For the 100_tales prompt: 062 Hurt
NOTES: First foray into the fandom.
DISCLAIMER: Not for profit, no copyright infringement intended.
Stupid idea, Lassiter thought, lying on the floor of the café, listening to the general pandemonium that tended to follow a gunfight. Incredibly stupid idea to allow Shawn to confront the suspect in a crowded public place.
A moment ago Shawn had been engaged in one of his psychic moments, one hand pressed to his head as he channelled – or at least claimed to channel (and for Lassiter the jury was still out on that) – the latest victim of a con artist. Derek Van Horn had wooed many a woman out of her life savings but any who cottoned on before he could disappear had ended up dead. Unfortunately for Derek he'd committed his latest murder in Santa Barbara and Bonnie, the granddaughter of the victim, Aileen, had contacted the Psych agency for help.
Lassiter had already arrested Aileen's gardener due to the huge amount of circumstantial evidence but Shawn was adamant that it was Derek who was the killer. He and Gus had found out a few interesting facts and next thing Lassiter knew Shawn was calling to say that Derek was on his way out of town and if he wanted to arrest Van Horn he'd better hurry to the Bluejay's Diner.
When Lassiter arrived at the diner, Shawn had pointed out Derek sitting by the window (in a not too shabby disguise; now clean shaven, with a dye job and blue contacts) and then launched into his psychic mumbo jumbo. Aileen wanted him to know that it wasn't the nice young man Enrique who had murdered her; it was that no good scumbag Van Horn! And he was even now wearing not only her favourite ring on a chain about his neck, but the rings of his previous victims too!
At that, Derek had jumped to his feet and drawn a gun. He pointed the weapon at Shawn, who froze. All the previous murders had been poisonings or other more subtle means that could be made to look like accidents; there had been no reason for either Lassiter or Shawn to suspect Derek even owned a gun. It certainly wasn't a legally registered weapon.
Gus, who'd been sitting nearby, dove under the table as did several other patrons. Lassiter drew his own weapon, shoving Shawn out of the line of fire. Derek fired twice. The first shot hit a pineapple sitting on the counter by the smoothie machine, releasing a sweet citrus scent. The second shot took Lassiter in the chest.
Lassiter was firing almost at the same time and his single shot hit Derek in the throat. As Lassiter went down, mostly from the heroic dive he'd made to protect Shawn, though partly from the impact of the bullet, he heard Derek slump to the floor, gargling as he choked on his own blood.
Yes, damn stupid idea.
"Lassie!" Shawn's anguished cry cut through the hubbub as people began to flee. From his prone position, head tipped to one side so his cheek was pressed to the cold tiled floor, Lassiter saw Shawn's sneakers approach him. He also saw Gus's loafers head for Derek and a hand come down and knock away the weapon. Lassiter grunted in approval. At least one of the boys had the sense they were born with.
Derek gave a hiss and was silent.
"I think he's dead, Shawn," Gus called.
"No, he's not," Shawn cried, dropping to his knees at Lassiter's side. "Lassie! Speak to me!"
"I meant Derek," Gus said. "I'm calling for backup." Great, backup, Gus was a cop now, Lassiter thought, annoyed.
In fact O'Hara was already on her way. Lassiter hadn't been completely unprepared for trouble. He'd not only alerted O'Hara, who'd been out interviewing a witness, and told her to meet him at the diner, but he'd also put on his body armour. What he hadn't been prepared for was the hurt in Shawn's voice.
Shawn didn't know that the small calibre bullet had done no more than inflict a painful bruise to Lassiter's ribs. Hell, he could have been shot at half the distance and still not been badly injured. Derek's weapon was what Lassiter would call a chick gun (though not in front of O'Hara or Vick, who both carried serious weaponry and were not afraid to use it). Small calibre and barely any stopping power. The pineapple might have bitten the dust but Lassiter wasn't going anywhere.
After everything they'd been through together Lassiter knew it was a mean thing to do, but somehow he couldn't resist teasing Shawn. He stayed exactly where he was and closed his eyes.
"Lassie! Hold on," Shawn begged and the desperation was almost enough to make the detective reconsider. Then he remembered how Shawn had "borrowed" his car last week – it still reeked of fish for some reason – and was resolute in his desire to milk this situation.
"Shawn?" he moaned. "Are you okay?"
A shadow fell across his face, obvious even through his closed lids. Shawn was bending over him.
"I'm fine. You saved me." Shawn sounded – dammit, he sounded tearful. Fish stink, Lassiter reminded himself and stayed still. "You're going to be okay, Lassie. Help's coming."
Gus joined Shawn. "Oh, God, what do we do? Hold on." There was the noise of his phone being flipped open. "I'll look up gunshot wounds on the internet."
Lassiter allowed himself another moan; he might not be shot but his ribs were already sore so it wasn't really as if he was faking. "Shawn?"
"I want you to do something for me." He opened his eyes. Shawn's hazel eyes, wide and anxious, were fixed on him, the sight rather odd because of his sprawled position on the floor.
Shawn swallowed and nodded. "Anything."
"Stop calling me Lassie."
Shawn's face crumbled and he nodded again. "Okay. Carlton."
Not what he'd meant. He'd meant Lassiter. Would it kill Shawn to address him properly? Yet there was such depth of feeling in the way he pronounced the two syllables of Lassiter's name that suddenly the detective couldn't continue the ploy in good conscience. Especially when Shawn laid one hand on Lassiter's shoulder and said, "I'm sorry. For…well, everything."
Did that include the car smelling like a fish market? Lassiter sighed. "I always knew you were a fake psychic, Spencer."
"What?" There was an edge to his voice now. Panic?
"If you really were psychic, you'd know I'm not really shot." Lassiter eased himself up and Gus's jaw dropped. He quickly put his phone away and helped the detective to his feet. Shawn was stunned for a about a second before he leapt to his feet and gave a whoop of joy.
"It's a miracle!" Shawn yelled, dancing around. "A miracle."
"Hardly," Lassiter said, opening his shirt. "It's body armour."
"Body armour, Shawn," Gus repeated.
That stopped Shawn in his tracks and he frowned, remembering his earlier torment. "That was mean," Shawn complained. "I'm telling O'Hara."
"Telling O'Hara what?" Juliet asked, entering the scene, gun drawn.
Shawn pointed accusingly. "Lassie pretended to get shot."
Juliet looked to her partner questioningly and in response he pointed to the damaged Kevlar. "I did get shot."
Juliet began fussing, which made Shawn even more upset at the attention being taken away from him and given to Lassiter. After a few moments of reassuring O'Hara, and explaining what had happened, Lassiter relented.
"Yes?" the psychic asked sulkily.
"Good work on the Van Horn case." He sighed inwardly as the brown eyes lit up at this praise. Half psychic and half puppy in one annoying package.
Shawn beamed. "Couldn't have done it without Gus, and the spirits, and you, Lassie."
"And?" O'Hara demanded. "Don't you have something else to say?"
"Thank you for saving my life." Shawn retrieved the poor deceased pineapple from where it had fallen to the floor and displayed it for everyone to see. "This could have been me."
"Don't make me regret it not being," Lassiter said. Before he could react, the pineapple had been discarded over Shawn's shoulder and he was wrapped in a bear hug that wasn't doing anything for his ribs.
"Don't scare me again like that Lassie," Shawn begged.
Gus, feeling left out, jumped in, wrapping himself around as much of both Lassiter and Shawn as he could manage. "I love you guys."
Shawn looked to Juliet and lifted one eyebrow. "Room for one more," he offered.
"I'll pass," she said. "Though I am very relieved you're all right, Lassiter. And Shawn, let him go. He's bruised."
Shawn, for once, did as he was told. "Sorry." The apology sounded genuine enough.
More police were arriving by now and Shawn decided he wanted to go and get lunch elsewhere and tried to persuade Gus it was his turn to pay. Juliet was fine with this as long as they stopped by the station later for a full statement; Shawn informed her that he already intended on doing so to collect his payment for services rendered. When Juliet started nagging Lassiter to go and get x-rays, just in case, Shawn headed to the door and stopped.
Lassiter met the psychic's gaze and Shawn grinned. "About my being psychic? You do know that I knew that you were faking, right?"
Lassiter's eyes bored into Shawn's but there was no way to tell if this was the truth or just another fabrication. There was no out-psyching Spencer and he should never have tried. "Get out of here before I find something to charge you with," he said.
Shawn grinned and, whistling, followed Gus out of the diner.