Title: Love Remains Insane
Pairing: Carlton Lassiter/Shawn Spencer
Summary: Trouble in paradise? Shawn insists that Lassiter and himself attend couple's counseling.
Warning: Slash. Shassie slash.
The title is a play off of a song called 'Love Remains the Same' by Gavin Rossdale. Just… so you know.
"All right, so tell me a bit about yourselves."
She was pretty, yet at the same time plain in that, while she probably did not turn many heads, a fellow would count himself lucky to have her. Blonde hair was pulled tightly into a clip on the back of her head, and the smile working on her lips, painted with an earth toned lipstick, bordered between comforting and disconcerting. As a therapist, she seemed to take great pride in being able to help people, and her occupation had just sent her a gruff detective and lovable psychic for that very reason.
"Well," the psychic said, clapping his hands together. They had already done introductions of themselves in the hall- names, occupations, the whole nine yards- but apparently she wanted to do things formally, inside her office. He rested his palm on the suit shoulder of the man next to him. "I'm Shawn. Me and Carlton here have been together for six months."
"One year," the detective corrected, shifting in his armchair to get more comfortable as he settled in for what would be the inevitably long session to come.
"Really? Because it feels like six months," Shawn stated contemplatively, staring into space for a moment. "Oh!" he said finally, like it had only then hit him with the force of a slow moving, tiny blue car, "must be because he didn't allow me to tell anybody about us for six months."
"No, that was three months," Lassiter corrected, again. "And you agreed wholeheartedly with me at the time." He turned to the therapist. "We weren't sure if it was a real… thing or not."
Clearing his throat, Shawn spoke up, unfolding his leg where it had rested across the other. "But here we are, ten months-"
"Three months seems reasonable, I think." She nodded at them- a little too enthusiastically- and then rested a pair of thin rimmed glasses across her nose as she began to write ambiguous notes down on the clipboard she held. Her foot began to swing back and forth absently in a subconscious motion of thought. "And how many people have you told so far? Now that the two of you are more open with your relationship?"
"Let's see," the psychic thought aloud, tapping his index finger against his chin. "If you're counting my best friend Gus and then Carlton's partner- who actually found out by accident- Juliet? That makes, uh... two. Wait is that- is that right? Lassie man, back my math up. What's one plus one?"
"Two people?" The younger man didn't really appreciate the way she instantly started scribbling more down in her notes. It was making him paranoid about what the little comments contained. Looking up at them again, she continued. "Do you not think that keeping how you feel about each other under so much secrecy could cause problems within? Amongst other things, it could make you feel ashamed of yourselves when you have nothing to be ashamed of."
"Wow," Shawn said. He rested his open palm over his heart, playing off as both touched and stunned. "I think that I said that exact thing verbatim to him just the other day. Didn't I?"
"No, you most certainly did not," Lassiter growled in response, crossing his arms. "He's kidding," he said, addressing the therapist. "We've both agreed that two people is more than enough."
"I totally did not agree to that."
"Yes. You did."
"Then maybe this is just Shawn's way of telling you that he's not comfortable with it anymore." The detective looked to his side begrudgingly and saw the pouting lip of one annoying fake psychic sticking out at the 'doctor' as he nodded his head in a sad and melancholy way that still played off as wholly unbelievable.
"And I thought that you understood me," Shawn choked, turning his head and shaking it woefully at Lassiter. "The therapist knows me better. You're right," he admitted, gesturing at their counselor. "Completely right. I say now before you, God, and that amusing pen on your desk with the googly eyes, if I didn't think that he would literally shoot me dead, I would proclaim my love to him in the police station with a bullhorn."
"Really? I didn't know that you felt so strongly about it," Lassiter said, though the other felt it was more aggravation in his voice than sympathy.
Suspiciously, he replied, "Well... now you do."
"But I think that if we're going to do this- the whole 'coming out' thing- that we need to do it right." The detective continued on, his best fake grin in place and rising only higher with each word he uttered.
"Sure...?" Shawn agreed, slowly, more than a little apprehensive by then.
"Hey!" Lassiter's smile continued to grow. It was eerie in a way that would put even a stranger to the man on edge. "Didn't you say that you were going by your dad's place later? I'll drop by with you. Yeah. We can tell him about 'us' today. Just go ahead and get it out of the way."
"Oh!" The false psychic pulled back, affronted by the words when they finally hit him like scalding water. "Dirty pool, Lassie. Dir-ty pool. Can I get a call on that? Ref?"
"There are no referees in pool," he scoffed in objection, his arms crossing tighter still across his chest out of agitation.
"There are in the professional divisions," the younger man countered.
"Professional divi- There's no such thing. Pool is something that drunks play in bars or men play in the basement to escape their nagging wives." Shaking his head exasperatedly, he looked out the paned window at the nice day. It was so sunny outside. There was probably some idiot somewhere committing crime in the middle of the day. There was paperwork that could be done. There were cases to be worked. And yet there he sat, confined to the wood paneled room with not one, but two, annoying idiots.
"Oh, there is so a professional division. Wait…" Shawn paused. "Okay, no. I forgot for a minute. It's totally underground. No wonder you don't know. They have strict rules about telling people. It's like Fight Club, or… worse, really. (And by worse, I'm referring to more than the fact that they're lacking in the suave Brad Pitt department.) Don't either of you mention I told. Otherwise, there's a good chance I could wake up wearing a pair of custom fitted cement boots, waving at the fishes all the way down. I doubt that Don Ferrari will succumb to my groveling a second time."
"So let me get this straight," Lassiter began, unfolding his arms only so that he could rub at his temple in aggravation. "There is an underground pool championship, which is apparently headed by the Italian mob, and speaking about it is punishable by death, unless you're you. Because even though you have the biggest mouth I've ever seen and already blabbed the secret once, he let you go. Is that right?"
"No, that's not it at all," the psychic replied plainly. "The groveling was because I'd slept with his daughter."
"Oh, for the love of-"
"So Shawn," the therapist interrupted, before the older man could even get started. "Why don't you want to tell your father so badly?"
"Honestly? It could be any one of a number of things. One, I don't want to give the man a heart attack; two, I don't want to go through the whole 'shunning' thing with him again; or, my favorite- because it's true- I simply know when things should not be done. I've made it through my entire life relying on this sense. (Though I do often… ignore it.) For instance, I don't tug on the shiny, red capes of men more powerful than locomotives. I don't hawk a loogie into the same direction I'm running with my kite. I don't rip masks off of old, single rangers. And-"
"You don't mess around with Jim," she finished with a beaming smile before she caught herself. Shawn returned her brief smile with a playful grin of his own. The detective, however, only gave her an openly disbelieving stare, whether for encouraging the fake psychic or being on the same page as him, it was unclear. "I apologize." She cleared her throat and cast her eyes to the floor, embarrassed. "I'm simply a fan of the song. You were talking about your father?"
"Don't worry about it," Shawn waved, avoiding the topic of his dad as long as opportunity would allow. It was far above the therapist's pay grade, astronomically so. "Jim Croce was a genius. Although, I'm more of a 'Bad, Bad Leroy Brown' fan myself. Carlton here?" His beaded bracelet spun around on his wrist slightly as he extended his arm to point at the other, still keeping lighthearted eye contact with the therapist. "'Time in a Bottle'."
"That's not true," Lassiter objected, shaking his hand to contest such a claim. Turning to his left a little, he then stage whispered to Shawn. "Stop telling people that!"
"It's nothing to be ashamed of," she spoke up, smiling at him. "It's a very sweet song."
The detective grumbled and physically fell lower in his seat, exhausted from the session already. His arms managed to find and rest against his chest again.
"Now, you are the ones who have come to me, so are there any specific subjects that either of you would like to touch on? Or do you simply want to talk for this session, get to know each other a little better?" She smiled at them, tilting her head to the side happily and inadvertently releasing a blonde strand of hair with the motion, which came to rest in front of her ear.
"Well," Shawn chimed in, scooting to the edge of his chair, "Carly here continues to leave the toilet seat up."
Lassiter huffed, but before he could actually say anything, the therapist was already fixing the psychic with a most peculiar stare. "But you're both…" Shawn looked at her quizzically, waiting for her to continue. "Do you, uhm…"
"He's pulling your leg," the detective growled, sitting up in his chair again. "Just like a child. Don't encourage him."
"Well, at least somebody here is willing to encourage me and make me feel appreciated," he sulked in return.
"I encourage you plenty. Just not about your stupid jokes. Or your constant getting in my way at the station. Or breaking into my house. Or hijacking my car."
"Hey, that one was an emergency!" Shawn protested, crossing one leg over the other before lowering both feet to the ground again. "You didn't have any milk to put on my delicious cereal. Honestly, why would I want to be seen driving such an embarrassing ride? Worse than Gus's tiny blue car." Before the older man could even retort, he continued on talking. "In reality… the only time you actually do seem to encourage me is in the bedroom, you dirty, filthy boy."
"And how is your sex life?" the therapist asked, both of them almost having forgotten she was there. "If it's too personal, we could talk about something else."
Lassiter eyed her as if she was some insane pervert for asking such a question. He coughed though, clearing his throat. He had heard the same question before, after all, just with a different counselor and a different consort. Apparently, it was pertinent in some way. He coughed again and looked at the fake psychic, who only nodded with a devilish smile and gestured for the detective to answer. "Well… much like Shawn's creative process, it usually starts with a… 'Holla' and ends with me getting him a creamsicle. Occasionally, Thundercats is played during the fact."
"Oh," she exclaimed, seemingly excited. "What's 'thunder cats'?" If the expression on her face were any clear-cut clue, she no doubt thought it some sort of sex game. Such a mindset made the psychic and detective duo smile and glare, respectively.
"I'm sensing that your parents didn't allow much television," Shawn stated ominously, trailing his fingers along his hairline as he 'divined' the piece of information.
Before the therapist could even ask- because clearly she was going to, given the shocked and awed contortion of her face- Lassiter interrupted by huffing, "It was a cartoon show from the eighties." The fake psychic sighed in response to the other man's spoiling of his fun and sank glumly into his seat until just his head remained perpendicular to the cushion. The remainder of him laid in the chair, looking a little uncomfortable, until the other banged on the leather arm of the improperly used seat. Startled, Shawn heaved another chagrined puff before sitting up right.
"The two of you seem to argue a lot for a relatively new couple," the therapist observed, picking her pen up from where it had been scrawling away on her clipboard.
"It's always been this way," the younger man smiled. "That's just how we roll, isn't it, Lassie?" Said detective rolled his shoulders in an indifferent shrug. "It was like this even before we were 'together'. I hold true to the fact that we work because of our beautiful contrast. We're like water and oil, zombies and fire, pregnant women and roller coasters, cheese and-"
"Those things all go horribly together!" Lassiter cut him off, even going so far as to run a long finger across his throat in a clichéd demand for silence. It was such a menacing gesture coming from the man, but something like that had never managed to- and probably never would- stop the psychic.
"So that would mean that even with all of your differences and hostile behavior towards one another, you decided to pursue a relationship anyway?" Shawn nodded at her question and gave his cheerful assent to the fact, while Lassiter only shrugged once again. It was true. "Then I suppose that all of this is quite normal for the two of you?"
"I haven't known 'normal' in years," the older man scoffed, giving a vague timeframe but knowing that it was the very day he had met the short, haughty 'psychic' to his left.
She chuckled politely at his statement and began swinging her foot distractedly, her black heel almost scraping the dark beige carpet with each oscillation. "What I'm trying to say is… this isn't a recent decline? Shawn and yourself have always been this heated toward each other?"
"If you're asking if I knew what I was getting myself into, then yes. Yes, I did. We haven't had any recent problems," Lassiter answered with a sigh, running his fingers along the soft plush of the chair's arm, pushing into the dark leather slightly. "Same now as always."
"So you aren't unhappy?"
"Well," Shawn said, fidgeting in his seat, folding one leg under himself, "'unhappy' can have so many meanings."
"There are plenty of times when I want to kill him less than others," the detective responded, feeling that was a perfectly healthy and understandable answer to anyone who spent copious amounts of time with the other man.
"But this works for you?" she asked, deciding that Lassiter's death threat was a joke. And yet there had been so very many times that he had wanted to pull his gun on Shawn.
"Works? Who's to say what works and what doesn't?" the younger man spoke up, gesturing widely- unnecessarily wide- with his hands. "Does my alarm clock 'not work' simply because it wakes me up three hours late? Does a tree 'not work' solely on the grounds that it has fallen in the forest silently? Does my Spice Girls C.D. 'not work' because it has more scratches than Lassiter around a cat?"
"What are you trying to say, Shawn?" Lassiter wasn't sure if she wanted him to expand on what he had said or if the false psychic's words had honestly confused her. "Do you not like how things are between you and Carlton?"
"I like them fine," he answered. "Our relationship is very tit for tat. Carlton gives me tat; I give him… Okay, let me start over." Shawn paused for a second until continuing again. "We have a very balanced give and take relationship."
"Yeah, in which I give and he takes," the detective interjected, looking at the other man coldly before going on. "I buy food, he eats it. I consent to take off an hour early, he says it should be two. I finally agree to drive him somewhere, he waits half-an-hour and tells me that where we're going is actually two hundred miles away."
The counselor waited for a moment before responding to Lassiter's remarks. He didn't seem all that irate like her usual patients were over such acts. More or less, the man simply looked a little annoyed by them, and that was nothing that appeared unmanageable. "And you're… okay with this?" she asked.
"I already told you. I knew what I was getting myself into." He eyed the window again, longing to go back to work, rough up some bad guys, yell at some rookie officers, run down the leads- or lack thereof- in the current case he was working.
"Well then," she smiled at them, though only Shawn was paying her attention, "you both seem content with things. I don't really see why you're here or why I should keep you any longer." The psychic sat straighter in his chair, looking unnerved. "Unless, of course, there's something dire that either of you aren't telling-"
"Sometimes I think Carlton still has feelings for his ex-wife!" Shawn shouted out, so loud that the other two jumped in surprise, Lassiter's shoulders jarred up to his ears and the psychiatrist coming an inch off of her seat. They both stared at him for a moment before a reply came.
"You… do?" the older man asked, slightly stunned by the declaration.
"Yes," he looked away shamefully, "it's true."
"Carlton, were you married before?" the therapist inquired, a somewhat shocked and scolding air contained within her tone.
"Well, yes, but…"
"Have you ever asked Shawn how he felt about it?"
Lassiter tried to defend himself against the eyes of the woman as they stared at him so sternly. "I didn't think that he felt-"
"That's right!" the psychic yelled, whimpering near the end. "You didn't think." Turning to the psychiatrist, he spoke only to her, his brows forced downward in a terribly dejected face. "She broke it off after stringing him along for more than two years through a separation. He had feelings for her for so long, why not now?"
"Apparently, Shawn feels very strongly about this," she observed crisply, and though Lassiter was fairly certain that her job was supposed to demand an unbiased approach, he felt judged. "Think about how this must have been affecting him. The fact that you committed yourself so strongly to her but not to him may make him feel inadequate, ashamed of himself for being a man when it's a woman you're wanting."
"Sometimes," the younger man sniffled- obnoxiously loud- "I do feel that way."
The specific tone of Shawn's distress had the detective suspicious for a split second; however, he wasn't about to voice his skepticism at that moment. The shrink was already turning against him, and apparently the stupid psychic was too.
"Have you tried being more committed in your relationship to Shawn?" she asked, leaning from her own chair towards Lassiter. "Maybe tried taking something to the next level. After going through marriage with your ex-wife, I'm sure that a little assurance would help him feel like you were all in for this. Maybe swapping keys to each others' places? Have you tried that?"
"I…" Shawn dragged his thumb across his eye, as if wiping away tears. "I gave him my key and he… He didn't reciprocate!" After erupting into a wail in the end, he threw his face into cupped hands, elbows resting on his knees. The psychic did a quick sniffle that came off as a very believable shuddering intake of breath. Lassiter was torn between leaving him like he was or patting his back awkwardly for the sake of appearances.
"Is that true?" The therapist demanded of the detective, her pen pressing down unnecessarily hard into the paper below it. Nothing was being written, so the end result was only an increasingly large, blue circle that spread out from the pen's tip while she stared Lassiter down.
"He," the man stumbled over his words, not appreciating being put on the spot like he was. "He knows how to get in anyway. Giving him a key would just cut down on the time he spends breaking in and give him a bigger time frame to make a mess in my home." Shawn broke into a new fit- even louder than before- at being referred to as a vandal.
"Are you always this harsh on him?" she asked.
"No," Shawn whispered, looking up from his hands at last. Lassiter observed that there were no tears or even any telltale redness to his eyes. "This is… a light day." He sat up in his seat but looked down at the floor sullenly. His arms folded in front of him and he rubbed at them in a bothered fashion. "And sometimes… it gets physical." He looked at the other and, given the burning and wide-eyed glare that he was receiving, the detective looked about ready to wring his neck.
"Physical how?" the therapist asked, goading him to continue.
"Oh, come on," Lassiter objected exasperatedly. "He's just playing with you. Look, he's not even crying."
"My father taught me that real men don't cry," Shawn sniveled defensively. "There are tears on the inside though."
"Shawn, you don't have to worry about that right now. Your father isn't here." She made to grab a box of tissues from her desk, but he shook his head dismissively, ready to carry on bravely. "Tell me, how does it get physical? If you need Carlton to leave the room, we can do that." She looked to Lassiter and nodded, daring him to protest.
"No, no. It's not necessary. I don't think that he hurts me on purpose, but… it's just the little things that add up."
"What little things, Shawn?"
"Well, one time he was going to help me into the backseat and- and he pushed me too fast. My head hit the top of the car." Lassiter had to grit his teeth- or maybe 'grind' was the correct term since they were in motion- to keep from butting in and saying that Shawn had been handcuffed and under arrest at the time. "But other than that, it's really just the little things. He shoves me into walls a lot. I would think it was hot at first. Then later… I would find the bruises." He suffered a quick glance to the other and, seeing the glower etched deeply into the detective's face, broke down, burying himself into his palms again.
"If it's too much, Shawn, we can talk about something else for now," the therapist offered. "We'll come back to it."
"I'd… like that," he responded timidly, peaking up from his hands.
"Okay," she grinned, instantly chipper. "Let's switch over to a more happy topic. Shawn, I think we're going to let Carlton talk for a little while." The psychic nodded and waved his hand for her to address Lassiter. "Tell me about how the two of you ended up together. I think it would be nice for you both to remember the feelings that you had in the beginning, don't you think?"
No, Lassiter didn't really think so, but far be it for him to have the ability to stop the madness at that point. "Well," he cleared his throat, "I'd just solved a case, went to my usual bar to unwind with a scotch, and there he was, drunk. I offered to give him a ride home so he wouldn't try driving and kill himself, or try walking and end up mugged."
"What a kind gesture," the psychiatrist smiled, swinging her leg where it rested crossed over the other.
"Only," Shawn admitted, "I was just faking it. I'd only had two drinks when he showed up."
"You were- you were faking?" Lassiter's brows and jaw dropped in outrage.
"Well, yeah," the younger man said with a smile. "I thought it would be funny to see what you'd do if I was drunk. See if maybe you'd spill some of your deepest, darkest secrets while thinking the morning light would find me blissfully unawares of all you had said. I hadn't been expecting the nice guy act."
"I was happy that I'd just completed a case," Lassiter defended, for some reason finding kindness towards Shawn a defendable matter. "Finally a case without his help." He tried to ignore the psychic as he saw him blatantly mouth 'I helped a lot,' out of the corner of his eye. "But now, as it turns out, he's been lying to me for a year."
"Come on, Lassie. Calm down. It's no big deal. So I pretended to be drunk. You pretended to be nice. Without it, we wouldn't be here. Well," he thought, "not 'here' here. I'm not saying that counseling is a good thing."
"Don't dismiss Carlton's feeling so easily, Shawn." Lassiter almost did a double-take at the thought that the therapist was actually on his side for once. He sat just a little straighter. "He's just had a great deal of information handed to him. For more than a year, he's thought that your relationship was started from his good deed. Now he's learning that it was from your sense of humor." The detective smiled smugly until she turned a sympathetic eye towards him. He then quickly dropped his eyebrows down while simultaneously making his eyes bigger, sticking his lip out just a little more than normal. A perfect sad puppy face.
"Actually, you'd think that I would be used to it by now. Everything- and I mean everything- is just one big joke to him. Take last month, for instance. We were watching a movie, all nice together on my couch, and in the middle of a scene, he says… What was it again? Oh, yeah. 'Oh, crap. I think I love you.'" Lassiter rolled his eyes as he quoted the declaration. There was no emotion nor feeling in his voice at all, and it was apparently the same way that Shawn had said it to him. "I didn't even take him seriously. Just kept right on watching Full Metal Jacket."
"That's sweet," Shawn cooed. "You remember what movie we were watching. My only regret is disrupting Vincent D'Onofrio's great scene. You know, the one where he offs himself. Oh, the raw emotion." Lassiter could not help but to roll his eyes once more. That part was in no way inspiring for love declarations.
"Then the next week," the detective continued, the anger of a relatively new transgression he began to describe still fresh, "we're out at a semi-nice place having dinner. We're talking and enjoying ourselves before the conversation dies down a little. (Given that he was there, I'm still not sure how it happened.) Then I look across the table at him, and, you know, I think that he looks good in the dim light of the place. And, at that moment, it hits me and I look right in his eyes and I tell him that I love him. Back me up here when I say that I did it right." He paused for her to agree with him, but not long enough for her to actually get any words out. She had no more taken a breath to begin when he continued right along. "And do you know what he does? He throws his napkin on the table and says, 'About time.' About time! That's what he says. To my heartfelt sentiment."
"I had told him a week before," Shawn explained simply.
"Okay, not only did you say it in a stupid, offhanded way, but you did not say you loved me. You said that you thought you might love me. Technically, I did say it first."
"Yeah, well," the psychic lingered in thought. "Your face is a technicality. Ooh, what are you gonna say now, Carlifornia? Ball's in your court."
"My face is… That doesn't even make any sense, Shawn."
"And he strikes out," Shawn commentated, making a megaphone with his hand. "That's fifteen-love."
"Okay, now you're just being an idiot," Lassiter yelled. "If you're not going to take this seriously, then I'm-"
Both men started at the interruption, which was the therapist's beeper going off on her hip where it hanged from a belt loop of her skirt. The thing played a muted, gentle tune instead of the usual grating series of beeps. However, the song was cut short when she reached for it swiftly and shut the music off. "I'm so sorry," she said, fastening the beeper back securely on her person. "Normally, I would never leave during a session, but my son is sick and my mother had to take him to the doctor today. You don't mind if I… go and call her right quick, do you?"
"No, not a bit. Take all the time you need," Shawn said. Lassiter merely waved his hand in a quietly assenting way. "We'll still be here."
"Thank you," she said, getting up to leave. "And I won't be charging you for this. We'll go into my lunch time with this session if we have to."
"That's perfectly fine," Shawn smiled. "You just make sure that little ankle biter is a-okay."
Lassiter started tapping his foot as the psychic turned his head to watch the door. As soon as it was shut, he waited for one full second before jumping out of his seat, walking around to the therapist's desk.
"Shawn? What are you doing!"
"Shh!" the false psychic demanded, making a signal to be quiet. "The spirits told me that something in this woman's files could point to the murderer in the case you're working right now. Unfortunately, they couldn't see into her filing cabinet." Shawn ran his eyes down the hard, metal cabinet before pulling open the third drawer. "Which is weird because she doesn't even keep it locked. Geez, anybody could just walk in and look at things. We better not say anything too revealing for the rest of this session."
"You are breaking the law!" Lassiter stated sternly, and a little loud. Despite his protest though, he didn't make to move or stop the other.
At his shouts, Shawn held a finger up to his lips again.
"And who told you about my case? I thought you were taking a vacation." The younger man was about to open his mouth with what was obviously some lame explanation about 'the spirits', so Lassiter held up a hand to stop him prematurely. "Don't. Just… finish up there before I come to my senses and arrest you." The psychic did a quick salute before returning to his task. After a minute of watching him, Lassiter's brows contorted and he asked, "Wait, is this… Is this the only reason that you wanted to come here? You didn't mean… any of what you said?"
"Well, yeah," Shawn said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. At last, he appeared to find the file that he was looking for, and he dragged the manila folder out of the drawer. When he turned back towards Lassiter, the detective seemed relieved. "Wait, you didn't- aw, Lassie." An adorable smile curled onto his face. "You didn't think that I was tired of seeing your face already, did you?" The man looked away and shrugged his shoulders. "Perish the thought. If nothing else, those shiny blue icebergs you call irises should keep me here for another… three months at least."
The older man smiled at the offhanded comment and sat higher in his seat, a little more prideful. "Well, that's… good to know." He crossed his arms smugly and when he looked back in Shawn's direction, the psychic was right in his face, having soundlessly walked over. There was a big, sly smile pulling heavily on his lips.
"Did my sassy Lassie honestly think we already had problems?"
"Well… I-I…" Lassiter stuttered. He dropped his head sheepishly and muttered, "I went through so much with my ex-wife. When you said we needed counseling, I just- I don't know! It felt like it was three years ago all over again. I thought I was cursed or something."
Shawn sat down on the other's lap- fell really- and put his free arm around the detective's neck. "And the fact that I said we needed therapy randomly last night and already had us an appointment for this morning with a psychiatrist on the complete other side of town told you nothing?" He let go Lassiter's neck and made himself more comfortable, casually opening the file up. "You have got some deep-seated issues. If only there were some place- some private, magical place- where you could reveal your utmost secrets to an unbiased third party in hopes that they would give you helpful advice." He looked up from the folder and glanced slowly around the room, as if seeing the large, calmingly decorated area for the first time. "Oh, hey. How efficient am I?"
Lassiter simply rolled his eyes and put an arm around Shawn's middle to keep him from falling. With his other hand he massaged his eyes in a fashion like he had a headache he was trying to relieve. (Well, he did; it was called 'Shawn'.) After a couple of seconds, he looked up at the other as he buzzed through the file, making comments and laughing at random intervals. He raised his eyebrow angrily and the younger man noticed, returning the look with an innocent expression.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Did you want to look? I don't really know the my-turn/your-turn/my-turn-again system for reading confidential files. But hey, it's your case. Feel free to call dibs."
"I am not taking any part in this," Lassiter grumbled, though at the same time, it was obvious that he was trying to peek over the file's light colored folder.
Shawn's eyes looked forward- obviously in thought as they didn't actually focus on any fixed thing- before he turned to the other and said, "That's all right. You can just be my sexy, law-abiding audience. I will act it all out for you."
Before Lassiter could even take the breath to question what the other man was going on about, Shawn jumped up, carefully placing the file back in the cabinet before sitting himself on the stained wood of the desk. From the swinging of his one leg, crossed femininely over the other, and the constant nodding of his head, the detective could deduce that he was quite obviously pretending to be their therapist. In a girly (though not too high) voice, the psychic said, "Now, Mister Abernathy- do you mind if I call you Douglas?- I understand that you and your wife, Cynthia, have been having some problems."
"And that's putting it lightly," Shawn answered himself, standing up, facing the desk and putting on a higher toned female voice. "Oh, but it's just one problem. I call it Stacy Murray." Lassiter's ears visibly perked up at the name of his murder victim in the current case he was working. "Or," the younger man crossed his arms, embodying attitude and sass, then peered over to his left, where no one was, "it can also be called the floozy who works downstairs from my husband."
Switching quickly to stand where he had just been glaring, Shawn bowed his head sheepishly before putting on a voice only a little deeper than his own. "I told you that nothing was going on with her." He dropped his act for a moment and looked at Lassiter, giving him a skeptical huff that seemed to say 'Yeah right' and 'Men' in the same exhaling breath.
"And I'm supposed to believe it when you say that?" the psychic demanded, stepping back to his right. "I heard you when I dropped by your office yesterday. You were chatting her up in the stairway, telling her that you were going to buy her that diamond bracelet after all, so long as she didn't enlighten me on anything."
"She's an actress," Shawn stressed tiredly, retaking his spot on the other side. "I was helping her run lines." Again he looked back towards the detective with a face that said 'No one could possibly buy that.' Lassiter held an equally disbelieving look.
"So I guess it's just a coincidence that twelve hundred dollars went missing from our account later!" His one last line delivered in an accusing screech, Shawn was about to officially end his little one man play with a bow when the other interrupted.
"Stacy was Abernathy's mistress!" The grin he had at finally having a break in the case almost made the false psychic smile too. In fact, he did. "She was blackmailing him for gifts or else she would tell his wife, face to face. No room for doubt. And that cocky S.O.B. knew that he could kill her and get away with it because she worked several floors below him and no one ever saw them together at work. They would never connect them."
"Yes!" Shawn cheered, throwing his hands triumphantly into the air. He started to go in for a fist bump before Lassiter spoke again.
"She worked several floors below him," he said sullenly. "No one ever saw them together. They can't be connected." He ran a woeful, tired hand down his face, pulling on the skin in exasperation. "I can't run on that lead because you just obtained it illegally. And I don't have any other evidence."
"Hold on, Lassie," the psychic said, hand pulled to his head suddenly by some almost magnetic force. "I'm getting something. Yes. It's the hopeful and encouraging spirit of one Stacy Murray. She can sense how close we are to this. She knows we can figure it out."
Shawn cracked an eyelid, expecting to see Lassiter huffing in annoyance or folding his arms with disbelief. Instead, he seemed on the edge of his seat with anticipation. "She wants me to avenge her. Yes? There's… In the parking garage? You're saying that's where you were killed? You… thought he was reaching into his trunk to get you a present, but instead he pulled out a crowbar." The detective scooted even closer onto the lip of the soft, leather chair, intrigued to even hear what the murder weapon was, which until then, had only been guessed at. "He hit you in the knee first, to keep you from running... No, I know it must have hurt. You don't have to tell me. Okay, then you fell. You tried to crawl away, tried to scream for help, but it was after midnight. No one was left in the building. He came at you again, hit you in the side. Yes, that is just awful. This time the sharp end of the crowbar got you. You started to bleed. Your vision darkened. But you- you fought the good fight. When he came at you again, you grabbed the weapon from him and threw it down the sewer grate."
He stopped for a minute, shaking his head and looking like he was having some sort of internal conflict with himself inside his head. "But Stacy, it doesn't matter if he wasn't wearing gloves. No, the fingerprints and all of the evidence would have been washed away when it hit the water below." Lassiter was standing by that point, waiting impatiently for Shawn to finish. He hadn't, didn't, and never would believe that the other man was actually a psychic, which meant that he already knew everything. What they were held up in was no more than some ridiculous game of cat and mouse.
"Wait, wait! Slow down. You're saying that it didn't make a splash when it fell? No? More of a clang, huh? So then… it must have landed on something hard. Yes, I think I see it. It's a little dark down there, but… I see it." Shawn nodded and smiled. "Thank you, Stacy. I'll be sure to tell him which grate to look in. Okay, bye now."
"Well?" Lassiter demanded, shaking him roughly by the shoulders as soon as the other dropped his hand, 'breaking' the channel between himself and Stacy's spirit. "Where is it?"
"Lassie, Lassie," he chided, steering the detective back to his chair and forcing him to sit. "Let's finish this session first and then we'll go get it. Trust me, it's not going anywhere. He can't get it in the daytime without arousing suspicion. Now, I thought that maybe we could just bust out of here, guns a blazing, but apparently we have some real issues to work through." He paused, looking at his watch. "And an absent therapist. Seriously, how long has she been gone? What, are there no phones in this building? Had to go next door?"
"Shawn!" Lassiter growled, trying to stand up again; however, Shawn simply sat in his lap, weighing him down. "I am not kidding. Don't make me arrest you for hindering an investigation."
"Hindering? Excuse me. I have just un-hindered. I am the anti-hinderer."
"Fine," he barked, picking the smaller man up before he stood and threw him back onto the dark plush. "I'll just go there myself. I'll check every drain in that parking deck if I have to."
"But you don't even know where to start!" the younger man objected. "You don't even know what floor it's on."
"I can't really imagine it would be any floor other than the bottom one."
"Who told you that? Did you talk to Stacy too?"
"It's common sense, Shawn! Why would there be a drain to the sewers on the other floors?"
"Touché," he conceded. Lassiter started heading for the door when he felt the other wrap himself around his legs, weighing him down and almost tripping him.
"I swear if you do not let go of me right now!" he yelled, trying to pry Shawn loose, but in the end just making them both fall over, landing hard on the dark carpet.
"Is this about the therapy thing?" the psychic asked, almost having to yell over Lassiter's threats. "I'm sorry that I brought you here under false pretences. I would have gotten Gus, but he gets all tense when I throw him into situations like this."
"It's not about the therapy thing!" the detective shouted, trying to shake the annoying 'child' off of his legs. "It's about the murderer on the loose thing!"
"Oh, come on!" Shawn screeched back, almost as loud. "It's not like he's a threat to anybody else! Who's he gonna go after? His wife?" He thought for a minute before saying to himself, "Actually, it's not that farfetched. The file alone told me that she just might be a cold and bitter shrew. I can almost understand why Dougie did it. The affair, not the murder."
Lassiter threw himself onto his back, lifting his legs in the air as high as he could and trying to throw the other off of them. "I'm reaching for my gun, Shawn!"
"Lassie!" If anything, Shawn held on tighter. "Don't be a bowl of clumpy, vanilla pudding."
"I've got my gun!" he announced, and the pseudo psychic may have felt at least somewhat threatened by the cold metal of a gun pointed at his head if he didn't know that Lassiter had left the safety on."
"Come on! It's just one session! Half of one session! We're almost done!"
"What is going on here?"
The two of them froze instantly.
Apparently, the therapist had walked in the door at some point, and her first reaction to two men wrestling on her floor with a gun was to voice her appalled shock in a near screaming voice.
Shawn lowered his hold from where he had been 'accidentally' groping the other, and Lassiter loosened the grip he had taken on the psychic's hair in an attempt to pull him off.
"Umm…" The detective fumbled somewhere in the speech center of his brain, desperate for words. When that failed, he simply lowered his gun.
"Foreplay?" Shawn offered with a hesitant smile.
"I'm calling the police," she said, about to run out of the room.
"I am the police," Lassiter yelled, at last finding speech.
"Yeah," the psychic agreed. "He is the police, remember?" She stopped in her spot for a moment, still seeming like she was ready to run out of the door at any second. "In fact," he continued from his spot where he steadfastly maintained his hold on Lassiter's legs, "what little opening up we've so far done under your magnificent guidance has already helped us communicate better. We just solved a case. Didn't we my sassy Lassie-face?" The detective sighed loudly before nodding his head. "And I just thought that I'd do my normal and adorable show of clingy happiness. We seem to still be in a bit of a funk with our relationship though. We're totally out of sync. I went in to congratulate this awesome mind just as he was getting his gun ready to arrest the bad guy. Talk about miscommunication. I think there are many more sessions in store for the two of us. Do you have any openings this time next week?"
"I," she stuttered slightly, still not completely convinced by Shawn's story, given their aggressive display when she had first walked in. "I think I may have had a cancellation."
"You hear that, Carly-fries?" he exclaimed happily. "One couple's cancellation is this couple's salvation."
"I'm glad to see that you already have such a hopeful outlook," she said, not wholly cheerful, but getting there. She took a longer stride across the room than required, walking far around the two of them still lying on the floor.
"Tell me about it," Shawn said, smiling, releasing a hand from Lassiter's legs to put it to his chest in a gesture of relief. "I feel like Carlton and I have done a complete 540."
"Isn't the saying 180?" she asked curiously.
"Yes. Yes, it is," he replied simply. " But that is how much of a difference you have made. We did the 180, and we kept going. Did a full 360, made a complete turn. And then… we did another 180." He looked over at the detective who was finally having luck getting him off of his legs since Shawn was only holding on with one hand. "I think we could go for the 720, don't you Carlton?"
"We'll still be right back where we started," Lassiter growled, shaking the one leg still clutched by the other. "Only difference is that we'll be dizzy from spinning around like idiots."
"Hmm, I think I like where we were when we started," Shawn chimed happily. By then he was sitting on the carpet while the older man stood victorious above him. "Lassie, care to turn a negative 540 degrees with me?" Lassiter only groaned and pulled him up from the floor.
"Shawn," the therapist began to ask, confused by his words- in more than one way- "are you content with your relationship right now?"
"Me?" Shawn asked, pointing to himself. "Oh, yeah totally. Coming here was all Carlton's idea."
Lassiter wanted to object, but didn't see the point in it. He could actually see light at the end of the insane tunnel through crazy town. He wasn't about to rock the boat. Then, for a moment, he felt as if he had been around Spencer too much when he could practically hear the idiot in his head, asking why a boat would be on a train inside of a tunnel, traveling through a place as hazardous as Crazy Town, and why, for the love of God, was he shaking it?
"And what about you, Carlton? You suggested the two of you come here. Is there not anything that you think you both might need to work on? I wouldn't mind penciling you in." She had already picked up her clipboard and began to write down schedules.
"Well, I'm not happy about it," Lassiter said. "I think some changes need to be made." Shawn gawked at him, utterly shocked that the man was actually prolonging their stay there. "When we get back to my place, I'm giving you that key." He then leaned down and kissed the top of the psychic's spiky hair.
"Aw, Lassie," Shawn smiled sweetly. He hugged the man and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "That's the nicest thing you've done since waiting a week to tell me that you loved me back."
"Shawn!" Lassiter started, quickly calming himself. "Let's just… get out of here."
The psychic saluted him before heading out on the detective's heels. He then backtracked quickly and stuck his head in the doorway. "Thank you so much for all of your help," he lied. "One day, when we're adopting an Asian baby and naming it after Carlton's major in college or my favorite fruit like the celebrities, it'll all be thanks to you. Which reminds me," he said, disappearing back into the hall to follow after Lassiter, "do you prefer 'Pineapple Criminology' or 'Criminology Pineapple'? The last name will of course be hyphenated, but I thought that it would be cooler if we just did 'Spencer' twice instead of throwing 'Lassiter' into the mix."
"And don't let anyone in or out of that parking deck until I arrive, all right, O'Hara? I'll be there as soon as possible." Sadly, Shawn wasn't the least bit surprised that the detective was already making the call. What surprised him was that the guy hadn't tried crawling out the door when he had been bound around his legs. Lassiter snapped his phone shut without so much as a farewell to Juliet and turned to look at the psychic. "I'm not dropping you off first, so you'll be coming with me… Which you probably would have ended up doing anyway."
"You see? I know what you think, you know what I think. We don't need no stinkin' therapy. I think mind-melded couples are really the way to go. Other than that, I suppose the only way to achieve perfection is making sure we both treat each other fairly and equally. Speaking of," he said, halting briefly as his stomach rumbled very loudly, "after you're done booking Abernathy and all that, it's your turn to buy lunch."
"No," Lassiter responded slowly, scolding. "It's your turn. In fact, you could even say that it's been your turn the past thirteen times."
"I could say that, but why would I ever admit to it? Besides, unfortunately," Shawn patted his pants' pockets, "I left my wallet at home."
"Of course you did," he growled in response. "You know, Shawn, after hearing that the entire year we've been together has been built on a lie, I don't know if I can believe you on anything anymore. I'd probably even bet that you really do have your wallet."
"Okay, first of all," the lead psychic detective retorted, "if we're going to make a bet on whether or not I have any money on me, I'm going to need you to float me some cash to cover my end. Secondly, Lassie man, I was just messing around in there. I was totally drunk that night. The only thing I remember between that fourth drink and waking up on your couch the next morning-" a terrible intermission between the two involving less than helpful responses from his neighbors as he went banging on doors all around his apartment building trying to remember which one was his "-is you catching me when I almost fell off of my barstool. I only lied in there so that you would get mad and continue the session."
"So… you were really drunk?" Lassiter asked, holding the door for the younger as they exited the building.
"I can promise you one hundred percent that if they invented time traveling sobriety tests, I most certainly would fail. You have my word."
"Do you think there's something wrong with a relationship when it's founded on large amounts of alcohol and uncharacteristic good deeds?"
"Nope," he answered, fishing out his keys and unlocking the door of his car. He was about to hop in and unlock the passenger door when the psychic spoke up again.
"So," Shawn stated, hands folded over the top of the vehicle, "you really gonna give me the key to your place or was that all for the sake of getting her to back off the idea of insisting on more sessions?"
"Yeah," Lassiter scoffed. "I'm gonna give you my key. And hey, how about you move in with me since you'll already have free reign over my place? While we're doing that, I might as well get down on one knee and ask for that dainty hand of yours. And then we can discuss our family. I've always wanted lots of kids; hope you're not too concerned about your figure. Then we can trade in that motorized death trap of yours for a mini-van. More safe for the kids, don't you think, dear?"
"Okay, now you're just being mean," the phony psychic whined. "And your sarcasm is duly noted. However, we're totally trading in your car, my darling Clementine."
Smiling contentedly, Lassiter sat down and unlocked the other's door. Before he could even get good and comfortable though, the head detective was already asking.
"Now will you tell me which sewer grate? You might as well save me some time."
"Well," Shawn considered, "okay. Bottom floor, forth one in the second row. It's right next to the parking space 'reserved for Douglas Abernathy'."
He gaped openly at the younger man. The response to which was just a grin and turning up the radio.
"Hey look!" Shawn smiled. "It's your song. 'If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do-'"
Lassiter promptly snapped the radio off with a huff and pulled out of the parking lot, more than ready to finally solve his case.
A year together and I still make them so mean toward each other. Hahaha. Well, I don't really think that they would change the core of their character just because they're in a relationship. Seems a little dishonest.
Although, I was a little dishonest about Shawn still not telling Lassiter that he's a fake, even after a year together. I didn't do it from a "Shawn doesn't trust him" standpoint, but more with the thought in mind that telling Lassiter would make the guy have to choose between keeping that trust or ratting Shawn out. Not that I think he would rat him out (even canonically in the series, I don't think he would at this point), but Shawn knows that Lassie is a very, very upstanding citizen and doesn't want to make him feel conflicted. /gay
So yeah. There's my first Psych fic. Overall, I think it was okay. Hopefully, the other ones that I have in mind will make it past the "notes" stage. Get your fingers crossed. Hahaha.