DISCLAIMER: The following story is based on the show "Psych." This is purely for enjoyment; no profit is involved and no infringement on the copyrights held by others is intended.
SPOILERS: Missing scenes for "Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark." Really won't make any sense if you haven't seen it.

Lassiter's Shot in the Dark
By KaiMeara

The room was dim and still…and frankly, a little creepy. Carlton Lassiter had never had a problem with hospitals; couldn't understand people who claimed to hate them – after all, they were lucky to live in this age of modern medicine. Well-educated doctors, astonishing machines, wonder drugs for every conceivable ailment; for someone in a dangerous line of work, it was a good time to be alive.

Still, he was used to visiting suspects in the hospital, or people he really didn't know that well, or people who were there giving birth… Lassiter could now concede that in certain specific instances—say, when someone you knew quite well had nearly died and was now hooked up to said astonishing machines, receiving said wonder drugs, and being treated by said well-educated doctors because that was probably all that had saved his life—well, in an instance like that, Lassiter could see why a hospital might make a person uncomfortable. For someone in a dangerous line of work, it was hard being reminded that the work really was dangerous.

He was a little surprised to be the only one there – actually, a lot surprised. Granted, he'd come at four-thirty in the morning hoping not to run into anyone, but he'd still expected that the ridiculously popular young man would have half the department camped out. Or at least his best friend and his dad. The room was filled with balloons, flowers, and dozens of get-well cards, but otherwise, it was just Lassiter and Spencer.

There was a slight stirring in the bed, and Lassiter flinched ever so slightly, suddenly aware that he was still standing in the doorway. He stepped fully into the room and let the door close quietly behind him, cutting off the light from the hallway so that the room was lit only by a soft light near the bed. A chair had been pulled over, and a newspaper dangled off the edge; someone had been visiting. Lassiter looked closer and saw that it was the sports pages; probably Henry then…although O'Hara knew more about sports than most of the guys at the station. He glanced at the bedside table and saw a pair of glasses sitting there. Definitely Henry then, and he must still be in the hospital; maybe went for a cup of coffee. Lassiter shook his head. Stop focusing on the stupid details; you're just stalling, Lassie. Lassie? Oh my god, now I'm calling myself that… Freaking Spencer.

He stepped closer to the bed and studied the younger man. Except for the various scratches and bruises on his face and hands, and the IVs sticking out of his arm, and, of course, the heavily bandaged bullet wound in his shoulder, Spencer didn't look too bad – certainly a lot better than he had the day before. The day before…had it really only been twenty-four hours ago that Guster had called them out to the mechanic's garage? Lassiter shook his head again, remembering why he was here.

*****

They'd spent half a day in relentless pursuit, and in all those hours of running around the woods and back roads, deciphering Spencer's cryptic messages to find the gas station, learning that they'd walked away and left him with his captors, even as they were chasing Rollins down the highway and Spencer once again demonstrated the dangers of watching too many cop shows by leaping from the truck to the hood of the police car – in all that time, Lassiter had never actually worried that it wouldn't turn out alright. It was Shawn Spencer, after all. Trouble frequently seemed to find him, but apparently only because it wanted someone to hang out with.

So when it was all but over, and Rollins was in cuffs, and Shawn was still joking, making some reference to Guster and O'Hara that Lassiter could only assume was from another movie he hadn't seen, he didn't even feel relief. Didn't need to – after all, everything had turned out the way Lassiter had known it would, the way it always did: in Shawn's favor. And then…

Henry Spencer had taken charge again, pulling Rollins out of Lassiter's grip, herding him away from his son to the other side of the car and shoving him into the back seat. The older Spencer had clearly retired far too early. Lassiter sighed and made his way to the driver's side (As if I'm ever really in the driver's seat, he couldn't help thinking). Shawn was still leaning heavily on the hood, and Lassiter suggested he sit down; naturally, Spencer refused.

"Nah, I'm good, actually. Really, I mean, all things considered, I feel surprisingly okay. You got here in the nick of time – I knew you wouldn't let me down. By the way, Lassie, buddy," he shoved himself upright and turned to face the detective, "that was some great driv… Oh."

It was the "oh" that caught Lassiter's attention – quiet and confused, something Shawn Spencer never was.

White as a sheet, white as a ghost, white as death…Lassiter had heard all the phrases but had never seen it, and figured it was one of those stupid things people said that never actually happened. But in less than a second, Lassiter saw the color leave Spencer's face like water from a broken balloon, and suddenly, Lassiter felt a stab of fear. In that tiny moment, it finally struck the detective that this could have turned out so very badly – that it nearly had. That it still could.

He grabbed for the younger man's arm as he stumbled, steadying him briefly. Spencer stared at the hand on his arm as if it were a strange curiosity, then looked slowly up at the detective and said in an oddly calm voice, "I don't think my legs work," and collapsed.

*****

"What are you doing here?"

Spencer was awake but groggy and didn't quite seem to be able to focus on Lassiter. The older detective shifted slightly and stuck his hands in his pockets, unsure what to say. Just tell him you were worried. Tell the obnoxious, childish, self-indulgent, irritatingly observant, surprisingly effective detective-wannabe that you were worried and you wanted to make sure he was okay. He'll probably only tease you about it for the next eight months or so.

"You didn't have to come down here. I told you I'd meet you at the house, Dad."

"No, I…uh…what? Spencer – Shawn – I'm not your dad." He ran his hand over his close-cropped hair, wondering if the room was just that dark or if there was actually any resemblance between him and the gruff elder Spencer. He shuddered at the thought. "It's me. Lassiter."

Spencer didn't appear to hear him. He tried to sit up but only succeeded in raising his head slightly before letting it fall back to the pillow. "Okay, look Dad, I know I said I wanted to tell you something, but I thing is, you're gonna be mad."

"Spencer—"

"Not prom night mad, but possibly fifth grade science fair mad. Maybe even Pontiac Firebird mad."

"Spencer, I—"

"Just remember to count to ten before reacting, okay? And then count to three hundred and twenty-five, just to be sure. Then backwards from fifty-eight."

"Spencer, I'm not—"

"I told the police that I'm a psychic."

It was a few seconds before Lassiter let out the breath that he didn't realize he was holding. "You…told the police…"

"That I'm a psychic." Spencer blinked a few times as if trying to clear his vision. "Whoa, this is weird; I suddenly have the feeling you already know this. Is that some kind of déjà vu? Third person déjà vu? Déjà vu by proxy?"

"Spencer, shut up for a minute, will you?" Lassiter paced away, pinching the bridge of nose, feeling the beginning of another Spencer-inspired headache. Spencer had fallen silent and Lassiter glanced back. Shawn was still looking at him, his eyes still glassy and unfocused – he wasn't all there. It was a golden opportunity, one he'd probably never have again. He stepped back towards the bed.

"So, Shawn. Son. You told the police you're a psychic. Do you think you should have done that?"

"C'mon, it's what you've always wanted – I'm on the force! Well, not exactly on the force, but definitely tangential to it…or is it parallel… Wow, I'm tired. What are you doing here so late?"

Lassiter smiled thinly; Spencer was about to make the confession he'd waited years to hear. "I'm here to see you, Shawn; I wanted to hear what you have to say. So about this psychic story—" He took another step closer to the bed and laid a hand on Spencer's forehead in what he figured might be a reassuring, fatherly gesture. The skin was warm – too warm.

A gunshot wound, a concussion, hours spent running for his life without treatment or sleep; of course Spencer was feverish. And delirious. And thought he was talking to his father. "You got here in the nick of time – I knew you wouldn't let me down." Spencer's words echoed in his head as if he'd just said them aloud again. Lassiter jerked back, suddenly nauseous.

"I'm sorry, Spencer. I'm…I didn't mean…I'm sorry." Lassiter spun towards the door, kicking himself for coming in the first place.

"Don't be mad." Spencer's voice was quieter than before; Lassiter turned and walked slowly back. Spencer's eyes were almost closed; he was drifting back to sleep but was fighting it. "Really, this is good. You'll see, I'm doing a good thing here."

Lassiter looked down at the biggest pain-in-the-ass he'd ever met and smiled a very tiny smile. "I know, Shawn. You are. Go back to sleep."