A/N : Okay, so this is TECHNICALLY a Christmas fic, but it doesn't really focus on the holiday – it more focuses on Angsty!Lassie. I really hope you guys enjoy this, because I really enjoyed writing it. Also, I feel I should add this: I have been writing this from a fast food restaurant for the past hour, and I'm pretty sure the other patrons all think I'm the weirdest person on earth. XD
Disclaimer: I do not own Psych or "Mele Kalikimaka," though I do love that song.
Mele Kalikimaka is the Thing to Say
It's not like it was the first time that Shawn had broken into Lassiter's house, not by a long shot. It was, however, the first time that Shawn had broken into Lassiter's house while it was occupied.
Shit. He ran a hand through his hair. He'd been careless – the lights had been off, and it was early on Christmas Eve, so he hadn't even bothered to check further. That was a stupid mistake. Now he was stuck in an enclosed area with a man who hated him and had more guns than a small country's military.
Not one of his better ideas, in retrospect.
I'll text Gus, he thought. He can cause a diversion while I sneak out. When Shawn pulled out his phone, however, he saw that it was dead.
Crap! Oh well, it's not like Gus would've helped me, anyway. I guess he's still a little bent out of shape about the whole "almost getting fired" thing. It's the holidays, you'd think he could show a little forgiveness. Shawn shook his head. Gus was so sensitive sometimes.
Okay. No problem. I'll just run out there, make sure Lassie knows it's me, be charming and delightful as always, and then get a pineapple smoothie. I'm parched. He took a deep breath and opened the door, ready to go racing into the hall, when he heard very quiet singing.
"I've done my winter shopping, there's not a store I've missed, but what's the use of stopping, when there's no one on your list? You'll know the way I'm feeling when you love and you lose… I guess I've got the Christmas blues."
Lassiter stood by the table, sipping from a coffee mug and humming the sad, slow tune. Shawn noticed the photo of Victoria on the fridge – All this time, and he still hasn't taken it down. The sight made Shawn's heart ache.
Shawn didn't hate Lassiter. He didn't even dislike him. Shawn had a reason for touching him during all of his "psychic visions," and he wasn't exactly subtle with his comments ("You are so sexy right now!"). The detective struck a chord with Shawn. As much as the fake psychic loved to tease him, he couldn't stand watching the older man look so dejected and lonely. Especially on Christmas Eve.
Lassiter always invented some reason not to accept invitations for the holidays ever since he had spent one disastrous night with Juliet's family. When Gus asked, he said that he already had plans with a college friend. When Juliet (reluctantly) asked, he told her that he had a lot of work to catch up on. When Shawn asked him, he said he'd rather staple his hand to the wall.
The usual excuses.
Shawn knew perfectly well that to interrupt Lassiter's pit party would be like asking for a bullet in the leg. Carlton Lassiter was grumpy on his best days, and downright nasty on his worst. If being alone on Christmas Eve in a dark house wasn't a bad day, Shawn didn't know what was. If the fake psychic had an ounce of common sense, he would have turned around and escaped out of the bedroom window.
Common sense, however, was never exactly Shawn's forte.
Shawn began belting out the only Christmas song he knew well, bursting into the kitchen with a dramatic spin. "Mele kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day…" He was wiggling his hips and sliding across the floor, not only for the shear theatricality of it, but also because it made him far more difficult to shoot. "That's the island greeting that we send to you from the land where palm trees sway…" He jumped up on the table. "Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright, the sun to shine by day and all the stars at night, mele kalikimaka is the wise way, to say merry Christmas to you!" He grinned down at the shell-shocked Lassiter, who had been too stunned to even reach for his gun. "Come on, Lassie! Dance with me! It's Christmas Eve. Get into the spirit!"
Being directly addressed seemed to make an impact. "Spencer!" He grabbed Shawn's arm, yanking the younger man off the table. "What the hell do you think you're doing here? Don't you have something better to do?"
"Better than cheering up my Lassie-face on Christmas Eve? Never." Shawn tried to give Lassiter a charming grin, but the detective's iron grip on his upper arm was starting to smart. "Mind easing up a little? If you want to give me bruises, I can think of a much better way."
Lassiter tossed Shawn away with a growl. "Just get out of here, Spencer. I have a lot of things to get ready."
"Ready for what?"
"I have people coming by tomorrow."
Shawn didn't need to be the observational genius he was to know Lassiter was lying. "No, you don't. You're going to be sitting alone drinking scotch all day and thinking about Victoria." Lassiter flinched at her name, but Shawn continued. "I know you don't have anyone to be with tomorrow, and I'm not going to let you be alone on Christmas. No one deserves that."
Lassiter leaned against the counter, glaring. "Don't take pity on me, Spencer. I don't need it. I'll be fine. And besides, you're pretty much the last person I want to see on Christmas."
Even though he should have been expecting it, the last comment still hurt. "Why?" Shawn asked, not quite succeeding at covering up his annoyance. "I know you're not my biggest fan, but I don't see anyone else rushing over to see you. We have our differences, but that doesn't mean we can't spend a single day together."
"I just told you, I don't need your pity!" Lassiter snapped. "And believe me, I know exactly how much people don't like being around me. But I'd rather be alone than be with the one person who makes me feel even lonelier than I usually do."
"What? How do I make you feel lonely?"
"Because!" A slight blush was creeping into Lassiter's cheeks, and the tips of his ears were going red. He seemed to be fighting to contain himself. "You're always touching me and bumping into me and making fun of me, and I'm sick of it! Don't you get how hard it is for me to be around you? You make me feel like a complete idiot! You're better at my job than I am, you're a hell of a lot more charming than I am, you're better-looking than me… You're never going to be alone. You don't have to worry about that. But me… I'm the tight-ass, big-eared loser who spends his Saturday nights at work or at home. I'm gawky, I'm awkward, I'm creepy, everyone hates me, and the one person I really want is the one person I can't have, because they're so far out of my league they might as well be a different species!"
Shawn's eyes widened at this outburst. He took a cautious step towards Lassiter, who was panting and looking positively murderous. "Listen. Victoria was a nice woman, I'm sure, but she wasn't perfect. I'm sure you'll find someone other than her."
"I'm not talking about Victoria," Lassiter snapped jerkily. "She left me because she knew I was only with her to avoid being alone. The person I love hates me way more than Victoria ever could."
"Is it Jules? Because she doesn't hate you, y'know, she…"
Shawn didn't get a chance to finish his sentence. With a frustrated growl, Lassiter grabbed him and planted a hard, desperate kiss on his lips, his hands cupping Shawn's face with surprising gentleness. Before Shawn's mind could even begin to comprehend what had just happened, Lassiter had backed away and begun pacing around the room, running his hands through his short, dark hair. He looked like he was on the edge of a breakdown, and he kept repeating, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," over and over before sinking into one of the chairs at the small table and burying his face in his hands.
"Hey." Shawn took a deep, shaking breath. "Hey, Lassie…"
"Don't call me that," Lassiter snarled. "Just… be serious for once, okay? I can't handle your shit right now."
"I'll call you Lassiter if you call me Shawn."
Lassiter ran a hand over his eyes. "Fine. Shawn. Now stop calling me 'Lassie'. I'm not a dog."
At least eight smart-ass comments popped into Shawn's head, and it took a lot of effort to hold them back. He managed to sit down across from Lassiter without a word. Several moments of pressing silence followed before he whispered, "What the hell is going on here? I mean, you're singing to yourself, acting all miserable, then you're yelling at me, and then you're kissing me? I thought you hated me."
"Yeah, well, looks can be deceiving," Lassiter said with a scowl.
"You're always snapping at me," Shawn continued, trying not to focus on how whiny and childish the words sounded coming out of his mouth. "You think I'm a fake and an idiot. You push me away all the time, you push me around all the time! Is it really that crazy that my first assumption isn't that you're in… in… that you like me?"
Lassiter closed his eyes. It clearly pained him that Shawn couldn't even say the word "love" in front of him. "Spencer – Shawn. I'm… I'm sorry. I was way out of line. I shouldn't have sprung all that on you. But I… I'm a professional. I'll leave you alone from now on. We'll just stay on separate cases, and you can just forget that I even exist, alright?"
"So, what? You're just going to ignore this and pretend it didn't happen?"
"Why not?" Lassiter didn't even sound angry, just defeated. "It would be better for both of us. I can keep my dignity at the department and you can keep your life the way it is. Isn't that what you want?"
"How do you know what I want?" Shawn sighed. The tension was killing him; he would have given anything to crack a stupid joke, but he knew that it would send the already-stressed detective over the edge. He took a deep breath. "I'm just trying to understand what's going on inside your head. What about Victoria? I thought you've spent the past five years pining over her."
"Goddamnit, Shawn, what's so hard to understand?" Lassiter yelled, slamming a fist down on the table. "I didn't want my mother to disown me, I didn't want to get harassed at work, and I didn't want to die alone! So I married a woman that I cared about, even if I couldn't force myself to be in love with her, and then she left me. Yes, I miss having her around. I miss coming home and having someone to talk to, and I miss having someone who doesn't just see me as some socially-inept dumbass. That doesn't mean I miss her. I miss talking to her – I mean, I did love her, even if I wasn't in love with her – and I'm sorry that I ended up hurting her. " Lassiter seemed to be struggling with an impossible number of emotions. He jumped up from his chair and began pacing once more. "This whole thing with you, though, is driving me crazy. I've known I was gay since I was fifteen. Fifteen. I'm forty years old. In twenty-five years, the only three people who I've told about this are a high school fling, Victoria, and Lucinda. Victoria knew long before I married her, and Lucinda… I used her. It sounds awful, but I was miserable. Victoria was gone and I just need someone to be there, someone to make me feel like it would matter if I ended up being killed, and she was my partner. It was simple, and none of it ever mattered to her, so I didn't have to worry about hurting her. None of the guys at the precinct are my type. It was easy to ignore everything, just shove it to the back of my mind and try to forget about it.
"Then you came along, and everything stopped making sense. I feel like a stupid teenager around you. The last person I felt this way for was the quarterback at my high school, and that relationship lasted, what, eight dates, tops? I've never had a real relationship with anyone I was interested in. I've never had a real relationship with a man. And until you showed up, I could pretend that I was okay with that. I could pretend that was fine. Now I can't stop thinking about being around you, and you… you don't help, Shawn! The way you're constantly touching me and talking about how I look and all of that, maybe you don't realize how cruel it is, but it's destroying me! Every time you do something like that, I feel this hope, this hope that's going to crush me if I don't crush it first."
"Maybe you don't have to crush that hope!" Shawn bellowed, standing so fast his chair fell backwards. "Who ever told you that you couldn't have hope for the two of us?"
"Oh, don't fuck with me, Spencer!" Lassiter shouted. "You're charming, you're funny, you're attractive, you're smart, you've got tons of friends. You attract people. Me, I don't know how to handle people. My sister thinks there's something seriously wrong with me. My mother used to cry over how her son would never be successful. My dad couldn't stand being around me! And it doesn't help that you're so damn hot, with the scruff, the hair, the muscles, and those fucking eyes that get to me every single time I see you. You can get anyone you want, so why the hell would you ever go after me? My nickname in high school was the Scarecrow. When I first joined the SBPD, they called me Ears. I know I'm not exactly the best-looking guy out there, and you are. I know how these things work. This may surprise you, but I'm actually not an idiot. I know that this isn't some kind of stupid movie. I know that at the end, the geek never gets the girl."
Shawn forced a smile. "So, what, I'm a girl now?"
Lassiter sighed. "Go away, Shawn. I can't take this today, I really can't."
"You know, for someone who says they're tired of being alone, you sure do push people away a lot." Shawn said it lightly, but his eyes were dark as he stepped towards Lassiter. He put his hands on the older man's shoulders. "And for someone who feels like he has no one to talk to, you do a really shitty job of listening." He pressed his lips to the detective's. He felt Lassiter's whole body go rigid at the contact, but he didn't move away. He couldn't.
Lassiter pulled back just far enough to look into Shawn's eyes. "This… This isn't a joke, is it? Because I couldn't handle it if this was a joke."
Shawn shook his head slowly, hazel eyes never leaving the piercing blue of Lassiter's gaze. Lassiter surveyed Shawn closely, clearly terrified, before he slowly started to relax. He had only seen Shawn looking at him so genuinely on one other occasion.
"Detective, you astound me."
From that moment on, everything was such a blur that even Shawn had trouble keeping track of it all. When had Lassiter taken his shirt off? How did Shawn end up on the kitchen counter? If Lassiter had only been one eight dates with a man, how did he know exactly what to do with his tongue? When did Shawn get flexible enough to do that? And where had Lassiter learned that amazing trick with his hand?
Shawn woke up in Lassiter's bed the next morning with none of those questions answered, but feeling far too happy and satisfied with himself to care. All he knew was that Lassiter was incredible – he'd known just when to be gentle and just when to be rough and, if Shawn's imagination wasn't playing tricks on him, Lassiter had definitely cried a little bit afterwards.
Speaking of Lassie-face. Shawn looked over at Lassiter's side of the bed only to find it empty. Shawn rolled his eyes. Of course. One night, and he gets so scared he leaves. He's probably out looking for a job and an apartment in a new city, then going to a plastic surgeon who can make him look like a Russian fisherman. Anything to avoid the chance of me finding him again. Shawn sighed. If he was going to be abandoned, he was at least getting a free breakfast out of it. As he made his way out to the kitchen, he heard Lassiter's voice from the bathroom.
He was singing again, Shawn knew that, but he couldn't tell quite what over the sound of the running shower. He pressed his ear to the door.
"Mele kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day, that's the island greeting that we send to you from the land where palm trees sway…"
Shawn grinned. He'd never heard Lassiter sounding so happy. He grabbed his phone (Lassiter must have charged it for him before he woke up) and sent the detective a text with the words he'd felt too shy to say.
Merry Xmas Lassie. :] Love, Shawn.
A/N: Finally, I've written a Shassie Christmas fic that actually went somewhere! :D Remember – reviews are the best gift of all. Happy holidays!