicking and feet crossing fast and smooth.

By the time the music slowed to a finish, Gus and Juliet were clapping along and laughing.

"That was so great. I'd never have guessed Carlton could move like that, would you, Shawn?" But Shawn was already gone.

***

Lassiter gladly accepted a towel and alternately praised or critiqued the younger members of the troupe as they filed off stage and back towards the trailer lot. He was soft on them, softer than he was on his reenactment buddies or fellow cops, but they'd quickly taught him when he joined the troupe that they wouldn't put up with any of his antagonizing bullshit. They'd rigged his shoes with whoopee cushions to get the point across.

He'd learned to enjoy the frankness, as much as he enjoyed his return to the step. The dancing gave him a rush, and not the danger-based kind he looked forward to while chasing a perp. There was something about being the Saint of the Step that made him feel powerful. His hippie neo-flower-child second cousin, who'd seen him perform back in college, had described the dance as an ancient ritual for raising energy and intensity. Try as he might, he hadn't found a better way to explain it since then.

Adrenaline still swam in his veins as he followed the group. The performance had gone especially well and now they'd be going off to celebrate in the traditional manner, no doubt. Most of them were college kids, almost half his age, but they'd made him one of them. He grinned. The youthful energy was contagious. There was only one thing that could make his day any better at this point.

As expected, the rest of the troupe had unanimously decided it was time to indulge in some good old Irish drinking as they walked. Lassiter smirked at his own powers of prediction and sent them ahead once they'd picked up their wallets and purses from the Crown Victoria's trunk. As much as he enjoyed his dancing uniform, he'd rather not have to wash the beer stains out tomorrow.

They'd used the trailer as a dressing room. Lassiter turned the corner, ready to slip in, change, and get out, only to find himself with an armful of squirming Shawn who immediately began dropping hot, wet kisses on his mouth. Shawn chastised him between kisses, wrapping his hands in the fabric of Lassiter's shirt.

"Can't believe—you didn't—hm—tell me—about—this—you are—God!—so hot—"

Lassiter got over his initial shock pretty quickly. He rolled his eyes a bit at the thought that he really couldn't keep anything from his lover, but then devoted his attention to the much more important task of kissing Shawn. Desire swept through him with familiarity as he dragged Shawn into the trailer and pinned him against the metal wall. He pressed their hips together and felt more than heard as Shawn's groan rumbled through his chest. Hands raced over familiar territory, delighting in the flushed heat between them. Somehow they managed enough coordination to get zippers down and boxers out of the way before being reduced to the basest of instincts, thrusting and rubbing their way to blinding pleasure.

They both panted like they'd finished running a marathon (Shawn would protest and say it had been a marathon, of sorts). Lassiter rested his forehead against Shawn's with his eyes closed as he caught his breath.

"Hello, Shawn."

Shawn laughed. "Hey, Lassi. Nice performance." At the raised eyebrow, he added, "The dancing, I mean."

Lassiter smirked, but frowned seconds later. "I would've told you, but—"

"—but I have a terrible reputation for mocking, teasing, and being unable to keep my big mouth shut." The younger man trailed one hand lazily along the length of Lassiter's spine. Shawn didn't seem to be offended, but Lassiter nuzzled the skin below his ear anyway.

"I like your big mouth," he growled softly, nipping at the lobe. Shawn arched and whined, and Lassiter, leaning back to admire the wanton pose, finally saw what the gimmicky T-shirt said. "Trying to tell me something?"

"Nope," Shawn breathed. He fumbled at something next to them and came up with a black fabric marker. He set to attacking his own shirt. The angle must have been awkward, but he managed to cross something out and write in a new word. "Now I'm trying to tell you something."

The T-shirt now read "Kiss Fuck Me If You're Irish."

All thoughts of joining the troupe for drinks fled as a fresh bolt of lust jolted through Lassiter. With a smile that screamed wicked intentions, he zipped them both up. "Let's get out of here." He didn't even bother grabbing his regular clothes.

***

Gus only stopped looking for Shawn after Juliet slipped her hand into his. He shrugged and chalked it up to the usual antics.

"So how'd you hear about this, anyway?" He asked while they discussed her own extensive Irish ancestry. "Does your family usually do the whole festival thing?"

A funny little smile played with the corners of her mouth. "Oh no, not usually."

"So who then?" Gus paused. "A...new boyfriend?"

She gave his hand a squeeze. "Nope, not a boyfriend."

Gus smiled at her and returned the squeeze. "So who then?"

A picture of a brochure featuring their very own Saint of the Step, hidden away in her partner's desk, flashed through her mind. "Let's just say a little leprechaun told me."

A/N: This story was inspired by a clip from Luck of the Irish that was posted in the psych_slash community over on LiveJournal.

DISCLAIMER: I own a case of Coke, some beef jerky, and my college textbooks. I do not, however, own Psych or the characters. Drat.