Disclaimer: I don't own Psych or anything/anyone associated with the show.
THE PROOF AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
Carlton Lassiter sat inside his car outside the building where Shawn Spencer lived. This was the third evening in a row the head detective had actually driven to his place. And once again it appeared that despite everything he'd convinced himself, vowing that he'd finally take some action, he'd sit in the car just staring for about two hours and eventually drive off.
It was the internal battle that had been going on for too long. Carlton had never had such a battle of conscience in his life. Normally the job would win out every time over anything else. He couldn't understand why Shawn was so different.
Just like the two nights preceeding this one, the small device sat on the passenger seat beside him. Despite carrying a gun around for many years, Carlton still found it hard to believe that such small objects had the ability to change things so drastically. The device couldn't kill like a gun but the push of one button could destroy lives just as effectively.
The head detective picked up the tape recorder and pressed play. He had heard the same conversation over and over again, memorising every word that Shawn and Gus had said. It was the piece of evidence Carlton had been waiting for. He finally had proof, right from the pseudo-psychic's mouth, that Shawn Spencer was a fake.
Ever since meeting Shawn, Carlton had been hoping to be the one who exposed him. He never believed for a second in the psychic phenomena. It made him smile to know that one day he would drag the con artist through the station and show all his gullible co-workers he was right all along. Maybe they would even make him chief, since it was Vick's idea to keep pulling a criminal into case work.
But nothing he had associated with the fantasy of having such proof had come about. He wasn't happy about it but instead completely conflicted. The thought of Shawn locked in a cell had caused his gut to flip many times. Exposing Shawn as a fraud somehow didn't have the satisfaction as he always dreamed it would.
As a result, he had battled for over a year with the proof. Logically he knew that his job should come first, like it always had. Every time Shawn was called on a case, Carlton vowed to tell the chief and arrest the man on fraud, hindering police investigations and whatever other charges could stick. It was his duty as a cop to arrest Shawn. Plus it wouldn't hurt to get rid of the constant annoyance in his life.
But every time he went to expose the lies, something held him back. He couldn't explain what it was. After all, this was what he had been waiting for. There was no logical reason as to why his emotions would suddenly take hold of him whenever he was close to obtaining Shawn's arrest. The mere thought of a life without Shawn always caused him to re-think everything.
He had analysed it many times, trying to figure a reason for his reluctance. Carlton put it down to guilt. Over the years he had come to tolerate Shawn. They weren't exactly friends in the conventional sense. But Carlton knew that Shawn had trusted him, though the favour was never returned. He had let Carlton hang out in the Psych office during his suspension, leaving him enough alone time to plant a bug.
After thinking it all over, Carlton had decided to tell Shawn the truth about his actions. He figured that it would lead to a subsequent arrest. Everything would go back to normal once he let the nagging shame escape his conscience. However, the few times he'd gone to tell Shawn, Carlton had never been able to leave the car.
"Lassie! Are you staking me out again?"
Carlton nearly jumped out of his skin as he heard the voice beside him. He fumbled with the tape recorder, managing to hold onto it and slip it into his pocket. While he was doing this, Shawn had made himself comfortable in the passenger seat. Carlton wasn't sure of whether he was glad or not by the younger man's presence.
"So, why have you been out here three nights in a row? You really think I wouldn't know?" Shawn tapped his head, which he always did to indicate his apparent psychic powers. "I see by the recorder, you're taking notes too. It must be something really interesting."
"Stop it Spencer." Carlton replied quietly. His pulse rate had accelerated and he tried to will it to slow down. While he'd been procrastinating, the moment had come to him. Now faced with it, he realised how wrong his fantasies had been.
"Dude, you're outside my building. You're the one lurking around and I think I have a right to know if you're watching me. Or if someone in my building is a wacko." Shawn looked over at Carlton's suit pocket. "Come on, what are you making notes about?"
Shawn made a reach for it but when he got close enough, Carlton snatched his wrist in a tight grip. The head detective tried to shove him but the pseudo-psychic was stubborn in his quest for the seemingly forbidden tape player. They began struggling against each other, with their faces ending up too close for comfort.
Carlton's ice blue eyes met the soft hazel ones in the pale evening light that was offered. It suddenly occurred to the older man a possible reason why he didn't want to tell anyone, let alone Shawn, about the proof. A reason that he had pondered during rare moments over the last year, before shaking it off and burying it deep. It was the possibility that he couldn't hurt Shawn because he actually cared about him.
"No." Carlton said aloud, even though he didn't intend to.
"Tell me." Shawn made another reach for the recorder, a move that would effectively send the other man over the edge.
"I know you're not psychic! I bugged the Psych office and overheard you and Guster."
The words caused time within the car to stand still. Carlton couldn't believe he had said them, while Shawn was feeling a little nervous. Still, the younger man tried to shake it off like he always did.
"You can't have proof, because I really am psychic." Shawn said with a half smile. He figured that Carlton was trying to bait him and get a confession. "You're bluffing."
Carlton pulled out the recorder, pressed play and handed it to Shawn. He hopped out of his car and slammed the door behind him. The last thing he wanted to hear was that conversation, yet again. He tried to fight the urge to look at Shawn's face but he turned around and watched. Shawn appeared to listen intently, his face falling and turning pale. Carlton hated that look more than he cared to admit, feeling even more uneasy at being the cause of it.
The head detective sat on the hood of his car, head in hands, and waited. Soon enough he heard the click of the lock and the door opening. He could feel Shawn's eyes watching him.
"How long have you had this?" Shawn tried to keep his calm as he walked up to Carlton.
"Since the Drimmer case." Carlton answered, looking up into the face of one of the closest things he had to a friend. "I'm sorry Spencer."
"Over a year? Why?" Shawn couldn't believe it. Unsure of what to do he kept fiddling with the tape recorder in his hands.
"I guess at the time I was so down I was looking for a way back."
"Dude, I know you've wanted to arrest me since you met me." Shawn put the tape recorder down on the hood of the car, using his free hands to link behind his head. "My question is, why did you wait over a year to come and arrest me?"
"I'm not here to arrest you, Spencer." Carlton replied, feeling an unfamiliar urge to vomit. "Truth is I don't know why I'm here."
Shawn walked up to the head detective, offering his wrists. "Look, we're both just delaying the inevitable here. Do what you have to do. You're the one who has to live with screwing me over."
Carlton hated the way Shawn worded it. His chest tightened in response. The thought of really hurting Shawn, a man who was ever-smiling, just didn't sit right. "I wasn't trying to screw you over."
"Whatever Lassiter, alright. Just cuff me already. Maybe I can make it to prison in time for cold fish sticks and warm juice." Shawn's tone had a surprising amount of bitterness in it.
Carlton looked at the tape recorder that started the whole mess. Rage overtook his being. He picked up the offending device and threw it to the ground, effectively smashing it. Just to make sure it was gone, Carlton stomped on it with his shoe.
"Nice try." Shawn replied, hands now on his hips.
"What are you talking about?" Carlton turned back to Shawn, who was closer to him than he realised. It was close enough to make out the details of Shawn's face in the increasing dark and smell the aroma that could only be described as Shawn musk.
"Considering you trusted me with the tape recorder, knowing I could destroy it and the fact that you're super organised I gather that it's not your only copy of the tape." Shawn's eyes began watering at the mere thought of his next sentence. "I'm not going to run because I know you'll find me. If you don't arrest me now, you'll just arrest Gus and probably use him against me just to screw me over even more."
"No, I wouldn't do that." Carlton hadn't even thought about Guster during the whole thing. Suddenly it occurred to him that since Mr Spencer had vouched for Shawn, the retired cop would probably go down too. But what shocked him more was the way Shawn saw him, he didn't like it at all. "Spencer, just walk away and we can forget this."
"You won't forget this. You're married to your job." Shawn walked right up to Carlton, getting in his face. "I'll confess if you promise to leave Gus and Dad out of it. Please."
"I'm not going to arrest you Spencer." Carlton tried to dodge past the man blocking him, not knowing what might result. "Get out of my way. It's over."
"Fine, if you refuse to arrest me. I'll confess to the chief myself." Shawn proceeded in storming away.
Carlton had past his breaking point. He had been patient for months on end over this matter. He couldn't take it anymore. The feelings had been pushed down long enough, denied because of pride and the job. Shawn being incarcerated was now the last thing he wanted in the world.
Following Shawn to the door of his apartment building, Carlton caught up before the other man could get inside. He forcefully pinned the fake psychic against the wall, trying not to hurt him. Shawn tried to struggle against him but Lassiter was deceptively strong for his lanky frame.
He was now nose to nose with the pseudo-psychic. It was painfully clear what he was feeling wasn't guilt. Trying to swallow it one last time was unsuccessful, touching Shawn so closely only cemented that fact. The tolerance had stretched beyond the line into the zone of attraction. Carlton couldn't hold back any longer.
"I'm not going to arrest you Spencer. I'm not going to arrest Gus or your dad. That was the only copy of the tape and the reason I kept it for so long is because I want you around." The head detective confessed, still keeping Shawn pinned against the wall. He moved closer, now pressing against Shawn with his body. "But if you still need more convincing-"
In the blink of an eye, Carlton had finally allowed his attraction to be released. His lips pressed against Shawn's, hungrily seizing them. His grip on the younger man loosened and instead the hands were cupping stubbly cheeks. It was as if a weight had lifted off his shoulders. Something about kissing the other man was so right, despite the plethora of reasons it shouldn't be. Shawn wasn't exactly kissing him back, but wasn't pulling away either. Carlton knew that pulling away was probably the best action but he had to savour every inch of the sweet pink cushions that made up Shawn's lips.
"I guess after all this time I've just learned to tolerate you." Carlton petted Shawn's cheek one last time, slowly allowing his fingers to slip away. "Goodnight Spencer."
He began walking towards his car, figuring he shouldn't push things any longer. He knew he had to go, before his emotions enveloped him completely. Though the action of kissing Shawn had made the older man even more attracted to the con-artist. But things couldn't go any further. Shawn couldn't possibly be drawn to the guy that had tried to arrest him. It was just something Carlton would have to deal with.
"So you're choosing me over your job?"
Just as Carlton had opened his car door, Shawn's voice rang out to stop him. He turned and found the younger man walking towards him. Watching that caused a smile to tease Carlton's lips, remembering the kiss from a mere minute ago.
"I guess I am." The head detective shrugged, shutting his door and turning to Shawn. He couldn't believe how easy it was to just push the cop in him aside. It was unfamiliar territory but somehow comfortable.
"You must really like me. I mean, the kiss was something Lassie but your job is like your mistress." Shawn stepped over to Carlton, unsure of whether to proceed or ask why.
Before he could say anything, the older man answered. "You challenge me, Spencer. Plus as irritating as you can be, you make life interesting. Your methods may be unorthodox but they get results. I know that for whatever reason you're doing this, it's not for bad intentions."
Shawn felt a grin come on as the compliments hit his ears. For some reason, the praise from Lassiter was different from other people.
As his words came out, Carlton found himself becoming more earnest and even grabbing Shawn's hand. "You're smart and there is certainly no-one like you in the world. The reason I kept that tape for over a year is because the thought of hurting you ended up hurting me. I'm hopelessly attracted to you and I realise that I don't want to go back to life without you in it."
The moment Carlton finished his sweet speech Shawn jumped on him and kissed him passionately. After an initial second of surprise, the head detective eased into the pseudo-psychic's kiss. Their arms wrapped around each other in a tight embrace, pulling each other as close as possible. Mouths opened simultaneously, inviting warm tongues to join in the affection. Both men were leaning against the car, making out while their legs wanted to give out.
Shawn made exaggerated kissing noises as he trailed off his deep moment with his head detective. "Mwah! Mwah! Wow Lassie! I'm so glad I've broken up with every girl I've ever dated."
Carlton couldn't help but laugh at the comment, slowly sliding his hand down from Shawn's hair to the back of his neck. "Are you trying to get cute with me, Shawn?"
"You called me Shawn. Wow, this is serious." Shawn ran a hand flirtatiously down Carlton's chest before his face turned unnaturally serious. "You really like me, don't you?"
"If you have to ask, then you really aren't psychic." Carlton kissed Shawn's cheek before capturing his lips quickly. "And judging by that kiss you like me too."
"In that case, where do you think you're going?" Shawn held up Carlton's car keys. "You weren't planning to kiss and ditch, were you?"
"Give me my keys, Shawn." Carlton tried to put up an annoyed front but a clear smile and Shawn's playfulness was peeking through.
"Mwah!" Shawn kissed Carlton's cheek with the exaggerated sound. "But you know I like teasing you Lassie. It's what our whole relationship is built on. It's why you're so hopelessly attracted to me."
"Come on Spencer."
"Last name stuff is so sexy." Shawn grabbed Carlton's hand and led him back towards the building. "You'll get your keys back on one condition."
Carlton rolled his eyes, wondering why he had grown to find this behaviour endearing. "Okay, fine."
"You have to make out with me some more because dude, your kisses are like pineapple cubes. You can't stop at one, because they're very sweet and delicious." Shawn pinned Carlton against the door to his building, leaning in extra close. "Give me one right now, I have to have it."
As Shawn began to smother his new companion's face in kisses, trying to taste the lips again, Carlton's smile returned. He guided Shawn's lips back to his own and bestowed a soft kiss on them.
"I have no problem making out with you." Carlton told Shawn in a seductive tone that sent shivers down the younger man's spine.
"That's good." Shawn replied, a mischievous grin coming to his face. "But one more thing."
Carlton was getting a little impatient, looking forward to much more private time with Shawn. Still he figured that anything the younger man wanted would just lead to more affection anyway. He sighed and gestured for Shawn to go on and name his price, anticipating anything.
With a single leap away from Lassiter, Shawn gave his cheeky request. "You have to catch me first!"
NOTE: Thanks to the Easter weekend being a little dull, this one-shot was born! I don't think I've written a Shassie in months ad in pops this random idea. Hopefully you like :-D