Story Title: Definitely Not By The Book

Character/Relationships: Shassie

Rating: PG

Summary: Lassiter writes a How-To Manual

Warnings: Spoiler for Mr. Yin Presents

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.

Note: Written for round 1, challenge five, of the USA Network section of Last Author Standing. Sadly, This was the round I got voted out. Maybe it just didn't work for people.

Thank-you to Mr. Pugh, who betas all my stuff.

Lassiter sipped his coffee and glared at his computer. Chief Vick had returned from a policing conference where she had given a lecture called Working with Civilian Consultants. She had promised that a handbook was in the works. That promise had been premature.

"I'm delegating it to you," she told Lassiter that morning. "You've worked with Mr. Spencer more than almost anyone here. Just make us sound professional."

"I don't have time," Lassiter protested.

"Make the time, Detective."

So instead of going with O'Hara to bust a doctor who was writing under-the-table prescriptions for cash, he was glued to his chair, writing the largest piece of literary manure anyone had penned since the script for Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol.

A partnership with a civilian consultant is based upon a foundation of respect. Senior officers must set the tone by exhibiting patience and consideration. Taking the time to explain unfamiliar terminology and practices will reassure your consultants that they are valued members of your team.

Lassiter looked up to see Shawn Spencer looming over his desk.

"What do you want?" his tone was icy. If it weren't for Spencer he'd be out on the street now, doing real police work.

"What does anyone want?" Shawn asked rhetorically. "Friendship, happiness, James Franco's email address."

"I don't have time to lollygag with you, Spencer. I've got work to do."

"First, I don't know what lollygagging is, but it sounds like something sexual involving candy. Second, try using your Officer Friendly voice. You keep snapping at me and people will start believing that rumour about us."

"What rumour?" Lassiter's annoyance dropped slightly as his curiosity rose.

"You didn't hear?" Shawn grinned. "Office gossip has it that the two of us just had a messy break-up. Apparently we'd been dating for months but you dumped me last week."

"No one thinks that," Lassiter said firmly. "Do they?" Some of the uniforms had been looking at him kind of funny lately, but he'd assumed it was related to his haircut.

"It's ridiculous, I know," Shawn said. "As if you'd have been the one to dump me ! I mean, look at me." He spread his arms and twirled slowly in a circle. "Who could dump this?"

"Didn't that Abigail woman dump you?" Lassiter asked, his mouth curling slightly at the corners.

"That was a technicality." Shawn frowned and Lassiter turned back to his computer. Neither of them really wanted to get into a discussion about Mr. Yin. Relationships were hard enough without adding serial killers to the mix.

"Don't worry about your reputation," Shawn added. "I've been telling everyone it's not true. Although I don't think they believe me. Maybe it was all the winking I did."

"Out. Now." Lassiter stood and pointed toward the door.

An important part of maintaining friendly relations with your civilian consultant is being clear about where consulting ends and police work begins. However useful they may be, civilian consultants are not police officers, and they must never assume the risks associated with that role. A mutual understanding of these boundaries ensures that your civilian consultants feel secure and protected.

Lassiter slammed Shawn against the wall of the darkened hallway and held him there. He'd told him that the suspect was considered armed and dangerous, but the psychic had still strolled in as if he were made of Kevlar.

"What part of 'Don't go in there' didn't you get, Spencer?'

"All of it?"

"So help me," Lassiter jabbed the air in front of Shawn's face with his finger, "one of these days you're going to walk into a situation that smart mouth of yours can't get you out of."

Shawn stared at the finger, poised a mere inch from his face, then leaned forward and wrapped his lips around it. Lassiter felt paralysed for a moment. It wasn't until Shawn's tongue—hot, moist, and soft—swiped across his fingertip that he pulled his hand away and stepped back, bewildered.

"What the hell was that?" he whispered harshly, glancing around to ensure that no one else had seen. His pale face was flushed red, but his pupils were dilated.

"A de-escalation technique?" Shawn asked, his eyes full of wounded innocence.

Lassiter curled the wet finger into his fist and stuffed it under his left arm. "There's something very wrong with you Spencer."

Working with civilian consultants toward a mutual goal can be a rewarding experience for both the police officer and the civilian. Honest communication is an invaluable tool for identifying and pursuing such goals.

"I don't need a drive home." Lassiter leaned against the wall of Tom Blair's Pub to support himself.

"You're drunk, Lassie. You're like, former child-star kind of drunk." He pointed to Lassiter's Crown Vic, parked in front of them. "Now, to quote the late, great Billy Ocean, "Get out of my dreams. Get into my car. Well, technically your car, but I'm driving."

Lassiter frowned, "Billy Ocean's not dead."

"Just dead sexy," Shawn said, stepping forward to hold the swaying detective upright. He eased him into the passenger seat, buckled him in, and went around to the drivers' side. "Not as sexy as you, of course."

"Your mouth." Lassiter said, suddenly. He placed his fingers lightly against Shawn's lips. "That thing you did. It was completely…"

"Hot?" Shawn offered.

"Inappropriate." He grabbed Shawn's wrist, pulled it toward him, and enveloped his index finger with his mouth. "How do you like it?" he mumbled around the digit.

"Less teeth, more tongue," Shawn suggested, "but you've got the right idea."

For a tense moment the two men just stared at each other, then Lassiter slowly and tentatively swirled his tongue, sending shivers up Shawn's arm.

His breath caught and his lips parted. "Yeah. Like that." Lassiter released his wrist and Shawn reluctantly removed his hand. "We are so resuming this conversation when you're sober."