"Garcia, what did you need to tell me?" Aaron Hotchner glanced up at the eccentric blonde woman standing before his desk.
"Sir, I looked into Phillip Dowd's history so we could notify his family like you asked." Penelope Garcia adjusted her pink framed glasses and shifted her stance from one foot to the other. Hotchner always took his job very seriously and it sometimes unnerved her how intimidating the man could be.
"It took some major digging on my part. Dowd isn't his given name; he changed it when he joined the army at eighteen. His family name is Lassiter. His family is in California, in fact his twin brother Carlton is Head Detective of the Santa Barbara Police Department."
"His brother is a police officer?" Hotchner arched an eyebrow and sat up a bit, showing his interest.
"Yes sir, and a very dedicated one at that. His record is spotless and his arrest record is impeccable." Garcia nodded.
"So it's possible Dowd was the way he was because he was either trying to live up to his brother, or he was trying to compete with him. You said they're twins? Is Dowd the older or younger one?"
"Younger sir, by seven minutes."
"Call the brother, we need someone to come down and ID the body." Hotchner finally turned away and back to the papers on his desk as if the conversation never happened.
"I'll go do that now, sir." Garcia quickly fled to her own office. Hotchner was a nice guy, but a little too serious for her taste; give her the flirty Morgan or the socially awkward Reid any day, even Gideon had a sense of humor.
She fell into her swiveling desk chair with a happy sigh. Slipping on her headphones, her fingers slid onto her computer keys with ease and lightening speed, she dialed the number she had found earlier for the SBPD and waited patiently through the rings.
CLICK. "Detective Carlton Lassiter."
"Detective Lassiter this is Penelope Garcia of the FBI." She chirped in her best 'business' voice.
"Spencer!" The deep voice snapped on the other line, making her flinch slightly at the volume. "Sorry about that. What can I do for you?" There was barely a pause on the other end for her to answer before the man's voice snapped loudly again. "McNabb! Get these files downstairs and don't let Spencer follow you this time! O'Hara, tell the Chief we'll head out after I take this call."
After a slight pause she decided it was safe to talk. "Detective, I'm sorry to inform you that your brother Phillip Lassiter is deceased. We need someone to come to our Virginia offices to ID the body."
There was silence on the other end. "Phillip is dead?"
The voice on the other end sighed. "May I ask what happened?"
"Unfortunately, sir, I don't have the details of his death. Someone would have to ask an agent when they came to ID the body." She lied through her teeth mostly because she didn't want to be the one to tell him, and she didn't want to do it over the phone.
"I'm a little busy right now; if I gave you a fax number could you send me all the information on where and when?" Another tiny pause. "O'Hara, go wait in the Vic, I'll be there in a second."
"No problem." Garcia took the number as he quickly rattled it off then set about making up the information for him.
"Remind me one more time why you followed me here, Spencer?" Carlton Lassiter growled through clenched teeth. Despite his protests he was still waiting for the other man to collect his bags from baggage claim even though he'd already gotten his off the conveyer belt several minutes ago. He'd be damned if he left the pseudo-psychic to run rampant on his own in a foreign place; granted, given the younger man's history he'd probably already visited here once before.
"Lassi, you're here to ID the body of a family member, a brother no less, you shouldn't be left alone." Shawn Spencer finally caught sight of his green duffle bag coming down the belt and made a jump for it before it passed and he had to wait for it to come around again.
"I'm not some fragile little girl, Spencer; I can handle an ID on my own. And it's not like my brother and I were close, we haven't talked in years." Lassiter spoke as he led them towards the car rental booth to pick up the keys.
"You'll still need a shoulder to cry on, and I'm here for you buddy. What are friends for?" Shawn grinned and spread his arms as if he expected to other man to fall into them and thank him.
The detective simply glared at him and turned away to retrieve the keys the clerk was holding out for him.
The ride to the hotel was filled with Shawn's constant ramblings, Lassiter honestly had no idea what the claimed-psychic was talking about as he'd tuned out almost as soon as the man started moving his jaw. Trying to dump Shawn at the hotel failed miserably so he was forced to sustain further annoyance on his way to the FBI office. He made use of Shawn's chatter by making him read off the directions, but that didn't stop the mindless chatter between the 'left here, right here' directions.
"Spencer, do me a favor and keep your mouth closed as much as possible. Don't embarrass me." Lassiter snapped as they climbed out of the rental car, slamming his door closed and straightening his navy blue suit jacket and blue patterned tie.
"Lassi, I know you still have that crush on the last Fed we encountered, but that doesn't mean his friends are going to call him up and gab about your prime appearance the moment you walk through the door."
The detective simply glared at him and turned to lead the way inside the large government building. Lassiter entered the elevator and climbed a few floors as the directions asked him. He approached a reception desk and knocked on the surface to gather the busy woman's attention. She glanced up briefly before holding up a finger, telling them to wait a moment, before turning back to her computer and the headset connected to her jaw.
"How may I help you?" She asked, serious yet chipper.
Lassiter glanced at the papers in his hand briefly. "I'm here to ID the body of Phillip Dowd, I was told to ask for an Aaron Hotchner or Jason Gideon."
"Oh, wait just a…JJ!" She called to a passing blond woman carrying a couple thin files. She wore an outfit similar to one of O'Hara's, a pink suit with a skirt and a white blouse. She paused and turned towards them. "These men are here for an ID. They need either Agent Hotchner or Agent Gideon."
The blonde woman smiled and held out a hand as she approached them, Lassiter took it and shook it firmly, Shawn was ignored. "Agent Jennifer Jaraeu of the BAU."
"Detective Carlton Lassiter; I'm here to ID the body of Phillip Dowd."
"Of course, if you'll follow me please." She turned down a hallway and led the way.
Shawn fell into step beside the older man as they followed her. "Why is his last name 'Dowd'? Did your brother marry, or something?"
Lassiter rolled his eyes. "Phillip? Highly doubtful; he probably changed it so our mother couldn't track him down. Phillip being married would be like you getting married."
"Never gonna happen." Shawn shook his head.
"Exactly." Lassiter returned sharply as they entered the BAU bullpen.
"Wait here a moment and I'll see if they're available." JJ smiled at them before jogging up a short set of stairs and disappearing into an office.
Shawn looked around the bullpen, taking in his surroundings with a quick, practiced ease before he returned his attention to Lassiter. The older man was tense, his shoulders squared and his back straight, his arms were crossed over his chest and though he was sure it was meant to look intimidating it just looked defensive.
"Lassi, you OK? Maybe it's the Virginia air, it's a lot cooler here than sunny Santa Barbara. Oh I know, you're worried about Jules, you did leave her with a big case, and I'm sure the Chief mentioning something about McNabb being made her temporary partner while you were gone couldn't have helped much. Honestly I'm a little worried about leaving Gus on his own in the office too. I just know he's going to mess with my stuff. You wouldn't believe the time and effort it took to get those pencils in the ceiling." He paused to take a breath when Lassiter interrupted him.
"Spencer, I wasn't thinking about O'Hara or McNabb until just this second, but thanks for adding it to my stress level. And I really don't care what Guster does to the crap in your 'office'," complete with air quotes and all. "Frankly I hope he cleans it all out and shuts it down given the opportunity of your departure."
"Come on Lassi, you know, deep down, you love me." Shawn grinned and fluttered his eyes playfully at the man. Shawn earned himself a growl from the irate detective, and that's when he noticed JJ and two older men standing on the landing watching them with interest, but decided to ignore them.
"You do realize I still have my gun, don't you Spencer?"
"I noticed." The fake psychic gestured to the concealed holster under the man's jacket. "I saw you slip it from your luggage before we left. But honestly Lassi, you've threatened to shoot me so many times that it's lost all meaning, kind of like when I tell my dad I'm coming to dinner with a side dish and we both know I'm being sarcastic. Wait, that's not a good example…"
"Spencer, shut up." He snapped.
At this point the two men on the landing with JJ decided now was a good time to interrupt. "Mr. Lassiter?" The older of the two asked.
"Detective." Shawn and Lassiter chorused together. Shawn merely grinned when the detective gave him a sharp look.
"Detective Lassiter, I'm Agent Jason Gideon, and this is Agent Aaron Hotchner." Gideon shook Lassiter's hand firmly, pausing as Lassiter turned to shake Hotchner's hand next. "We worked on your brother's case." Gideon wore a pair of relaxed jeans and a red long sleeved shirt. Hotchner wore a black suit with a light blue shirt and a dark blue tie.
"May I ask what happened?" Lassiter was amazed Shawn had lasted this long without saying something stupid or at least introducing himself.
"Why don't we talk in my office?" Hotchner offered, gesturing up the short flight of stairs.
"I'll wait out here, Lassi." Shawn smiled in a dis-alarming way.
The psychic's eyes crossed when a finger pointed in his face sharply. "Don't talk to anyone, Spencer. No psychic visions, and don't destroy anything. Don't wander off, either."
He raised a hand to his heart and mocked a hurt look, pouting. "Lassi, I'm hurt…"
"Save it. Just stay out of trouble."
A salute. "Boy scouts' honor."
"You weren't in the scouts, Spencer." He returned flatly.
Shawn placed his hands on his hips and cocked his head to the side. "And how would you know that? I know it's not in my file."
"Just stay out of trouble." Lassiter sighed. He finally turned and followed the two men into an office, the door closing behind them.
"You were trying to take his mind off the ID."
Shawn turned at the voice to see an attractive black man smiling gently at him. He wore jeans and a brown t-shirt. Shawn crossed his arms and returned the smile. "I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about."
The man chuckled and stood from his desk, offering a hand. "I'm Agent Derek Morgan of the BAU."
"Shawn Spencer, Psychic Consultant for the Santa Barbara Police Department. If you ever need my services the SBPD and I aren't exclusive." He gave a wink as Morgan chuckled again.
"I'll keep you in mind." Morgan assured.
"So, I didn't want to intrude in there, do you know what happened?" Shawn gestured to Hotchner's closed office door. "Why are we in an FBI office to ID Lassi's brother?"
"Aren't you psychic?" Morgan teased.
"Oh don't channel Lassi!" Shawn whined. "For your information, the spirits are very fickle entities."
"He was a sniper." A woman spoke up from her desk.
"Aren't they called 'Long Distance Serial Killers' outside of war?" Shawn chirped.
Three pairs of eyes stared at him, Morgan, the woman, and a man in his twenties wearing a sweater-vest.
"What? Is that not common knowledge? If not, where did I hear it? Maybe it was my dad…" Shawn trailed off thoughtfully. "Anyway, Lassi says his brother was planning to join the army when he left home at eighteen, hadn't heard from him since."
"Phillip Dowd was an L.D.S.K. that shot his victims in the stomach and then helped saved their lives later in the hospital." The boy in the sweater-vest said. He wore brown khaki dress pants, a white dress shirt, and a brown and tan sweater-vest.
"He joined the army at eighteen and then went to Rangers school for six years until he was dishonorably discharged in ninety-five for conduct unbecoming. He later joined the Arlington PD for nine months until they discovered he lied about his discharge and kicked him out. After that he got his nursing license and bounced around hospitals for a while." Garcia recited the information as she entered the bullpen, catching the end of the conversation.
"This is Penelope Garcia, our very own tech goddess." Morgan introduced. She wore a white top with pink and green paisley prints on it and a light blue jean skirt.
Shawn smiled at the eccentric blond and gave a short, polite bow in greeting. "So it was a show of power. 'Hero Homicide', right? That's what it's called when he injures his victims and then saves their lives. If any of the victims died he probably placed the blame on others, claiming things like 'it wasn't a fatal shot', or 'if this doctor or this paramedic hadn't done this or that they'd still be alive'. Narcissistic and paranoid, a lethal combination."
Morgan smiled, crossing his arms and looking impressed. "You'd make a good profiler."
Shawn smiled ironically. "Having a brother like Lassi probably didn't help him any." He muttered as if he hadn't heard Morgan.
"Detective Lassiter's record is impressive." Garcia nodded in agreement.
"And Lassi's very proud of that. You should see him preen when a junior officer looks at him with stars in their eyes." Shawn laughed. His blue jeans and brown leather jacket rustled as he leaned back and sat on the edge of the boy in the sweater-vest's desk. A quick glance told him the man was intelligent, or at least that he liked to read a lot of thick, complicated books. A glance at his badge showed his title of 'Dr. Spencer Reid', and Shawn decided the man must be extremely intelligent to have any sort of doctorate at such a young age. Shawn pretended to notice his title from the name plaque on the desk as he picked it up casually. "Doctor, huh? And you're only about twenty-seven, right?"
Reid was surprised someone had actually gotten his age right; they usually guessed him to be much younger. "I have three PhDs in mathematics, chemistry, and engineering and I also have an undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology."
"Wow." Shawn grinned again; his face was beginning to hurt. He noticed out of the corner of his eye as Lassiter, Hotchner, and Gideon emerged from the office, Lassiter's face grim. "My best friend would love to sit down and have a conversation with you. He's a drug rep, always studying drug names, their chemicals and uses, things like that. What's your IQ?"
"One-eighty-seven, I also have an eidetic memory and can read twenty-thousand words a minute." Reid told him.
"Eidetic memory, huh?"
"It means he has a photographic memory." Lassiter explained as he approached.
Shawn looked at the detective over his shoulder, an unreadable mischievous gleam in his eyes and a knowing smile on his face. "I know what it means Lassi."
"Come on Spencer, I have to get this ID over with and since you obviously can't listen to orders you're coming with." He grabbed Shawn's elbow and jerked him to his feet. "Why I ever thought you'd listen in the first place is beyond me."
"I didn't wander off." Shawn protested.
"But I also told you not to talk to anyone."
Shawn snorted and rolled his eyes. "Did you really believe I'd not talk to anyone? I'm a social, charismatic person, Lassi! I can't be stopped from the call of nature! I…"
"Shut up, Spencer." Lassiter jerked him forward again, following Hotchner and Gideon as they led the two toward the basement where the morgue was for the ID.
Shawn heard a few rustling papers and then hurried footsteps behind them, he turned to see Dr. Reid catching up with them. "Do you mind if I tag along?"
"Not at all." Shawn was finally released from the detective's hold when the man was sure he would continue following the group. "So how long have you been working in the BAU?"
"Not long, longer than Elle but less than Morgan."
Shawn shifted, eyes darting to the detective a couple steps ahead and falling back a few more steps, lowering his voice. "You guys work on mostly serial cases, right? That's gotta be hard."
Reid nodded, not trusting himself to lower his voice enough.
The five men finally approached the large metal double doors that lead into the morgue; Hotchner held the door open for the others, nodding to Reid as he was the last to pass through.
A few quick words were exchanged with the coroner and then the man approached the wall of square metal doors. He popped open one of the doors at waist level and slid out the drawer, waiting for the OK to pull back the sheet covering the body.
Hotchner and Gideon stood on one side of the slab with the coroner and Lassiter stood on the other, and his grim face was back. Shawn hung back a distance with Reid, quiet and silently watching Lassiter.
Lassiter finally gave a nod and the coroner pulled back the sheet, exposing everything above the shoulders.
"I didn't know Lassi was part of a set." Shawn muttered it very quietly, so Reid, standing directly beside him, was the only one to hear it clearly. Reid resisted the urge to smile.
Lassiter was quiet, studying his twin brother's face.
Shawn took a few quiet steps forward and laid a gentle hand on the back of Lassiter's shoulder for comfort. If the detective noticed the gesture he made no notion of it. After several moments of quiet Lassiter finally moved to pull back from his position leaning over the body and Shawn pulled away too, moving back to stand by Reid.
"My mother wants his body sent to her in California, so we'll be taking him back with us."
Hotchner nodded. "We can make the arrangements at the airports for you. When do you leave?"
"Sunday morning at eight forty-five to Santa Barbara Municipal." Lassiter's eyes watched as the coroner replaced the sheet and slowly slid the drawer closed once again. After a pause he locked eyes with Hotchner. "Who shot him?"
Shawn shook his head at Hotchner as he stepped forward, grabbing Lassiter's arm. "You don't want the answer to that, Lassi." He shook his head sadly as the detective turned to look at him over his shoulder.
"I'll return for that paperwork tomorrow." Lassiter announced.
"Of course." Gideon nodded in understanding. There was a round of handshakes before Hotchner and Gideon returned to their offices, Reid offered to walk them out.
Reid reached out and grabbed Shawn's arm as they reached the front door. Lassiter paused when he saw the psychic stop, giving him a pointed look that said 'hurry up, Spencer'.
"I'm sorry; I just need to speak to Mr. Spencer for a moment." Reid explained.
"Go on Lassi, it'll just take a minute." Shawn grinned.
The detective gave a curt nod and continued towards their rental car, a 2007 moss-green Nissan Maxima.
"The probability of two people with eidetic memories meeting is one in one point seven million." Reid told him, hands in the pockets of his khakis.
"Is that so?" Shawn smiled knowingly at him. "If you keep my secret, I'll keep yours." He tapped Reid in the chest over his heart.
Reid took a moment before a light pink dusted his cheeks. His eyes darted out to the parking-lot where Detective Lassiter stood beside the rental car impatiently before returning to Shawn's smiling face. "But I know that about you too."
"Well I also know you didn't just follow us down to the morgue because you wanted to talk to me afterwards. Guilt is a nasty thing."
Reid was quiet, unsure what to say.
"How about this, blackmail for blackmail and two secrets of the heart make us even?" Shawn held out his hand and the two shook.
"Deal. What's your IQ?"
Shawn took a step back and smiled. "One seventy-seven; and if you ever want to talk to someone, my card is behind your left ear." He turned and trotted over to Lassiter. "Lassi were you waiting to open the door for me? You're such a gentleman!"
"Just get in the car." Lassiter growled, opening the driver's door and sliding in.
"Oh Lassi, can we go to iHop? I'm hungry and they have those new pineapple upside-down pancakes!"
Shawn bounced with energy as he slid in the passenger's seat.
Reid slipped the card from behind his ear and watched through the windshield as Shawn continued talking animatedly, most likely about the pros and cons of them going to iHop for food.
"What are you doing out here, kid?" Morgan approached Reid from behind and looped an arm over his shoulders, causing Reid to jump.
"Seeing Detective Lassiter and Mr. Spencer off, and making a friend." He smiled and waved the business card a bit.
"Oh yeah?" Morgan steered them back inside and towards the elevator.
Reid resisted the urge to tense as Morgan's arm stayed over his shoulders longer than usual. "Yeah, Shawn and I have a few things in common."
"Magic." Reid showed him the business card again and then made it disappear.
"That's good, Reid. Are you going to try and recruit him? He'd make a good profiler."
"No." Reid smiled to himself. "He's really very happy where he is now."