Lassiter Rides the Pineapple Express
Rating: M for male nudity, sexual situations, drug consumption and drug references.
Pairings: Shawn/Lassiter. Foreshadowing of Gus/Juliet. Tiny whisp of Shawn/Buzz.
Warning: Shassie. Hurt/comfort (if you construe being high as a form of hurt). Contains potential spoilers for Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Piece, Lassie Did A Bad Bad Thing and Poker? I Barely Know Her. Also has spoilers for the film The Breakfast Club.
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.
Summary: Lassiter has eaten the wrong brownies. Shawn steps in to help a very stoned Lassie solve a murder at the Cancer Run.
Shawn slid behind the wheel of the red Crown Vic and adjusted the seat forward. Lassiter looked around anxiously before climbing into the passenger seat.
This feels entirely wrong, he thought as Shawn started the car and pulled out of the park. But the only thing worse than the thought of Shawn driving his car was what he could imagine happening if he tried to drive home by himself.
The detective closed his eyes and leaned against the window. He realized that his muscles had been tense for some time and were beginning to relax now that he was headed homeward. It felt as if the energy was draining from every muscle in his body. Even his eyelids felt heavy. He closed his eyes momentarily but quickly opened them actually could fall asleep, and if this awful day was going to end with his career intact that couldn't sat upright, opened the window and focussed on remembering to be angry at Shawn for telling Guster everything at the press tent.
Finally as they neared the apartment he spoke.
"So much for you being a vault of secrets. You obviously told Guster everything."
"What makes you say that?"
"How else could you have convinced him to go to the hospital while you ferry me around? I mean, gummed auras? Not believable. Unless you think Guster and O'Hara are high as well."
"Seriously, Lassie. The subject of your reefer madness never came up. I told him I wanted some quality Lassiter time. Gus understands."
"Yeah. Right. Did he laugh when you told him how I accidentally dosed myself?"
Shawn pulled the car to a stop outside Lassiter's apartment. He turned off the ignition and leaned in toward him.
"You want the truth?"
"Of course I do." Although judging from the intense look on Spencer's face, maybe I don't.
"I told him I wanted to get you alone so I could put the moves on you." Shawn raised an eyebrow and leaned in toward him. Lassiter could feel the blood rushing through his body, flushing his face. Just when he had concluded that Shawn actually expected them to kiss, the fake psychic broke out in a smile and jumped out of the car.
It was a joke. Of course it was. Spencer wasn't actually…didn't really mean…wouldn't want…
The very idea of Spencer trying to 'put the moves on him' was preposterous. He laughed at the absurdity of the situation. It was ridiculous to think that he would have kissed Spencer, despite having finished the remains of his slurpee. He was infuriating and exasperating and attention-seeking and strangely touchy-feely. Just imagining it made him laugh.
Spencer came around to the passenger side of the Crown Vic and opened the door.
"It'll be easier to pass you off as not-high if you can cut down on the hysterical giggling there, Lassiface."
Lassiter swung his legs out. It felt like he was wearing iron shoes. Shawn grabbed his arms and pulled him out and upright. Lassiter was suddenly aware of how close Shawn's body was, and of the heat that was radiating off of him. Or is that my imagination?
Shawn shut the car door then guided Lassiter up to the apartment and let them inside.
"Okay Lassie, we need to get you out of these clothes, showered and back into your detective costume, quick like Batman."
"There's no we for this part, Spencer. I can undress and shower all by myself." At least I hope I can.
"Are you sure you don't want me to scrub your back or stand by with towels? We don't want a nasty accident, do we? What if you fell and slipped into a coma?"
"If I slip into a coma, I'll call you."
Lassiter walked slowly to the bathroom, focussing on being as unhigh as possible. Getting to the bathroom unaided would prove his competence to shower alone, but was more difficult than he had expected. It was as if there was a switch in his head that kept getting flicked. One moment he was sure that the drug had worn off and he was now fine. In the next moment he felt too intoxicated to move or speak.
He turned on the light, entered the bathroom and then started the water running in the shower. He didn't shut the door because it occurred to him that if he did fall he'd want Shawn to be able to save him, however humiliating that would be.
He leaned against the sink and pulled off his socks and shorts.
So far so good. We're half way there.
He began to pull off his t-shirt. He pulled and pulled, his head trapped in a seemingly endless swath of fabric, his arms bound and failing to bend where he thought they should. He was lost in his shirt. He felt short of breath and struggled harder to free himself, which only made it tighter and more constricting. At the same time the room seemed to be spinning and he had a distinct sensation that he was now falling through the floor. His attempts to counterbalance only made him unsteady on his feet and he knew he was moments away from falling.
Great, he thought. I'm freaking out.
Lassiter felt as if he were two people. One of him was trapped, claustrophobic, and clearly going to die. The second was rational, understood that he was just tangled in a t-shirt, and not in actual danger except from the panic. This second person could only watch helplessly as he fought against the dark suffocating mass constricting around him.
I'm going to die in my bathroom, he thought glumly, and they're going to test my blood and find the drugs and they'll all remember me as the cop who died because he was too high to remember how a t-shirt worked.
Although he hadn't called for help, he must have been making noise, because suddenly Shawn was there. He spoke in soft reassuring tones, and wrapped an arm around Lassiter's waist to hold him upright.
"Reeeelax," he said. "I've got you."
Lassiter couldn't remember having felt so relieved. Shawn slowly untangled the attacking shirt from his arms and head, and then tossed it to the floor. Lassiter grabbed Shawn's shoulders to steady himself and gasped for air. The sinking, spinning feeling was still there, but the sense of certain doom was gone. Shawn cupped Lassiter's jaw in his hands and looked into his eyes for an indication that the panic was subsiding.
Lassiter was not what anyone would have described as touchy-feely. Being this close to someone usually meant he was subduing them prior to arrest, or he was having sex. Standing there naked, with Shawn's hands on his face, felt a lot more like the latter situation. He breathed slowly and deliberately, feeling what he could only call excitement buzzing through his blood.
Lassiter's mind wandered to his relationships. So many of them were based on how well he played the role people wanted—perfect cop, partner, or husband. He had put a lot of work into excelling in all these areas of his life. But how many people really knew him for who he was? How much of himself did he hold back from O'Hara? They'd developed a sense of respect and even camaraderie, but she really didn't know the first thing about him as a person. That birthday fiasco was a prime example. It was the same with Victoria. In a way, she hadn't even divorced him; she'd divorced the husband he'd tried to be—the man he thought she wanted him to be.
Obviously, he thought, I was wrong about that.
"Are you still in there, Lassie?" Shawn asked nervously.
Lassiter realized that there was someone who saw through all his protective facades and seemed to like him anyway. Now, standing there together, he felt like Shawn was really seeing him. He assumed it must be an effect of the drug, but instead of feeling terrifying and exposed it felt reassuringly intimate. He relaxed and allowed himself to dwell in the experience. It seemed as if it was going on forever, and always had been.
I'm standing naked in front of him, he thought, and all he wants to look at is my eyes? In that moment Lassiter realized that on some level he wanted to do more than just look Shawn in the eyes. Tightening his grip on Shawn's shoulders, he pulled him forward and tentatively pressed his lips to Shawn's. Aside from the rough stubble, it wasn't all that strange. Shawn's lips were soft and hesitant. They kissed cautiously at first, and then Lassiter gently urged his mouth open with his tongue. Suddenly Shawn was responding and the kiss deepened to something intense, wet, and achingly sexual. Lassiter groaned at the rush of exhilaration and lust that coursed through him. The feel of Shawn's fully clothed body pressed against his bare skin was powerfully arousing and vaguely kinky. Shawn tasted faintly of pineapple smoothie and Lassiter recalled his earlier remarks. He'd been right. Sharing his drink was nothing like French kissing. Just when he began to wonder what he was supposed to do next Shawn pulled back, pushing gently but firmly on Lassiter's chest.
"Well," Shawn said, looking away and laughing. "I guess it's true what they say about skinny guys and penis size. Maybe you can use that thing for leverage and we'll try to get you into the shower." Shawn motioned to the bedroom. "I'll just go grab you some clothes. You know what they say…no shirt, no shoes, no service weapon." He quickly backing out of the bathroom door.
And now he's running away.
Lassiter stood gasping and shaking, trying to slow his breathing and adjust to the adrenaline coursing through his system.
What the hell were you thinking? Lassiter went over the past ten minutes in his mind. He'd clearly misinterpreted the signals and taken Spencer's bizarre sense of humour and complete lack of personal space as a sign of interest. Bolting from the room is not a good sign.
He ran a hand over his face and sighed. He definitely felt like he needed a shower; he reeked of guilt and stupidity. He turned on the water and waited for it to warm, trying to direct his mind to non-sexual topics like preparing his taxes, or his ex father-in-law, or cleaning his gun. Although that last one now sounds like a euphemism.
Maybe I can blame the drugs.
And say what? Sorry, Spencer, drugs made me gay but I'm better now?
This doesn't need to make things awkward between us forever.
You're kidding, right?
As the warm water washed over him Lassiter had a realization. He had been flirting with Spencer. Not only had he permitted him to pass even the most liberal boundaries of personal space, but he'd been pursuing contact. Bearhugging him in the parking lot of the McCallum house…wrestling him in the kitchen of the Hotel De La Cruz…slamming him against walls at the station. It was classic sublimation. And the things he'd said to him in Tom Blair's Pub after all that scotch—he remembered more than he cared to admit. And now he'd just played some kind of game of vulnerability chicken with him and Spencer had blinked first.
Shawn came into the bathroom carrying a folded stack of clothes, which he sat on the counter by the sink.
"Okay, I've got you a lovely dark suit and a blue tie, to compliment the hair and the eyes" he said. "Frankly I'm surprised a guy like you has boxers. I expected Superman Underoos."
Lassiter shut off the water and stood there, dripping behind the frosted glass of the shower door. After a few seconds he realized that he was afraid to come out of the shower.
Of course! It's not enough that I'm having drug-induced paranoia, my brain needs to dredge up some heterosexual panic just to spice things up.
"Can you pass me some towels, please?" he asked, motioning to a stack on a silver metal shelf.
"Sure." Shawn passed two towels over the shower door but didn't make eye contact.
Lassiter wrapped one towel tightly around his waist and opened the shower door. He stepped out onto the bath mat and used the second towel to dry his hair.
Shawn stepped toward him, but kept out of kissing distance.
"Listen Lassie, I want to acknowledge this thing going on here," he moved his hands back and forth between them.
"Spencer, I— "
"You know what I'm talking about," Shawn cut him off. "But I'm not going to try to jump you, so you can just relax, okay?"
"I didn't think that," Lassiter said. He avoided looking at Shawn, instead focussing on towelling off his arms and chest. Obviously Spencer was trying to diffuse things by pretending that what had happened was just their usual competitive roughhousing taken to its extreme. It was a relief in a way. It was definitely better than having the 'I like you as a friend' talk. He was tired of those.
Shawn laughed. "Give me a call when you're no longer stoned and we'll do paintball or something. But I warn you, I only put out on the third date. Or on special occasions, like birthdays. Or if it gets dark at all."
Lassiter froze momentarily. His heart was pounding and he thought he could hear the blood in his veins. A new thought came to him with alarming certainty. Spencer had been coming on to him. Not just now, but since the beginning. He could see all their interactions in an entirely new light. Spencer, constantly remarking on his physical appearance…offering him hugs…touching his legs, his arms, his head…slapping his ass at the Monarch Lodge…sitting in his lap.
"You…really mean that, don't you?" he asked. His guts clenched anxiously as he waited for the answer.
Shawn smiled, wide and relaxed, and looked up at him, with no trace of guile discernable in his hazel eyes. "I do. I really do." He laughed and shrugged expressively. "I'd like nothing better than to play the Bender to your Claire and give you the hot beef injection past eleven on a school night. You're tall, pale and handsome in a Hill Street Blues kind of way. But you've ingested an intoxicating substance, Lassie. I wouldn't want to break California Penal Code 261A3. So let's put this whole sexual tension thing on the back burner and get you to the station."
The station! He was supposed to be working on a case and he had no idea how long he'd been standing in his bathroom.
He walked over to the stack of clothes. One of his kitchen chairs stood nearby.
"I thought the chair might make it easier for you to dress," Shawn said. Lassiter sat and dressed as swiftly as he could, relying on muscle memory for most of it.
"I don't feel good about carrying a gun in this condition, Spencer."
"Come on Lassie," Shawn said. "If you left your gun at home everyone would think you were high or something."
Shawn held the suit jacket for him then walked around to the front and looked at him critically. "Does this look right?" Lassiter asked, motioning to the clothes.
"Yes. Perfectly normal. In no way do these clothes say 'I'm tripping.' Now if you went to work wearing an aviators helmet and footy pajamas that'd be a different story."
He stepped in close and adjusted his tie and picked a few pieces of lint off the sleeve.
"There. Now you look just as great as you always do." Shawn ran his hands lightly down the lapels and looking up at Lassiter from under his lashes. "You know what I'd like to do with you right now?"
"Uh, no. I don't." Although I can think of a few things that are suddenly on my list.
"What I'd really like to do right now…is put you in a competitive eating contest."
Lassiter looked down at him with his serious face.
"Come on," Shawn said, laughing. "Pot is like the steroids of competitive eating. Just consider it. For next time, maybe."
"Funny," Lassiter said seriously. "Let's get to the station."
"I call shotgun! Oh wait. I call…what's the drivers seat called? Stagecoach?"
"Shut up, Spencer."
On the way to the station Shawn pulled into the parking lot of the Las Pamas Quick Stop.
"Why are we stopping here?" Lassiter asked. If the clock on the dashboard was to be believed, they'd already spent half an hour at his apartment.
"Stay in the car," Shawn said. "I'm just got to grab something. You'll thank me later."
Shawn returned to the car with a plastic bag bulging at the seams.
"Here." He pulled a bag of French Onion flavoured Sunchips out of the bag and passed them to Lassiter. "Enjoy."
Although sceptical, Lassiter opened the bag and began to eat. It was magical. They were easily the creamiest most flavourful chips he had ever eaten.
"My God Spencer, these are incredible."
"I know. Being bad feels pretty good, huh?"
"What's the fat content of these things?" Lassiter squinted at the nutritional information on the back of the bag but had trouble focussing on the small print.
"A bazillion. But pot makes you immune. Also, if you eat five bags of them you have your total recommended dosage of potassium."
By the time they had arrived at the station he had finished the Sunchips and was now enjoying the smooth milk chocolate and chewy coconutiness of an Almond Joy. Holding the Quick Stop bag possessively to his chest, Lassiter followed Shawn towards the room where the AV equipment was set up.
"Oh! That's rough! Play it again." Buzz's voice and O'Hara's laughter echoed down the hall.
As they entered O'Hara and Buzz looked up with guilty expressions. O'Hara's hair was wet.
She's been home to shower and change as well, Lassiter thought. I bet she didn't take forty minutes and stop off for snacks.
"What in the hell is going on here?" Lassiter asked. He was still Head Detective, even if he wasn't very useful at the moment.
"We're sorting through the footage from the race," Buzz said, trying unsuccessfully to look serious.
"What's so funny?" Could they be laughing at me, Lassiter wondered. Did they know?
"It's the footage of the woman who was hit by the ice truck." O'Hara said nervously.
"What's funny about being hit by a truck?" Lassiter asked.
"It's not really a truck," Buzz said. "It's just a little vehicle that delivers ice. It's like a golf cart. Maybe it is a golf cart. Or made by the same company that makes golf carts."
"Oh just watch it." O'Hara grabbed the remote and pressed the play button.
The scene was a wide shot of a section of the 10-mile race. Spectators clapped as the runners went by and water volunteers hurried up to them, passing out cups. Vince Gabriel entered the shot from screen left, but it was clear that he was already having trouble. He stumbled, fell, then lay on the ground gasping and panting. People began to shout and run toward him.
"What's funny about this?" Lassiter demanded. Even if the guy was a media hound that didn't mean he wanted to see him poisoned.
"Wait for it…" Buzz said.
From the left side of the screen a young blonde woman wearing a grey backpack ran into view. Like the other spectators she was focussed on the fallen television star.
"Wait for it…" Buzz and O'Hara both smiled and cringed in anticipation.
Suddenly a golf cart drove in from screen right. The driver was looking over toward the throng around Vince Gabriel. The little ice truck and the running woman collided, hard. She flipped over it in dramatic Johnny Knoxville style.
"Ow!" Lassiter and Shawn winced and O'Hara and Buzz laughed.
"That's gotta hurt!" Shawn laughed.
"So help me," Lassiter said, pointing his finger menacingly at each of them in turn, "if one of you posts this to Youtube I will be so pissed. Is that understood?"
"Yes sir." O'Hara and Buzz looked at one another and stifled their smiles.
"Good." Lassiter pulled up a chair and sank gratefully into it, opening a bag of Miss Vickie's Sea Salt and Vinegar chips. "Let's see that again." He offered the bag to Buzz and O'Hara. "Chip?"
Having had their fill of slapstick they settled down to watch the earlier footage, looking for signs of anyone handing Vince Gabriel poisoned water. It was a hopeless task. Dozens of people were passing out little paper cups of water. More people were pouring the water into the little cups. Any one of them could have had the opportunity to poison him.
Spencer swore we'd find the evidence we needed in this footage. I guess I'm not the only one who'd going to look a fool today, he thought. Instead of the warm glow of superiority this normally would have given him he kind of felt bad for the guy. Well, he can't be right all the time.
Lassiter cracked the top on a bottle of water and took a long gulp. Then he began devouring a bag of Cheetos. Their cheesy crunchiness was like eating sunshine.
O'Hara's cell phone rang and she answered it anxiously. After a brief conversation she turned to Lassiter.
"That was the hospital. Vince Gabriel is awake, but he doesn't remember who passed him water. He barely even remembers being in the marathon."
"Great!" Lassiter sighed. "There goes out best witness." He turned back to the footage. Their only chance now was to find someone suspicious in the footage, drag them in for questioning, and hope that they broke. He spotted three of the kids from the dessert table, and the ice truck woman, oblivious to her future staring role in her own Jackass video. Vince Gabriel's personal assistant was in several of the shots giving orders to volunteers and yelling into her Bluetooth headset phone.
I should haul her in on principle, he thought. Of course Gabriel's assistant wouldn't need an event like this if she wanted to poison him. But then it was an ideal opportunity if she wanted to make it look like it had been a member of the public. Assuming, of course, that we're correct in thinking that Gabriel was targeted, and that this isn't a random thing. Or that he wasn't poisoned earlier with some kind of time-release capsule.
Lassiter yawned. This task was boring and probably hopeless. He crunched his Cheetos and allowed his mind to wander.
Each person on the screen was the subject of their own personal drama. It was as if he could see their intentions stretching out like little vectors into their future. But it didn't always go as we planned, did it? His vector, for instance, had been deflected from its path first by dessert licking children and then by laced brownies. He looked at his watch. He should have been eating crab legs and drinking beer with Buzz, O'Hara, Dobson and Garcia by now. Spencer's plans for jerk chicken had been derailed as their two vectors had collided in ways they hadn't expected. He flashed back briefly to their kiss in the bathroom.
Collided. Collision. The image of the woman and the ice truck came vividly back to him. Only this time it wasn't funny. Lassiter sat upright in his seat and looked at O'Hara.
"We have to go to the hospital," he stood up and shut off the video.
"Are you feeling okay?" O'Hara asked, concern furrowing her brow. "You've been a little…off all day."
"I'm fine. Our would-be killer is at the hospital. You drive." He tossed her the keys.
Juliet was almost frozen with surprise. The last time Lassiter had allowed her to drive he'd had his arm in a sling. She hurried after him.
With O'Hara and Lassiter in the front of the Crown Vic, Shawn hopped into the back and leaned forward with his arms around the headrests.
"I usually ride shotgun," he said to O'Hara. "But the back is nice too. Very roomy and soft. Hey, do you want me to drive and you can sit in the back?"
"Buzz is following us in the squad car," O'Hara told him. "You could ride shotgun with him."
"No thanks. I really do need to be near Lassie. I've still got some aura scrubbing left to do." He placed a hand on Lassiter's head and slowly began to mess up his hair.
"My aura is getting much better, thanks." Lassiter grabbed Shawn's wrist and twisted it as he pulled it free of his hair. Just because they'd had some kind of a moment earlier didn't mean he was going to get free rein during working hours.
"Ow. Ow. Okay," Shawn was grinning as he rubbed his wrist. "If you don't mind risking an aura collapse. I've seen it happen and it's not pretty. You know what? I'm glad I'm sitting back here. Outside the spray zone." He motioned to the front with his index fingers and leaned back.
Lassiter rushed into the hospital and flashed his badge at the nurse behind the reception desk.
"You have a woman brought in from the Cancer Run with a broken leg today. I need to speak with her. Now."
The patient was lying in her hospital bed with her leg in a cast suspended from a metal rigging. Gus was sitting in a chair by the bed, reading to her from a Redbook magazine with Vince Gabriel's face on the cover.
"Shawn. It's about time." He motioned to the woman in the bed. "This is Miss Martin. She was the lady hit by the ice truck at the park today."
"Vince Gabriel is dead," Lassiter lied. "He died an hour ago from cyanide poisoning."
"Oh my God. No. No!" Miss Martin covered her face with her hands and her breath was a series of gasping sobs.
"Is there something you want to tell us?" O'Hara asked her gently.
"I think she wants to tell us about how she put cyanide in Vince Gabriel's water today." Lassiter said grimly.
"I didn't mean to kill him," Miss Martin said between sobs.
"What did you think would happen when you gave him cyanide?" O'Hara asked, all trace of good-cop gone from her voice.
"She didn't try to kill him," Lassiter said. "She tried to poison him."
"Poison him, kill him. Isn't that just semantics?" O'Hara asked.
"No, it's motive. She poisoned him so she could save him."
"It makes sense, " Gus said. "Vice Gabriel is notorious for rewarding people for their good deeds. Just imagine how he'd thank someone who saved his life." O'Hara looked admiringly at him. He and Shawn did an unobtrusive fist bump.
"As plans go," Shawn said, "it is pretty solid."
"It still makes her one sick puppy," Lassiter said.
"Maybe she has Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy," Gus said.
Shawn looked at her critically and shook his head. "I don't think so. She looks normal size to me,"
"You're thinking of Munchkins, Shawn. I'm talking about the drive to make someone sick so you can get attention by helping them."
"Like that woman in Misery," Shawn said, "with the..the..foot…thing." He made sledgehammer motions with his arms.
"That movie was messed up."
Lassiter walked to the closet and returned with the grey backpack she'd been wearing in the footage from her collision with the ice truck.
"I bet when we search this bag we'll find a cyanide antidote kit, won't we?" he asked her.
"You can't look in there." Martin struggled to bend far enough to wrestle the backpack out of Lassiter's hands, but was stymied by the rigging for her leg. "You need a warrant or something."
"Actually," Lassiter said, "your statement that you 'didn't mean to kill him' gives me probable cause. I can search your bag whenever I like." He unzipped the bag and pulled out the antidote kit, which was sitting right on top. Buzz passed him an evidence bag and Lassiter sealed it inside. He turned to O'Hara. "Place her under arrest. I'll go check this into evidence and get started on the paperwork."
O'Hara held out the keys to the Crown Vic.
"You hang onto them," he said. "I'll grab a cab."
As they walked down the hall Shawn patted him on the back.
"Nice Job, Detective. And giving Jules the collar. That's so sweet of you."
Lassiter's smile made a brief appearance then sank beneath his usual stern expression. "I figured O'Hara should be the arresting officer…just in case."
"You seem to be feeling better though. Am I right?" Shawn looked up at him hopefully.
"I'm actually able to think in past, present and future, so yeah, I must be getting better." It had been twenty minutes or so without any hallucinations, vibrations or weird bodily sensations. He was pretty sure it was over now.
"I knew you'd figure out it was the ice truck girl," Shawn said.
"Thanks." Lassiter said, smiling again. "Wait." He stopped in the middle of the hospital corridor and turned to face Shawn. "You knew it was her? Since when?"
"Do you really want to know?" Shawn took a step back and raised his hands to chest level in mock surrender.
Lassiter sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose with his free hand. "Yes. I really want to know."
"Since O'Hara said someone had been hit by an ice truck."
"While we were in the park?" Lassiter shouted. A few nurses looked toward them with disapproval.
"Yeah. I had a strong… psychic impression…that she'd been planning something," Shawn said. "It made sense. You saw the video. She was running with purpose toward Vince Gabriel. No one wants to kill the Pickle King. It was all a set-up so she could be the hero. But she didn't get a chance to, because of the ice truck."
"Why didn't you say anything?" Lassiter demanded. "We could have solved it then and there and I could have gone home." I could have been safely at home, sitting in my boxers, eating pizza and watching Zoolander…whatever that was.
"But then we would have missed out on this special bonding time," Shawn said. "And I think we reached a new level of understanding between us, didn't we?" He stepped closer to Lassiter and looked up at him expectantly.
"And what if the killer had escaped while we were…" …flirting...kissing…making out… "…showering and eating candy?"
Shawn shrugged. "She had a broken leg. She wasn't going anywhere. Besides, I put Gus on it. He wasn't going to let her out of his sight."
Lassiter pushed Shawn up against the wall and leaned in menacingly. He slammed his hand against the wall next to Shawn's head and left it there, pinning him in on one side. In the back of his mind he noticed that these little clashes had taken on a whole new dimension.
"Let me get this straight," Lassiter said through gritted teeth. "You dragged me all over Santa Barbara, feeding me chips, investigating a crime you'd already solved? I should charge you with obstruction, Spencer."
"You could do that, " Shawn said, smiling up at him. "And I could suggest that Chief Vick do a surprise drug screening. I could say I'd had a vision that someone who carries a gun was trapped inside a giant bong?" Shawn raised his hands and did his best impression of Marcel Marceau in a glass box.
Lassiter stepped back and sighed. He didn't think Spencer would do that, especially given their new 'understanding.' But a dose of prevention was worth a pound of cure. He had a 10-30 day window before urine or blood tests would come back negative. Of course they might do a hair test. Maybe I should shave my head. He'd always wanted an excuse to go shorter, but Victoria had always been against it. He had nothing to lose now.
"I'm going back to work." He turned and walked down the hall.
"Call me." Shawn made the telephone signal with his hand. "We'll do paintball."
Two hours later Lassiter looked up from his desk to see a short woman in her 60s glaring down at him.
"Do you work here? Are you a cop?" she demanded.
"That's right, ma'am, I'm a police officer." Lassiter looked around. People weren't supposed to just wander in here. Where was that officer from reception?
"Well I want to report a theft," the elderly woman said, sitting heavily in the chair by Lassiter's desk.
"Okay." Lassiter picked up a pen and grabbed a report sheet. "What's been stolen?"
"Someone took my pot brownies out of the catering fridge at the Cancer Marathon. today"
"Your pot brownies." He put down the pen. Was this a joke? Had Shawn hired some elderly woman to pull a prank on him?
"For my leukemia. It's all legal. I've got a licence for it." She began to rummage around in the large purse she was carrying. Lassiter stayed her search with a light touch on her arm.
"We'll look into it," he assured her. He pulled out his wallet. "Uh, what would you estimate is the monetary value of the stolen item?"
"The whole batch cost fifty bucks."
"They didn't they take the whole batch," Lassiter said defensively. "I mean, did they?"
"No. But I wasn't about to eat the ones that were left" she said in a shocked voice. "Not after some stranger had their germy hands all over them."
She had a good point.
"Look, police investigations are slow and there's a lot of red tape involved." Lassiter pulled fifty dollars out of his wallet and passed it to her. "Why don't you just take this now and we'll call it even?"
"What a sweet young man you are." She put the money into her purse and stood. "You're like Vince Gabriel."
Lassiter groaned. He could really use a drink.