I'm reposting this story because my page breaks disappeared and I had to make new ones.
Anyway, this story is entirely in Lassiter's point-of-view. And I don't own him or any other recognizable character.
With that said, I've gotta go…
When I was sixteen I was involved in a robbery. I had been working at the grocery store in my home town, trying to bring in some extra money to help out my mother. It was a Tuesday in July; I was picking up an extra shift for a boy named Dylan Bryant. He was a slacker, thought he could charm the pants off of any woman, and had the null to give me a nickname-CL or something like that. He reminded me of someone else I know, someone I really wish would leave me alone sometimes.
On this particular day, Dylan had called in 'sick' to go surfing with some friends. So, I was called in to do the work he should have been doing. The manager, Jacob McGee-whom I thought was a very good leader, had held an air of authority no one could compete with; it was how I always thought my father would act-had me work as bagger. I normally stocked the shelves, people never my strong point, but today he had confidence in me or something.
I was helping a particularly old lady out to her car when I spotted a blue van pull into the parking lot. I didn't like the looks of the two guys who got out, neither one looking like they were going to grocery shop. The taller one was pale, with steely grey eyes. He had to be in his earlier thirties, the first signs of gray barely seen in his brown hair. The other guy, stockier than his friend, had shoulder length blond hair and a beard. He looked to be in his mid-twenties, his blue eyes sweeping the area. As much as I didn't like them, I had to be courteous. It was the motto of the store: "Reggie's: Where our employees are trustworthy, likeable, and courteous. Open since 1962." So I merely followed the men into the store and walked back to my post. I did, however, keep my eyes on the two men until they disappeared behind some shelves.
Sixteen minutes later, after I had argued with a forty-something woman about the heft of a particular bag of potatoes, those two guys returned. Except they were carrying guns.
"Get on the ground," the first man snapped firing one lone bullet into the ceiling. We all dropped-seventeen people in all-to the ground. I could hear Meg, the twenty-something cashier I had been bagging for, gasping close by. She was scared, hell all of us were scared, and I really wanted to comfort her. But before I could move, a pair of feet approached me and a sneering voice said, "Give me your wallet, pretty boy."
I looked up at the shorter guy, a plastic bag shoved in my face seconds later. I never carried my wallet with me, never, for this reason alone. So all I could do was shake my head and say, "I don't have it."
"What, no wallet," he replied as he turned and said to his partner, "This one ain't got a wallet, J."
"No wallet, huh? Then take whatever else he's got." The man turned back to me, looking me up and down. He spotted the watch around my wrist and said, "That's a mighty pretty watch, boy. I bet that's worth a lot. How's about you put that in the bag."
I never took this watch off, it was a given to me by my grandfather the night before he died. It had survived two wars and thirty years of police duty. I couldn't hand it over to them, it was my prized possession. That, however, didn't stop the man from crouching down and grabbing my wrist. I tried to pull away, but he pistol whipped me. I was stunned for a few seconds, stars bursting across my eyes. I felt the man rip the watch from my wrist, pulling arm hair with it. He pulled away from me and walked back to his partner. My vision came back and I glanced at my empty wrist, feeling instantly naked.
The next twenty minutes were the most terrifying of my life. I watched as both men took everyone's possessions, as they stole from the registers, and as they killed.
They had been about to leave the store, carrying more money than they probably planned to steal, the shorter one had just taken a bag of potato chips off the rack. I noticed Jacob getting to his feet, trying to be stealthy. I tried to catch his eyes, my head shaking and eyes begging him to stay down. Instead, he tried to rush the guys, probably hoping to take them down long enough for one of the cashiers to call the cops. Except, the taller one turned around and shot him. Shot him point-blank between the eyes, killing him instantly. Several women screamed and I felt a numbing sensation hit me.
"Let's go," the other guy said and they disappeared out of the doors. I jumped to my feet, running after the two guys, only to watch them speed out of the parking lot and nearly take out a car.
What followed was just short of disappointing. I had to give my statement to a police officer who would give TJ Hooker a good name, had to endure hours of worried glances and quiet lectures from my mother about running toward danger, and countless police station visits only to find out the officers of my home town had allowed those criminals to get away. Those criminals who killed one of the few people I actually looked up to.
I had vowed that day, the Saturday I found out Jacob McGee's killers were still free, that I was going to become a cop and bring justice to as many law breaking, scumbags as I could get my hands on. And that's what I have stuck to…
Spencer was sitting in my chair, feet up on my desk, playing on my computer. I had been gone for a minute, two tops, and already he had made himself at home. At home at MY desk. Not McNabb's or O'Hara's, mine. He was almost beckoning me to shoot him. One bullet, to the leg, get him out of commission for a while. My hands were inching toward my gun, but he had to look up at that moment.
That annoying smile crossed his face, the one that told me he knew exactly what I was planning. He exited out of whatever program he was on, put his feet back on the floor, and said, "Lassie, there you are."
"Spencer," I growled setting my files onto an already rather large pile of files. This case was really kicking my ass and I really didn't have time for Shawn Spencer Head 'Psychic' Consultant. "What the hell were you doing on my computer? And what are you doing here?"
"Playing solitaire," he replied spinning slowly in my chair. "It was a short game, but I was confident I would have won."
"What are you doing here," I repeated grabbing my chair's arms and stopping him in mid-spin, his face facing mine.
"The spirits wouldn't stop nagging me about this case of yours," he replied making me roll my eyes. Again with the spirits, who gives a flying fuck about the spirits? They didn't exist, or at least I didn't think they existed. I couldn't be one-hundred percent sure, but I still had my suspicions. I just needed to get proof.
"Tell the 'spirits' to leave it alone," I growled pushing away from the chair. "And get the hell out of my chair."
"Fair enough Lassie," he replied and stood up, the chair rolling a few inches as his legs brushed it. He walked around me, heading toward the exit. Good, he's leaving, I thought with a sigh. I made to sit down, ready to look over the case's files for the hundredth time, when Spencer froze and turned around.
"What," I snapped meeting his eyes.
His hand went to the side of his head, fingers resting on his temple and eyes closing. He took a deep breath and said, "The wife. Check her again." Then he was gone, practically bouncing out of the police station. I rolled my eyes, again, and got back to work.
So, Spencer, I admit begrudgingly, was right. The wife had killed the husband for his life insurance. The fact that Spencer solved it didn't bug me as much as the pure fact that I missed that clue. The wife had been so convincing with her story, sounded so upset and giving all the right answers, that I just let her off the hook. Or O'Hara convinced me to let her off the hook. If I had just kept nitpicking at her story, asking more and more questions, she would have cracked. She would have cracked and Shawn Spencer would never have stuck his nose into the case.
I pulled into my driveway, my house looking back at me and practically saying, "What can you do?" Is that the first sign of insanity, making up voices for inanimate objects? Oh God, I hope not. That's all I needed, having Spencer succeed in driving me completely bonkers.
I opened my car door, pulling the keys from the ignition, and got out. I glanced at the lawn, making a mental note to mow it sometime in the near future. I used to have the neighbor kid do it, until his mother yelled at me for yelling at him on how to do it right. That woman was a complete psycho, screaming at me about how Tommy or Tony or whatever his name was, was only fifteen and didn't need to be treated like that. It wasn't my fault I defended myself, it wasn't my fault I yelled back at her. Yes, calling her an 'evil, old shrew' to her face was a bit harsh, but she was asking for it.
I sighed, locking and closing my car door. I trudged up the walk, rolling my neck in hopes of releasing the tension that was slowly building up. A long shower sounded good right now, followed by two hours of Cops and bed. It was a guilty pleasure; I loved watching all the excuses criminals came up with to get off the hook. But those cops, like all cops in my opinion, never believed their bullshit. "Take no bullshit from no one, Carlton. Never take bullshit from anyone," was something my grandfather used to say to me.
I had just reached my front door when I noticed lights shining from my living room. I froze, hand going automatically for my gun. I had exactly eight guns hidden in my home, all in various and random places. If those two were unarmed when they showed up, two beams of light equals two stupid criminals, and looked in the right spots they wouldn't be for long. Which meant I had to act now.
The door was locked, I always locked it, but this time I didn't bother unlocking it. I slammed my foot into the door, hearing a loud crack as it flew open and crashed into the wall. I pointed my gun at the two criminals and shouted, "SBPD."
One of the two guys shined his flashlight in my eyes, blinding me suddenly, while the second rushed me and tackled me off the porch and onto the front lawn. I collided with the ground, the air knocked unceremoniously from my lungs. My gun flew out of my hand, landing with a small thump a few feet away from me.
The man weighed more than me, by a lot, and was capable of stunning me with one punch. He pushed himself off of me, walking away from me. I heard him lean over, a smile in his voice as he said, "Look, you dropped your gun."
"P…put that down," I managed to gasp out.
A growl of a motorcycle caught my ears, turning off as someone, a very familiar someone, called, "Hey!" I heard a gunshot, a yelp echoing through the air, and a thud of a body hitting the ground.
"Opps," the man said causing me to jump into action. Only I was the one to contemplate shooting Spencer, no one else. I kicked the man's legs out from underneath him, sending him falling to the ground. I jumped up, scooping my gun off the ground, and pointed it at him. "Stay down," I snapped pistol whipping him hard enough to knock him out.
I glanced over a Spencer, who wasn't moving, but before I could go to him I heard a war cry sound from behind me. Without thinking, I spun around and slammed my fist into the other man's face. He collided with the ground, blood dripping down his lip. I pulled my handcuffs from my belt, turning the split-lipped guy over, and handcuffed him. To make sure he stayed down, I slammed his head into the ground and knocked him out.
"Spencer," I said trekking across the lawn, cell phone already in my hand. He still wasn't moving, lying on his side. Blood was dripping from his head, making a small puddle underneath him. My stomach constricted, my mind already fearing the worse. He was shot in the head, the odds of surviving that type of injury was very slim. How was I going to tell his father or Guster? The chief? Or, my heart dropped, O'Hara?
I knelt next to him, afraid to touch him, when I noticed it wasn't a bullet wound. In fact, Spencer hadn't been shot at all. The man had completely missed the 'psychic'. I glanced at his bike, a bullet hole in one of the tires. Obviously, the man was a horrible shot. Spencer, not knowing that particular information, had dropped and ended up cracking his head on the sidewalk.
"Spencer," I grumbled dialing my phone. I put the thing to my ear, my other hand reaching out to tap him lightly on the face.
"911 Emergency," a woman's voice said, catching my attention.
"Yeah, this is Head Detective Carlton Lassiter from the Santa Barbara Police Department. I'm calling in a robbery at my home." I gave her the address, asking her to send an ambulance. "What's the estimated ETA?" I asked out of curiosity.
"About seven minutes. What is the state of the injuries?"
"I'm figuring a concussion," I replied tapping Spencer's face harder. "One of them cracked his head on the sidewalk."
"Try to keep him conscious and help will be there soon." I snapped my phone shut, turning my full attention to Spencer who was just coming to.
"Hey, Spencer, take it easy," I said putting a hand on his chest when he tried to move.
"What happened?" he asked sounding panicked. He was still trying to get up, still trying to break my restraint.
"You hit your head on the sidewalk," I informed him glancing behind me to make sure the two criminals were still down.
"What?" hazel eyes caught mine, his face fully panicked now. "W…who are you?"
"What? Spencer you better not being pulling my chain," I snapped actually believing he was joking. It would be a stupid joke, but not one beneath him. I was waiting for him to crack a smile and say, "Sorry Lassie, I couldn't resist." Except he didn't, his face blanched fully when he asked, "Who am I…?"