A/N: A little bit of Sick!Shawn whumpage.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
The soft patter of raindrops fell in an irregular rhythm against the windshield of the car, the wipers creating a swish sound when they dragged across it, drawing away the water momentarily. The car drove smoothly, though under the speed limit due to the amount of water already on the roads, which shined reflectively as the headlights of the car illuminated the darkness surrounding it. The roads weren't too bad here even though they were so far out in the middle of nowhere that Waldo wouldn't even be able to find himself.
Lassiter removed one hand from the steering wheel to drag through his hair, still damp from earlier events. He sighed as he glanced at the man occupying the seat next to him, slumped against the window of the car. He reached over and placed his hand on the younger man's forehead, not surprised to find the heat radiating off the skin still lingered. They had only been driving for ten minutes after all. Shawn's lashes fluttered slightly at the contact but he didn't regain consciousness.
The crime scene he and his partner had been called to was so far out on the city's limits that he had momentarily been unsure on whether or not it actually was in his jurisdiction. The body had been found by a pair of unfortunate tourists who'd gone on a walkabout, though they had probably not thought that they would, quite literally, stumble upon a body. The tourists had gone off the trail, leading them further away from civilisation, only increasing the difficulty to actually get to the body, but they had managed to arrive on scene about an hour after they had been called. Carlton had been rather proud of O'Hara for not giving away more than a flinch at the sight of the body.
Whoever was responsible had clearly wanted to make sure that their victim was dead and stayed that way. Lassiter had scrunched his nose slightly at the sight, bringing a cloth up to cover his nose and mouth as he'd knelt down to get a closer look. He didn't ask O'Hara to follow suit, even when she didn't do so herself. Even the leaves that had been covering the body previously bore evidence of the brutality. However, as he looked closer and started looking at the surrounding area he came to the conclusion that the murder had not taken place here. There would undoubtedly be signs on the scene if a murder like this had been committed here.
He didn't know why he had been surprised to find Spencer waltzing onto the scene some fifteen minutes after their arrival. After all these years he really should know that there were no limitations to the when or how the man annoyed him. So, he'd taken a deep breath, clenching and unclenching his fists at his side until the urge to harm the younger man had been pushed aside momentarily.
As Lassiter thought back he scolded himself for not noticing Spencer's strange behaviour sooner. Something had been off from the very beginning when the man hadn't started flailing and joking around. He had not actually waltzed onto the scene. Lassiter frowned as he remembered that Shawn had stumbled slightly, catching himself on a conveniently placed tree. At the time Carlton had been sure that Spencer was in the midst of another 'vision'. It should have dawned on him a lot earlier that something was wrong.
Spencer had been quiet – too quiet. Guster hadn't been with him, and if Lassiter remembered correctly O'Hara had asked where he was to which Spencer had answered rather unenthusiastically replied that he was busy at his other job. The fact that Lassiter had forgotten about Spencer's presence also should have alerted him. Whenever Spencer was around he made sure that you wouldn't be unaware of it.
When it had started to rain, Lassiter's mood had gone down the drain. His patience with the crime scene was drawing thin as water started seeping through his suit jacket, allowing him to feel the cold through his shirt, raising slight goose bumps along his arms. A loud shout had him racing over to where a bunch of officers were gathered around the department's psychic. At first Carlton had thought the man was having one of his episodes, and he was rather alarmed to find he was actually relieved as it maybe could have given them an excuse to get away from this place and out of the rain.
Spencer had not moved. The rain had plastered his hair against his head as well as clearly trying desperately to drench his clothes, though apparently Spencer's jacket was better than his own as the younger man looked marginally drier than Lassiter felt. Juliet had been by the downed man's side in an instant, immediately asking the surrounding officers what had happened. None of them knew. The only thing they could tell the two detectives was that Spencer had suddenly collapsed.
Getting an ambulance to come to them would have taken a lot longer than driving the so-called psychic back to the city themselves. It had been a tough decision. He knew that one of them had to stay at the crime scene, but he wasn't sure he wanted to let O'Hara take his car, and his partner had already refused to let one of the officers take him. Lassiter would never learn to fully understand the logic of women. He had grudgingly agreed to take Spencer back to the city, though he had winced slightly at the sight of the now very wet young man being loaded into his car.
O'Hara had said she could handle the scene, but he had no doubt that she would be just fine. She had at least brought waterproofs.
Lassiter looked over at Spencer again, taking note of the flushed skin and the slight shiver that was running through the man. Lassiter remembered O'Hara pulling her waterproofs out of the trunk of his car and briefly wondered what else she might have stashed there. In the hopes of finding a blanket or anything that could help keep Spencer from shivering quite so much, Lassiter pulled his car over on the side of the road, turning on the emergency lights just in case even though the road was completely deserted.
He was lucky. Why his partner had thrown a woolly blanket into the trunk of his car he had no idea, but at the moment he welcomed the sight of it. He could always question Juliet about it later.
As he quickly shut the car door behind him he heard Spencer mumble something as he shifted in his seat, clearly dissatisfied with the sudden noise. Lassiter didn't hesitate in draping the blanket over the younger man, hoping that it would at least provide a small bit of comfort to counter the distress Spencer was obviously feeling as his face settled in a frown of dismay.
"You never do anything halfway do you, Spencer?" Carlton mumbled as he again laid a hand roughly against Shawn's forehead. He was far too warm to the touch. So much it wouldn't surprise the detective if steam suddenly started evaporating from the skin.
Shawn shifted again and turned his head slightly to the sound of Lassiter's voice. It seemed hard for him to open his eyes and he ended up blinking heavily before gazing feverishly and obviously confused at Lassiter.
Lassiter was rather shocked to hear the normally overly exuberant man's voice sound so exhausted and, quite frankly, weak.
"Unfortunately," Lassiter answered him, trying to sound as gruff as he normally did.
The fact that Spencer didn't immediately retort with a quip of some kind was a clear indicator of the man's unease. Instead his eyes shifted slowly and confusedly around the interior of the car, though that small task seemed to require too much energy and in the end he croaked, "Where am I?"
"In my car," Lassiter said, making sure that his tone was a clear indicator of what he thought of that arrangement.
"What happened?" Shawn asked tiredly as he dragged a hand across his eyes, making him look more like a child than Lassiter would ever have thought possible.
"You fainted at the crime scene," Lassiter informed him as he watched Spencer clutch his hand tightly around the blanket as though it was a lifesaver.
"I didn't faint," Shawn mumbled in disagreement as he tried to pull the blanket further up his chest.
"Yeah, you did," Carlton retorted nonchalantly. As another shiver ran through Spencer's body he asked, "Are you still cold?"
Spencer nodded mutely, and though he might deny it later, Lassiter felt a stab of sympathy for the other man because he truly looked miserable.
"Is your jacket still wet?" Lassiter asked, realising that he probably should have checked himself whether or not the jacket was soaked through, like his own, which he'd discarded in the backseat of the car.
"…don't know…" Spencer mumbled and then sniffed quietly, promptly dragging his hand across his eyes again.
"If it's wet it would be a good idea to get it off," Carlton said, trying to sound a little less grouchy.
"No," Spencer croaked before sniffing again.
"Fine," Carlton relented, finding it equally impossible to argue with Spencer in this state as on any other day, "but if you're cold and the jacket is wet it won't do you any good."
Spencer's eyes shifted briefly towards him, allowing Lassiter to see the man's eyes watery from the fever that was coursing through him. Now he wished that he had stayed in the rain at the crime scene and had let O'Hara take the car. Surely that would have been better than this.
Carlton sighed again as he returned his attention to the car. He started the engine up again, turning the heating in the car up a notch for Spencer's sake before driving back onto the road.
"Where're we going?" Spencer asked so quietly that Carlton turned his head to see what had muffled his voice. It seemed Shawn was attempting to get warmer by pulling the blanket all the way over his head.
"I am driving you to the hospital; and don't do that," Lassiter added as he reached over with one hand and pulled the blanket away from Shawn face, earning a groan in response.
"I don't wanna go…" Spencer whined, still sounding so horribly young, but the whine still reminded Carlton that it was still Spencer he was dealing.
"Tough," he simply answered returning his full attention to the road.
"I don't need the hospital," Shawn insisted as he rubbed at his eyes again.
"Spencer," Lassiter sighed with exasperation, "you collapsed."
"So?" The mumbled reply was muffled even further by Spencer's insistence of pulling the blanket up as far as humanely possible.
"Alright, Spencer," Lassiter said as he pulled the blanket off of Shawn's head again, briefly taking note of how the younger man's hair was now standing up at odd angles, "where would you like to go?"
"Home," the one word was voiced so pathetically childlike that Lassiter felt a stab of sympathy for the other man.
"You can't be left alone in your condition," Carlton tried to reason with psychic.
Carlton was fixed with a feverish glare followed by a loud sniff.
"…cold…" Shawn mumbled as he pulled the blanket tighter around himself as he tried to dig himself further into the seat of the car.
Carlton wordlessly turned the heating up another notch.
Spencer tried to lean his head back against the seat, but obviously found the position too uncomfortable when he shifted again and tried to lean his head against the window instead. When he wasn't satisfied by that either (signified by a drawn out whine) he rubbed at his eyes and sniffed again.
"Here," Carlton said, reaching backwards he grabbed hold of his jacket and threw it to Spencer, "It's damp but you can use it as a pillow."
The jacket could just as well have been an alien judging by the way he was looking at it. He shifted his delirious gaze from the jacket to Lassiter clearly at a loss as to what he was supposed to do.
"Oh for crying out loud," Lassiter exclaimed, and Shawn visibly flinched at the suddenly harsh tone.
Lassiter pulled the car over again, leaving the engine running as he jerked his jacket away from Shawn's weak hold. He quickly folded the jacket into a makeshift pillow, quite aware of Spencer's eyes attempting but failing in following his movements.
"Here," Lassiter said as he shoved the jacket back at Spencer a little harder than necessary.
Spencer gave a weak nod causing him to moan in pain and bring a hand up to press against his forehead. As Carlton was pulling back onto the road he watched out the corner of his eye as Shawn tucked the folded jacket between his head and the window, his contented sigh a clear indicator of the much more comfortable position.
It wasn't long before Spencer was asleep again, and Lassiter welcomed the quiet, though even unconscious Shawn still managed to sniff on occasion, but Lassiter simply refused to feel greater sympathy for the man. Still, he remembered the man's delirious state but rather adamant words that he didn't want to go to the hospital. Lassiter glanced at the unconscious form again, a slow smile forming on his lips. If Spencer didn't want to go to the hospital he would just have to go to his father's so he at least was someone else's responsibility. Carlton was quite certain that Shawn would not be too fond of this arrangement.
So, Henry's up next...
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