AN: Everything below was written by the lovely SpookyClaire and seeing as such I think you, dear readers, should rush right over to her profile after reading this and tell her that you love her and want to be her 'very bestest friend in the entire world in the universe for forever' in those very words please because if it weren't for her this story would've been deleted by now.

-Squeedle

Twists and Turns of Fate

Chapter 4

Note: I hope this does this story a justice :) PS: Lyrics at the beginning are from Michael Buble's 'End of May.' Seriously, listen to that song. It makes me want to cry every time I hear it.


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Golden haze, another morning feels like yesterday.
End of May, now you're gone and there's still bills to pay.
And you know it doesn't help to make believe, you're sitting next to me.
It doesn't help, to make believe that you are right behind me saying,
'It's okay.'

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Carlton Lassiter was not a father.

Carlton Lassiter was not ready to be a father.

He was not ready to deal with parent-teacher conferences. He wasn't ready to have to remember to pick up and drop off an unlicensed teen. And he was really not ready to have the many talks parents had to have with their daughters. About…about sex, and…and that not-so-fresh-feeling and…and shoes?

Jesus Christ, he really had no fucking idea.

He didn't understand teenagers. He didn't understand girls. And he certainly didn't understand teenage girls. And yet, here he found himself, lying on his bed (because after fighting Shayla about it for an hour he caved and let her sleep on the pull-out couch), with a teenage girl in his care. She was his life now. He now had another human being to think about, to take care of. He hadn't had that since he'd been with Victoria and let's be honest, even then he wasn't thinking about or taking care of another human being. It just said on a piece of paper that he was legally bound to someone else.

But, he supposes, isn't that the current predicament? There was a piece of paper somewhere that said he and Shay were legally bound together. He wasn't her father, he was just the guy who she now listed in the 'guardian' box when filling out a permission slip. But…no. No. This was different. Shayla wasn't Victoria. Shayla wasn't a woman Lassiter had never truly loved, but simply married because he didn't want people to wonder why he was alone. Shayla was a teenager. An innocent sixteen-year-old who had lost both her parents in a five-year span. And he loved her. Loved her like a daughter. Which was going to make this a whole lot harder when he (inevitably) messed it up.

Fuck.

The previous day had sucked. It had consisted of talking to a lot of different cops, lawyers, social services and more lawyers. It didn't help that he was not allowed to take lead on the case, either. He was 'too emotionally involved.' And, yeah, that was pretty obvious but that didn't mean he was any less pissed off about it.

When she wasn't also talking with all the various people, Shayla was with Shawn and Gus, and May too in the morning, though she had to leave in the afternoon to go to her part-time job. Lassiter didn't want to admit it, but he was really grateful to those two goons for being so good with Shayla. They kept her mind off of the horrible topic that everyone else kept asking her about, and kept asking her to relive. It had actually been kind of hard to get the three to say goodbye at the end of the night, the long ass night.

Glancing at the clock, Lassiter noted that it was eight AM, and that he had slept about seven hours. Not bad.

Had it not been for the fact that Chief Vick ordered him (though he did not fight her too much on it) to take some time off, he'd have been up three hours ago, and would have been at work for an hour by now. But, alas, here he lay, in his nice bed, listening to the silence of his apartment.

Or, well, it had been silent.

Carlton shot up in his bed at the sound of something clattering in the vicinity of the kitchen. Cautiously, he got up and, gun in hand, he headed out into the hall. He glanced around the door-less doorway into the dark living room and found Shayla was still asleep on the couch. An afghan he'd taken from her house was covering her face, but he could see her hair splayed across the pillow.

Even more alert now, he got his gun at the ready and tip-toed towards the kitchen. Taking a deep breath he silently counted to three and threw himself through another door-less doorway and into the kitchen. "Freeze!" He started to cry, but stopped dead at the scene before him.

There, in his kitchen, in his apron, stood Shawn Spencer.

"Spencer, what the hell are you doing here?"

"What's it look like, Lass-a-frass? I'm making pancakes!"

"Why are you in my apartment?"

"Because transporting pancakes is difficult and sticky and I so won't make that mistake for the twelfth time. "

"Why are you making pancakes in my apartment?" Lassiter asked slowly, like he was clearly trying to restrain a burning rage.

"Because pancakes make everyone happy!" Shawn eyed Lassiter, who was still holding his gun (though it was no longer trained on the psychic). "Except you, apparently. You should try my milkshake though, it's been known to bring all the boys to the yard."

"What's going on?" Shayla appeared besides her 'Uncle.' Her hair was messy, her pajamas askew. Her half-open eyes widened upon seeing Shawn in Lassiter's 'Kiss the Cop' apron.

"Mornin' Shay!" Shawn greeted brightly, "I'm making pancakes! Sit down!" She grinned at him and sat at the table.

Lassiter sighed loudly, scrubbing at his eyes. "Good mother of God…" He mumbled. He glanced at Shayla who was smiling, something he liked seeing. And though Shawn pissed the holy hell out of him, he had to admit: Shawn could make the girl smile, even after the nightmare of the past few days. He glanced at Shawn, who, in the apron, was not at all doing things to the officer.

"I'll get the plates." He grumbled oblivious to the knowing look on Shayla bright face.

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