Title: Kitty Kitty Bang Bang
Disclaimer: Psych © USA & Scott Franks. (The boys! They evade my grabby hands!)
Summary: Shawn finds a new addition to their slightly-less-than-dysfunctional 'family'. Carlton weighs the pros and cons of pleading mental insanity.
Word Count: 2,448
Detective Carlton Lassiter was a man. Sort of. Well, he liked to think so. The fact that he appreciated hair grease and dressing up a little too much than most normal people probably shouldn't be factored in, and... anyway. Shawn had been teasing him all day, and it wasn't like anyone else hadn't noticed, either. There was all of the suggestive eyebrow twitching, and the leaning in far too close to graze annoying soft lips against the edge of his ear and whispering, "I have a surprise for you tonight, Lassie-kins. An awesome one."
Detective Carlton Lassiter was a man. A man who'd been seeing a lot more of Shawn Spencer lately, and a few years ago he would have screeched in horror at the thought of even allowing Shawn in his apartment, let alone letting him in on a regular basis. Lassiter really didn't know what else to call this... thing they had. Romance, in layman's terms. It was a joint effort, really; Shawn's mostly consisting of making sure his fridge was regularly stocked with various pineapple surprises, and Lassiter's consisting of dealing with the surprisingly cooperative (yet nosy) Henry and Shawn's tendency to leap headfirst into trouble.
Lassiter had spent many a night awake with circles under his eyes the next morning, only to find Shawn, safe, sitting bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on his desk at the station, innocently inquiring as to why he looked like the closet girl from The Ring. There had been fights, there had been screaming and wild hand gestures and wild kisses and falling asleep on each other in the middle of American Duos reruns, there had been jealous Gus and vengeful Henry and withdrawn Shawn leaping on his motorcycle in the middle of the night and calling Carlton from a waffle house in Arizona a day later. There had been times Lassiter had been too overprotective, or sometimes not as protective as he should have been; there had been curious, insufferably encouraging Juliet and a scrutinizing Karen Vick that sometimes asked why in the hell Spencer wasn't hanging off of his arm like a demented extra appendage that day, and there had been Shawn through all of it, always coming and going, but never really leaving. Carlton wouldn't have changed a moment of a single day they'd been together.
So that day; there had been the butt wiggling and the hip thrusting and the basic, everyday nonsense that either initiated or concluded Shawn's spastic psychic flailing. Of course, they both knew he wasn't anything of the kind. Lassiter had known from day one, when he had first glanced at Shawn's wrinkled hoodie, untied laces, glittering hazel eyes, and concluded that the kid was an infectious, irritable nuisance. Shawn had told him the first time they kissed, in a matter-of-fact, slightly breathless voice; that he wasn't an amazing paranormal passageway with the ability to connect with spirits, of dead form or alcoholic substance (the latter was only seventy percent true), in any way. Lassiter had nodded confidently and replied that he didn't care, and they plunged into the deep end; the mother of all terrifying and seemingly impossible relationships.
Right. Back to the shenanigans. Spencer had been mercilessly teasing him; at the crime scene, in the car, next to his desk, in front of his father and Gus, Chief Vick's office and basically every witness they questioned. And it wasn't the regular, harmless banter, either; oh no. It was suggestive and irritating and unfeasibly dirty in Carlton's eyes, and he found that fact horrifyingly obvious after tearing his gaze away from the nape of Shawn's smooth neck for the tenth time that day. The same spot where his messy-on-purpose, ridiculous hair curled up a little on the edges, and... Lassiter was thinking far too much about Shawn's styling techniques. Even he hadn't thought to venture into that territory yet.
He was going to kill him. He was either going to strangle Spencer's delicate little neck, or bring him home and shove him against a wall faster than he could spit out another nonsensical fact acquired from surfing Wikipedia on Lassiter's work computer. Frogs can't swallow with their eyes open, indeed. When he was done with Shawn Spencer, the ersatz psychic wouldn't be able to swallow with his eyes open for a month.
Carlton was snapped out of his somewhat pleasant reverie by a worried looking Juliet with her sunflower-yellow blouse and wrinkled forehead. She poked him.
He squeaked, unfortunately, falling out of his daydream with a mental crash. "What the hell, O'Hara?"
"Carlton, Chief Vick wants to know when you're going home." Juliet then looked pointedly over at Shawn, who half sitting on the arm of Lassiter's swivel chair and absently humming the theme from Jaws. Carlton felt only slightly guilty as he pressed the memory of Shawn, curled around his neck and reciting every third line of that insufferable movie, to the back of his mind.
"I'm almost done with this," Lassiter grumbled into the pile of paperwork. He used to like doing paperwork, or at least until five months, three days, twelve hours, and fifteen minutes ago, when life actually started consisting of more than work. And yes, he kept a mental calendar of his time with Shawn. Carlton prided himself on being organized – someone had to.
Juliet sighed heavily. Lassiter knew why. She seemed to have the ridiculous idea that he hadn't been spending enough time with Shawn lately, who, in fact, happened to be sitting right there. And had been following him around all day, not that he was complaining or anything. Her supposedly stealthy little eyebrow twitches and message/warnings via eyeball weren't helping, either. What was left eyebrow twitch and right eyelid widen along with slight bend of upper lip supposed to mean, anyway? Drop the goddamn paperwork and take your boyfriend somewhere special, because he's driving the entire department insane with the relentless humming?
You win, Karma, Lassiter's inner monologue growled to itself, though he had never really believed in it or that Earl Hickey anyway. They really hadn't spent any romantic time together that week. There was that case, and then that one immediately following that, with busy Gus and lonely Shawn, and somehow, some way, Lassie felt like the evil person in that relationship that was never around enough anymore for a passably healthy chance at the whole love thing. If he wasn't careful, Shawn would act on his own insecurities once more and end up escaping to Canada to open his own syrup plantation. Or worse.
"Okay," he spoke aloud, out of the blue, dropping his pen and cracking his neck. "I'm... I'm doing this... later." There had to be sacrifices for love. This was why he lost Victoria and was reduced to a pathetic, sniveling, romance-repelling, porcelain-figurine-shooting asshole, damn it.
He would put paperwork on hold for Shawn Spencer, and to Detective Carlton Lassiter, that was a lot.
Shawn looked up, then; the last few notes of his shockingly on-key rendition of the freakish shark tune wilting into the air. (How many times did he watch that movie, anyway??) Juliet paused a few feet away in the middle of buttoning her blindingly pink wool coat, her mouth falling open a little bit and, quite possibly, if the idea wasn't ridiculous, time could have stopped right there and then.
"What?" Carlton questioned testily, shrugging his shoulders and pushing the pile aside. He looked at Spencer, whose surprised expression was already transforming into one of delight.
Shawn's eyebrows rose. "Why on earth would Lassie-pants, Sole Ruler Of The Kingdom In Which All Paperwork Is Turned In On Time, just... stop?"
"I'm not the... what, Shawn?"
Lassiter noticed, from the corner of his eye, that Juliet had resumed gathering her things for the day and trying to appear as if she wasn't listening. The female detective was decidedly bad at it, he concluded.
He stood up and grabbed his holster in one hand; Shawn's forearm in the other. "We're... um, let's go somewhere."
Shawn's eyes glittered with obvious mirth. "Why Lassie. You know I'm not prone to wild displays of romantic fancy."
Juliet stifled a choking giggle.
The younger man leaned over and patted Carlton gently on the shoulder. "Whatever spontaneous, wild, idealistic adventure you've conjured up in that sexily creative mind of yours... it might have to wait."
Lassiter sputtered. Mostly, because he hadn't thought of anything. It had been a split second decision; something Shawn was likely more to do and not him. Hell, he probably would have classified having a cup of coffee as a 'spontaneous, wild, idealistic adventure'.
"Don't get your lucky four-leaf clover underwear all bunched up, now!" Shawn held up his arms and called to Juliet in a not-stealthy stage whisper. "He has those; I've seen them. Anyway," he declared, turning back to Lassiter and promptly wrapping himself around his manly, Irish, signing-paperwork-toned arm. "I have a surprise. An awesome one. You'll love it."
"I will?" Lassie repeated, a bit lost, and Juliet laughed softly and started to walk away.
"Have fun, you guys."
An hour later, after an increasingly irritating car ride in which Shawn bounced around in his seat like a small child and wouldn't reveal a single hint of his 'awesome surprise of sock-blowing proportions', they were in Lassiter's apartment and the detective was more than a little suspicious of what this surprise would actually contain. If it had something to do with pineapples, John Travolta, and a potato launcher, he was out of there, no matter how many times he thought he had committed himself to taking in Shawn's unexplainable antics with deep breathing exercises and a calm, balanced temperament.
Shawn was practically Hermes-like in the way the bottoms of his Kangaroos skimmed over the floor as he disappeared into Lassiter's room, after subsequently blindfolding Carlton with his own tie (again) and leaving him to stand there an ever-growing sense of dread.
"Hush now, there'll be none of that," Shawn cooed from the back room and Lassiter's mouth twitched. He really, really hoped Shawn was at least becoming crazy enough to talk to inanimate objects (not that he didn't already). Like, say, a nice pineapple. Or maybe he'd gotten Carlton something that wouldn't wreak long-term havoc, like, say, a dollhouse built of cork, or a paper-mache dinosaur head. He really, really didn't want his mind to believe what his nose was feeling, and that was the smell of...
"Lassie!" Shawn scurried back into the room. "Don't peek yet, you overzealous hunk of thang," he whispered aloud in a scandalous gasp (that sounded mysteriously like his impersonation of Queen Latifah, which he usually kept hidden for emergency situations) as Lassiter started to pull off the tie, but it was too late, and... Shawn was in the middle of his living room floor holding a mangy ball of fur and... good lord... rubbing his face against it.
...the smell of cat litter.
"Sweet Jesus," Carlton shrieked in a way less manly than he would have liked, and he put his hand on his hip where his firearm used to be.
"Um, yeah. I removed that earlier, for precautionary reasons."
"You took my gun, Shawn?" That was, safe to say, inconceivable. And damn it, Shawn really needed to stop quoting stupid movies; it was starting to rub off on him. "You let a... a thing into my house? Is that a stray? That had better not be a stray! If it's a stray, we are giving it a chemical bath and leaving it outside someone else's door..."
Shawn's mouth dropped open. "Lassie-kins! Your precious baby is on the counter. And Reginald is not a thing. He is a gracious, intellectual creature with the delicate disposition of royalty. And he does not appreciate your tone."
"We could name him something else, if you'd like. I might be able to enlist Gus in the fine art of searching online for a book of cat names," he wondered out loud while shifting the dangerous creature into his other arm.
"I don't like this, Shawn," Carlton sighed heavily as he crossed the room to snag his weapon from the kitchen counter (leaving a wide berth around the so-called Reginald). "I don't think we're ready for this kind of responsibility."
"But Gus thinks we are. I totally asked him, and he thought that it would be a wonderful idea for the both of us to channel our loving and the need to improve on our commitment skills into this little guy." Shawn spoke the last few words in the kind of voice that women generally reserved for fussing over newborn babies; rocking the cat gently back and forth and nudging his ear. "It'll be like therapy, except painless, fuzzy, and you won't be homicidal afterwards. He's so cute, Lassie. Come here. Smell him. No, really. He smells like Mother Teresa," Shawn added. "Like wood chips and love and all that makes up the circle of life."
Lassiter stood uncomfortably in the kitchen, far from the cat taking up valuable space in his lover's arms. "I'll stand watch over here. Um, with my gun. In case Reginald tries anything."
"Dude, he's not going to scratch your eyes out," Shawn belated as he sat down in a nearby armchair with an outward yawn. "Besides... doesn't he bear some striking resemblance to someone you know?"
Carlton peered at the ball of fur from his safe perch behind the counter. The cat was a tabby, from the looks of it, not that he knew much about murderous furry hairballs that descended from man-eating carnivores. It was small and gray; patches of its fur peppered with white and black spots. It looked up at Shawn with large, watery, cerulean eyes and purred like a ticking time bomb. "No... I don't generally compare felines to people I know."
"Hmm. That's strange. I must have a magnetic attraction to things with salt and pepper hair," Shawn teased with a wiggle of his eyebrows. "Can we keep him?"
"Shawn, I... don't know. It's weird. Those things excrete, you know."
"So do I and you keep me. Pleeeeease?"
Lassiter looked from the cat's analyzing expression, to Shawn's eager ten-year-old sparkle, to the way the faux psychic slouched easily and comfortably in the chair he often complained of as being lumpy, a depressing color, and uninviting, and somehow he just knew that this was Shawn's way of showing him that he was attempting to be more grounded.
Maybe with Shawn, he would just have to take one tiny step at a time.
"That... thing," Carlton declared gruffly. "If you let it sleep on the bed there will be consequences."
Shawn smirked; the glint in his momentarily-blue eyes obviously conveying relief, or some form of it. He purred – purred – into the cat's neck. "Ooh, like handcuffs? If I'm really bad?"
"If you're lucky, Spencer."
Note: Knowing Gus, he most likely stopped Shawn dead in his tracks at the idea of buying a cat from a pet store. He looked all over the interwebz for the best deals at shelters, and after finding one that was cheap, formerly in an abusive home, adorable, and (bonus!) resembled Lassiter in every way, shape, and form (only fuzzy and less prone to homicidal outbursts), he shoved the freshly printed ad in Shawn's face and BAM. Reginald. But I have a feeling they're going to change that name. ;)
See, my imagination soars. Like a birdie flying high above the horizon. And now McNab and Shawn can have cat parties and coo over how much their babies have grown and the best deals on flavored catnip. *imagines shamelessly*
Ah... and I feel as if I must provide a quote/scene, in case any of you did not catch the reference from "The Old and the Restless". Season two, episode twelve, to be exact.
Shawn: "Someone is trying to off old-timers at Glorious Pines..."
Gus: "Three people have gotten suddenly sick there. It could be an angel of death type thing."
Lassiter: *ignoring Shawn, who is hobbling around like an old man with scoliosis and for some reason, wiggling his fingers around Lassie's nether regions* "You know, that is a brilliant theory. But, what you fail to take into account is that it's five degrees hotter today than the same day last year."
*makes a face and slaps away Shawn's hand* Inner Flapjack says he liked it! She avidly approves!
Shawn: "Frogs can't swallow with their eyes open! It's true."
Shawn: "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought we were all offering up useless pieces of information."
On a irrelevant side note, I adore that episode. (Old people plus popular Henry equals instant win of cute!)