A/N: Well, In the Mood was supposed to stand alone, maybe be a part of some larger Shassieverse, and yet once there was a request for a sequel, I started getting ideas and while it took a little while longer than I'd hoped, here it is, for your reading pleasure, cos lord knows we need more activity in this little fandom. ...Yeah, rambling again. Sorry. A second chapter is being worked on right now, just no timetables for when that'll be ready. For now, enjoy!
The moment Carlton began to wake up, several important observations flitted through his mind. First, he felt better rested than he usually did. Second, it was much later in the morning than he generally woke up, if the bright sun lighting up his bedroom was any indication. Third, there was someone else in his bed. Fourth, and most interestingly, this other person was Shawn Spencer.
Every klaxon in his brain buzzed at this revelation, screaming that this should be some sort of huge, cataclysmic surprise, and it probably should have been. After all, this was Shawn Spencer. The guy who ran circles around him and the entire SBPD while throwing out witty one-liners that referenced eighties pop culture he didn't understand. The guy who teased him day in and day out, who sat on his lap and made shocking innuendos that undoubtedly had other officers gossiping. The guy who, by all accounts, should have been the person least likely to end up in his bed, right below Tom Arnold, Columbo and the entire squad of Dallas cheerleaders.
Yet there lay Shawn Spencer, perfect hair mussed, mouth slightly open, whole body partially tangled in his sheets, one arm hanging over the edge, and nothing about that really bothered Carlton. In fact, it was almost kind of nice. It had been a long while since he'd woken up next to a warm body, and he'd almost forgotten how enjoyable that was. Victoria and Lucinda had never been cuddlers, or the affectionate kinds at all, and he wasn't a one-night stand sort of guy, so that had left him many mornings with a cold, untouched half of a bed.
Shawn, on the other hand, lacked just as much personal space in bed as he did in real life. Somehow, one of his legs was twined between Carlton's own and the arm not hanging off the side of the bed was draped over the older man's chest, fingers absently drumming an arrhythmic beat on his side. Most likely some one-hit wonder or a movie theme song, as played by someone deeply sleeping. He didn't waste any thoughts on what it could possibly be, since he had almost no chance of figuring it out; he just relaxed into the feeling of Shawn next to him.
Flashes of last night came to him as he listened to Shawn's slow, even breathing, flashes of the club, of their clean and simple arrest, of the way time came to a molasses crawl as Shawn pressed against him and Glenn Miller filled the air. It seemed sudden, the one-eighty spin from wishing Spencer would go away to being tangled up with him in bed, and yet it made some sort of sense.
They'd been dancing around one another for a long time, with small truths hidden under joking innuendos, with fleeting touches that had so much more subtext than they ever really acknowledged, with stolen glances and averted eyes. Last night had just been the breaking point.
That was the only way he could realistically explain his sudden change in mentality last night. Feelings for Spencer had been building in the depths of his mind for a long time, possibly since the first irritating day they'd met, but he'd pretty much ignored them. Last night, his will to pretend had just evaporated, worn down by his lack of sleep, need for control and (not that he'd ever admit it) Spencer's occasionally subtle persistence. A three in the morning, it just took too much energy to bury those feelings.
And now here they were. They'd joked, danced, almost kissed and ended up sleeping together without sleeping together. It was, by all means, a miracle. Carlton knew that it was improbable, nigh impossible, that they'd made it this far without killing each other, or at least having some sort of frustration-fueled sex. Like always, though, Shawn Spencer seemed to defy his expectations. Last night, he'd been mostly quiet and obedient, two adjectives Lassiter had never really applied to Shawn seriously. They just didn't seem to fit him, any way you cast their meaning.
He'd quietly danced, no words, no jokes, nothing to sully the moment. He'd allowed Lassiter to lead him upstairs, to order him into bed. He'd attempted a little pseudo-striptease, sure, but Carlton reasoned that there was only so much of his usual playfulness he could restrict. Besides, he wasn't complaining, not one bit. Shawn was young, handsome, lean in a way that denoted exactly zero time at the gym. He was fun, and lively, and pure energy. He was everything Carlton wasn't.
Which raised the 'why me?' flag for the detective. He was stubborn, boring, married to his job, overall hard to get along with, and he could admit it. There was nothing about him that begged for the younger man's attention, nothing he could see that would beg for anyone's attention. Shawn could have anyone–someone more exciting or more attractive or more fun. Someone who wasn't Carlton.
But he was still here. He hadn't fled in the middle of the night. That had to be a good sign, right? Even if Carlton didn't see much in himself, Shawn obviously saw something, and that thought was enough to chase most of the older man's dark thoughts away. Maybe Shawn would flee when he woke up, realize what a huge mistake he'd made in his sleepy haze, but Carlton chose to believe otherwise. Their moment last night, as Moonlight Serenade swam through the room, was too real to be a mistake. It just had to be.
So he decided to just keep laying in bed, absorbing the closeness of Shawn despite the fact that it was many hours later than he usually woke up. At least the Chief had cleared him to come in late today, since the investigation and arrest had run late into the night.
He was usually out of bed as soon as he woke up, ready to get to whatever he had planned for the day, whether it was work, chores or some of his rare recreational time. Right now, forgoing his usual up-and-at-'em attitude was just fine with him. Today was just too unusual to apply a routine to it, as foreign a concept as that seemed to him.
Of course, if Shawn was willing, he wouldn't mind making a routine out of waking up like this.
Next to him, Shawn shifted, scooting closer so that his sheet-entangled body was now nearly flush with the detective's, and licked his lips, which instantly drew Carlton's gaze to them. They were lightly pink, full, now faintly glistening. They were, in short, completely entrancing. He found himself leaning in toward Shawn's mouth, attention almost laser-focused on those lips.
Despite the fact that he'd hadn't been this forward in decades–Victoria had slowly beaten this kind of youthful romanticism out of him with those withering, 'oh please grow up' looks of hers–the idea of kissing Shawn was just too irresistible. After all, they'd been denied a first kiss last night, when the timing was so perfect; it was only fair they get another equally sweet chance to make this happen.
Maybe the younger man's spontaneity was rubbing off on him.
Before the unsettling idea of Shawn influencing him that much could settle in, Carlton closed the small gap between their lips.
Just like he imagined, Shawn's lips were warm and wet, and actually fairly responsive for being attached to a sleeping person. Carlton made no move to deepen the kiss, lingering with pressed lips for a few moments, but did allow a hand to rest on the younger man's hip. A thread of nervousness twined its way across his body, filling him with those jitters that he hadn't felt since he was a stupid teenager tentatively kissing his first girlfriend. Everything about Shawn was vaguely dangerous like that, but this had an extra dollop of 'oh shit, what if he thinks this is a mistake and I'm crossing a line' added for flavor.
God, Shawn really was wearing off on him.
Though his eyes were shut, he knew the other man was slowly waking up. His mouth moved against Carlton's, sluggishly at first but with increasing enthusiasm; the hand formerly tapping out music on his side found its way up to the older man's cheek. He could feel the smile on Shawn's lips as he pulled back, which went a long way in reassuring him that the younger man wasn't about to run, not yet.
"That's a helluva way to wake a guy up, you know," Shawn murmured, sleep still thick in his voice. Still, he chuckled and added, "Especially for our first kiss." His warm breath ghosted against Carlton's lips, greatly reducing his ability to think coherently. Everything around him was warm, entangling, fruity, and he liked it. He'd forgotten how nice it was to just lay in bed wrapped up in another willing body.
"I'll keep that in mind," Lassiter replied, a rare smile gracing his lips. He pulled Shawn impossibly closer as the younger man's eyes finally peeked open. They met eyes for a second but, seeing as their faces were still less than an inch apart, the romantic effect was mostly lost in the cross-eyed look Shawn ended up giving him. Funnily enough, this didn't annoy him like it usually would have; he just grinned and leaned in for another kiss.
It was a little less one-sided this time, seeing as they were both awake for all of it. Just like Carlton expected (not that he'd thought about it much or anything, really), Shawn was all exuberance, building up his passion and ferocity to match the detective's own. If he'd really been able to form a complete thought at that moment, he probably would've figured that, after years of this slowly falling into place, Shawn was just releasing all of his pent-up desires toward him. God knows Carlton was doing the same.
Breathlessly, they pulled apart a minute later; he didn't know about Shawn, but Lassiter knew that if they went on any longer, he'd never make it into work today, even late.
"Aww, c'mon Lassie. You're such a tease," Shawn breathed, rolling onto his back but staying as physically close to the other man as he could. Carlton just grinned lazily and glanced to the so-called psychic, eyebrows raised.
"Says the guy who touches me every chance he gets." Shawn didn't look back over at him, but his lower lip did stick out in a slight pout.
"Not fair. If I'd known back then that you were interested, I'd have been here a lot sooner." Carlton's chest tightened at that honest statement, actually tightened like in some harlequin romance drivel. Just the idea that he could've had this for years now made him wish he'd broken down and given in years ago, no matter how bad an idea it had seemed. Shawn, noticing how quiet he'd become with a sideways glance, plowed on. "Besides, I seem to remember you being the one to start it."
"Oh really?" Lassiter replied, drawn from his thoughts back to the man pressed up against him. Shawn turned his head to look directly into his eyes.
"Yessiree Bob. You pulled me out of the interrogation room and slammed me up against a wall." He paused, laughing quietly, almost to himself, and then went on. "That was when I knew there was something between us." He grinned his usual Shawn Spencer grin, again filling Carlton's chest with a foreign feeling. This time, of course, it was light, like helium.
Jesus, he was like some stupid love struck teenager. The scariest part was, he kind of liked it. It had been ages since anyone had made him feel this way. Even though he considered himself to be fairly traditional, Victoria had enforced rules that were, well, Victorian. That had limited his own romantic tendencies, and been the start to a relationship that quickly devolved into nothing but formal arrangements. Even Lucinda, his attempt at a rebound, had been so like his wife, so unaffectionate, that it was doomed from the start.
He'd always assumed he just had a type, and that type happened to be distant. After all, he was old enough by now to know what kind of woman he liked. He'd come to terms with the fact that he wasn't the type of guy who attracted warm, tender women.
That, of course, didn't account for his taste in men. It'd always been a niggling voice in the back of his mind, but his (ex-)wife had talked him out of believing it several times. She couldn't have her proper husband having a wandering eye, for women or men. Even back then, though, any guy that caught his eye was nothing like Shawn. Good-looking, maybe, but all responsible, hardworking types. Not the lackadaisical slacker that Shawn was.
Which, he reminded himself, was why it had taken so long for him to break down and give in. He'd not only convinced himself that liking men as well as women wasn't his way, but that someone like Shawn Spencer wasn't his type. Hell, he hadn't really dated, or even seriously looked at, a guy like Shawn before, and until he met the guy, he thought he knew his type.
Sure, it was a type that never worked out, but, hey, at least it was consistent.
Shawn, on the other hand, was a complete break. From day one, he'd gotten under Carlton's skin, annoyed him, made him look like a fool, turned his job, his life, into a playground. The detective only vaguely remembered the time Spencer was referencing as the moment he knew there was something between them, but he could only figure that his own attraction had started around the same time. After all, no one bothered him like Shawn did, not so much that he physically assaulted them.
No, Shawn was utterly different from every potential relationship in his past, and that was why, despite every misgiving about how bad an idea this could be, Lassiter had a good feeling. (Though the comfort of being able to lie in a warm bed next to someone and not worry about much of anything probably contributed to the good vibes.)
Since the 'psychic' was awake and still here, he obviously didn't think this was some sort of sleepy mistake. That thought alone did a lot to soothe Carlton's worries. The only thing that really weighed heavily on him was how long it would last. He had a bad habit of getting too emotionally involved right before the other person cut it off, and Shawn's penchant for dating girls one after the other wasn't exactly a secret. Now that he'd quit fighting it, how long would it go on before Shawn got bored? Lassiter didn't exactly do flings, and he'd had enough relationships fall apart to suit him for several lifetimes.
Honestly, he didn't want things to fall apart with Shawn too, but the younger man did have a track record. They could get involved, close enough for Carlton to really care, and then Shawn would show up at the station with some college girl from a bar that he'd met the night before and it would all be over without a word.
Of course, if he said anything about it now, it could just as easily end before it started, and he surprisingly didn't want that either. With a slight jolt, he realized that he was already emotionally involved. (After five years of skirting each other, who wouldn't be?) He wanted to wake up next to Shawn every morning. He wanted to dance together again. He wanted to feel that bit of pride that came with making Shawn obedient. He cared about this working out, and he didn't even know what this was yet.
He sighed almost inaudibly, drawing Shawn's attention back to him. Carlton glanced to those eyes, somewhere impossibly between hazel, green and blue.
"You still up there, Lassie? You haven't had your brain covertly abducted by aliens, have you?" Shawn asked, eyebrows raised as if serious. "Because if you have, we can't tell Gus. He will fliiiip out. Seriously, that man is paranoid about the weirdest things. He worries about banshee-proofing the Psych office, but not the fact the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block are touring together. I mean, really? No Menudo? They were just as good, if not b-"
"Spencer," Lassiter stated evenly, different from the way he usually growled the last name, "shut up." Instantly, the psychic was quiet, giving him that small satisfaction. Quickly, though, he seemed to remember himself, as a bright grin lit up his face.
"Ooh, Lassie, I get chills when you get all authoritative like that," Shawn cooed, grin taking on a more seductive twist. "Maybe you can boss me around some more." He leaned in, predatorily, giving Lassiter only a second to wonder how Shawn had turned this around on him so quickly before Shawn's lips, assertive but tender, were pressed to his again. His mind quickly aborted all attempts at coherent thought, and his mouth parted easily, allowing himself to explore the new territory that was Shawn's mouth; it ended a second later when Shawn pulled back, lingering only for a moment to nip at Carlton's lower lip.
It took him longer than it should have to reopen his eyes, reveling in the simple existence of Shawn Spencer, only to find that when he did open his eyes, Shawn was staring back at him playfully.
"Are you hungry?" he asked, as if he hadn't just blatantly teased Carlton with that kiss. The older man blinked at this apparent non-sequitur, immediately abandoning all attempts to understand how things segued in Shawn's mind. Shawn, though, just rubbed his stomach with one hand. "I'm starved, and it's totally–" He glanced over Carlton's shoulder to look at the clock on the night stand. "Eleven forty-two. So time for breakfast!" He leapt up out of bed, still working a few mental steps ahead of Lassiter, who was just starting to process the fact that Shawn wanted breakfast when it was nearly noon.
Strolling casually to the doorway, Shawn managed to only trip once over the extra long pajama pants he currently wore, a folly which he nearly managed to smoothly transition into a small display of ballet-like dancing. Brain finally catching up, Carlton managed to smirk at this, an eyebrow quirking. He even showed what he considered to be remarkable restraint, considering that Shawn was wearing his plaid pajama pants and goddamn if that wasn't at least a little hot.
At the doorway, Shawn paused, turning to soak in Carlton's smile for a second before asking, "Pancakes or waffles?" The detective considered this for a moment–he was pretty sure he didn't have the ingredients for either food, or the frozen versions–but he knew that if Shawn was asking, he'd somehow make it happen. Carlton just wasn't sure he wanted to know how.
"Both," he replied, adding just a hint of challenge to his simple reply. He knew that was a dangerous idea, challenging someone who could invariably meet only the strangest and most difficult of challenges, but he was pretty sure that if he was throwing out all his preconceived notions about his type of romantic interest or how he felt about Shawn Spencer, he could afford to throw caution to the wind.
Maybe just for the morning, depending on if Shawn burned down his house trying to make simple waffles.
His answer was apparently the right one, though, because Shawn just grinned wider.
"Good choice, Carly-town," he said, and bounded out of the doorway to descend the stairs.
"Don't call me that," Lassiter snapped, voice lacking most real venom.
"No problem, Carly-Q," was the shouted response. Already, he could hear the clinking of pots and pans, and felt a familiar sense of aggravation settle in his chest. Not much, like he knew it could be, but just enough to know that this wasn't always going to be sunshine and morning kisses.
A loud yelp emanated from downstairs; Carlton groaned and swung his legs out of bed. If Shawn was going to burn his house down, he was at least going to shower first.