Lassiter liked to think that he had the world figured out. When you thought about it, life could be very simple for an average person. Go to school, get a job, buy a house, and live your life. There wasn't much else you could really do with that except for the occasional detours that involved vacations or finding distractions that would otherwise lead you to think about your day-to-day activities. Criminals were not so different in their own lifestyle, just with varied changes. Go to school, drop out of said school, fail at finding a job, and take advantage of those who make the right choices. Of course, not all felons were like that, but Lassiter liked to think that the more twisted ones didn't come from anything construed as normal.
Staring at the damn drug addict now, he could safely say that the man was anything but normal. His eyes were wide and empty, filled only by a drug-induced haze of paranoia. A man whose entire enterprise was destroyed by the quick work of one Shawn Spencer. It looked like he would stop at nothing to get what he wanted, and at that point, what he wanted was something Lassiter could not allow to happen.
He should've seen it. That carelessness that brightened his crazed face, showing no reaction to the gun that was being pointed at him. The criminal didn't seem afraid to die, and the danger only seemed to fuel his desire to achieve his goal. Despite this, Lassiter had voiced his order clearly; let the psychic go, and no one had to get hurt.
In hindsight, it really wasn't the best choice of words he could have chosen.
He saw Dusty's grip loosen before it even happened. He tried to prevent it by rushing forward to catch him, but Shawn was falling into the darkness before he had even taken a step. There was nothing he could do to stop it. As that thought sunk in, Lassiter found himself contorting his features into an expression of disbelief, staring at the empty space that was once occupied by the psychic.
Taking advantage of his shock, Dusty reared his ugly head and proceeded to stampede toward the detective like a rampaging bull, the smirk never leaving his face. Lassiter snapped out of it quickly enough to catch the fist that was sent flying toward his jawbone. Appearance set in a clear mask of determination, he grasped the thug's outstretched hand and swung it backward so that Dusty's arm bended behind his back, effectively incapacitating him.
Lassiter relished seeing the smirk quickly leave the man's face, but he could also recognize the look of an impending begging fit anywhere, and he just knew he wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to shoot him if it started. Instead, he raised his gun and cracked the barrel of it over Dusty's head, knocking him out. He didn't have any regret as the thug crumpled at his feet, even though to any other officer, putting him in handcuffs would have been just as efficient. Lassiter didn't even hesitate as he made a break for the ravine, sprinting to the edge of the bridge and stumbling down the steep hill. The police cars were not far behind, and they could take care of the unconscious convict.
After saving himself from a few nasty falls, Lassiter finally made it to the bottom of the ravine, his eyes searching frantically around the area for anything familiar. It was extremely dark down here, with only the moon and part of the rays of a street lamp to serve as a light source. Most of the bottom of the ditch was just covered with rocks of various sizes in shapes, but in the middle, a creek flowed, probably deep enough to reach Lassiter's knees or higher.
The head detective's breath hitched as he thought about what he might find. He didn't think he could deal with the sight of the broken body of Shawn Spencer. He had wished many a time that some sort of physical harm would come to him, sure, but not like this. Not when he could've been saved if he had been more careful. If he hadn't let that cretin escape out of his own custody.
As the guilty thoughts raced through his mind, he honestly couldn't help himself when he let out a sigh of relief when he saw a familiar figure in the water, just for the fact that he had landed in the impossibly small pool of water and not on the sharp rocks around him. The relief quickly abated, though, as he stumbled forward and got a closer look.
Shawn was lying facedown in the muddy water.
Visions of past drowning victim cases flashed through his mind briefly, but then he shook his head to rid himself of them, not wanting to assume the worst. He quickly splashed through the creek toward the prone form. Desperate fingers grasped the worn-out jacket and pulled him upward, bringing Shawn's head out of the water for the air needed to keep him alive. Lassiter waited, but didn't hear that urgent intake of oxygen that he was hoping for.
"Jesus, Spencer," He couldn't help but say, wrapping his arms around the psychic's torso and hauling him out of the water with so much gusto, it as if they were swimming in lava. As he was laying Shawn down on the rocks, he vaguely heard the sound of cars pulling up on the bridge above.
"I need an ambulance down here, godammit!" he roared, not even checking to see if he had been heard as he set about the task of checking Shawn's vital signs, oblivious to the sharp rocks that pierced the skin of his knee as he kneeled.
Lassiter attempted to ignore the small trickle of blood that was oozing from the back of the psychic's head, abandoning it for more pressing matters. Like breathing. He held two fingers to Shawn's wrist, and then did the same to his neck, desperately searching for a pulse. When he got none in response, he leaned back and tried to quickly remember the basic steps for CPR (in this case, CCR) he had learned at the academy. Avoiding the giant elephant in his plans that told him what he might have to do, he skipped to the more obvious portion of the procedure.
Interlocking his hands on top of each other, Lassiter placed them on Shawn's chest, and started the rhythmic compressions associated with the method. He counted mentally when exactly he had to push downward, being careful not to cause any further damage to the battered psychic. It was eerily silent as he continued the compressions, the police lights from up above on the bridge flashing blue and red over Shawn's pale face repeatedly. Lassiter could hear what he assumed were a couple of paramedics trying to make their way down the steep incline, though they were having some trouble with their supplies and stretcher.
This was the last place Lassiter ever expected to be on this Friday evening. He wasn't lying when he said he had wanted to head home after getting off for the weekend, because, believe it or not, he did have a life outside of his job, no matter how hard it was to believe. There was a Die Hard marathon on the television tonight that he had been looking forward to, a Chinese place that he wanted to order at before they closed, and a phone number on a piece of paper that he had gotten from a girl he had met at the local grocery store that he wanted to call. No, that certainly shouldn't be hard to believe.
Guilty thoughts still threatened to take over his control as he looked down at Shawn, who was showing no response to the CPR. It had all happened so fast. One second, he was guiding that thug up the steps to the station after promptly putting Shawn in his place, and the next, he was on the stairs, nursing a possibly broken nose. The felon somehow was able to headbutt him without detective noticing in time, and he had to watch as he sprinted down the steps toward the unfortunate psychic. He only had time to shout a warning to Shawn and watched as he sped away on his motorcycle, some relief flooding through him.
At least, until he had seen the criminal steal his car. His damn car.
Everything after that was merely protocol, abandoning his emotions and becoming the head detective he was supposed to act like in all of these situations. Notifying the rest of the police force, calling in backup as to where the suspect was heading and how there was a civilian who could possibly be in danger. He had taken the keys of another police cruiser and sped off as the other officers were still trying to get organized. He'd be damned if he let that thug do any other damage other than selling weed.
But he did let it happen. He knew as soon as he pulled onto that bridge and saw those two figures. One, small and crumpled, and the other, tall and threatening. Lassiter never noticed how small Shawn looked until that moment, caught in the hands of a criminal. He never noticed how much he sacrificed in his line of work. He had no experience with any kind of police work except what he had learned from his father, but he ended up doing a lot of what the detectives do now, even without any kind of license. Despite the belittling comments that Lassiter constantly threw at him (and lets face it, he did deserve it at times), he still continued to solve cases and put away the bad guys, no matter what risk it was to himself.
Now, his repressed emotions threatened to spill forth from his carefully concealed mask as he continued the compressions, knowing they might not even work at this point, and Shawn's life may already be out of his hands. He knew he should wait for the paramedics to come and finish the procedure, but he also knew that the longer a person's brain goes without oxygen, the greater chance for brain damage.
"Come on, Spencer, don't you dare make me do this," Lassiter whispered to him through pursed lips, his maneuvers becoming desperate. He couldn't let this happen, and no matter how much he hated it or how much ridicule he might receive, he couldn't let Shawn die because of his reluctance. He started to lean down.
Then stopped as Shawn opened his mouth and inhaled a huge breath.
Lassiter could scarcely believe it as he quickly moved back and Shawn spit out a mouthful of water, trying not to think how close his mouth had been to that. Shawn coughed harshly and turned to the side and retched a bit, most likely as a side effect to his concussion. After the fit, he leaned back, unfocused eyes beginning to open and look around. As he did so, he suddenly shot up into a sitting position as he was afraid of something, and Lassiter had to keep a hand on his chest to stop him from further injuring himself.
Shawn craned his neck to look at him, and looked as if seeing him for the first time. "Lassie?" he croaked, attempting to lift his arm, but then moaned as he moved the wrong one. Lassiter never thought he'd be so relieved to hear Shawn's voice, and had to gently ease him back onto the rocks so it wouldn't be so painful. Shawn seemed to be immediately jumping to conclusions, taking in Lassiter's wet clothes, his own wet clothes and his bruised chest from the CPR. His eyes widened like saucers as some emotion akin to panic started to show on his face.
"Lassie… you… you didn't, uh…"
If he were in any other situation, Lassiter would have laughed at Shawn's reaction, but after seeing the serious look on his features, he shook his head quickly to reassure him. "No, I didn't," he said in a 'that's final' sort of tone.
"Oh, thank god," Shawn exclaimed loudly, dropping his head back down on the rocks as if the weight of the world had just been lifted off his shoulders. The paramedics finally decided to show up, and swarmed around the psychic as Lassiter backed off, watching from a distance. As they were wrapping his arm in a temporary splint and checking for other injuries, Shawn started to chuckle out of nowhere and motioned Lassiter to come closer. When he did, he started to whisper to him.
"No offense, detective, but I don't think Timmy and Lassie were ever meant to get past first base, no matter how many times he saved him from the damned well."
Lassiter blinked, and looked at Shawn oddly as he was being lifted onto the stretcher. He had to assume that that certain comment had been a side effect of the concussion, and even from the corner of his eye he could see that the paramedics were fighting to keep smiles from showing on their faces. And as they made their way up the hill, allowed himself a small smirk as well, because no matter how many times he would deny it, Shawn did have a propensity to make the people around them laugh, and in his line of work, that was something they needed. He watched as they loaded him onto the ambulance, putting an oxygen mask over his face, but stopped one of the EMTs as they were about to close the door.
"Hey, Spencer," he called. Shawn lifted his head a bit to look at the detective, a lopsided grin still on his face. Lassiter hoped that he would out of it enough to not even remember what happened tonight, but he couldn't let him leave without saying one thing.