Author's note: I've got no beta so pleeease forgive me for any mistakes or general crappiness! Any feedback or insight is highly appreciated :)
For the fourth night in a row Carlton had woken up sweaty and disoriented from an all too familiar, disturbing dream. He rolled onto his back, wiping the sweat from his forehead, looking at the clock. Noticing that it was too early to wake up on his day off, but knowing that he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, he decided to lie about for a moment before getting out of bed.
His thoughts drifted to the dream he'd just woken from. The guest star of these dreams wasn't the typical drug lord or mass murderer, but a co-worker. A male co-worker. One that Carlton could hardly stand when he was awake. Apparently when he was asleep, he felt differently.
When he was asleep, his feelings of annoyance and competition were turned into lust and pent-up sexual tension. Instead of wanting to punch him, Carlton found himself wanting to touch him. Everywhere. He wanted to handcuff him for entirely different reasons than in waking life.
Carlton was jolted from his impure thoughts as his phone buzzed on the bedside table. The caller ID read Shawn Spencer's name and he debated not answering. Speak of the devil... He flipped him phone open, reasoning that the only reason that Spencer would be awake so early must be serious, so he should probably answer.
"What is it, Spencer?" He sounded mildly more annoyed than he should have been, considering that he was already awake, but Shawn didn't know that.
"Morning, Lassieface! Listen, I'm calling in that favour you owe me..." Before Shawn could blabber on, Carlton interrupted him.
"I don't owe you any favours, Spencer. What do you want?" He snapped, wanting to be done hearing Shawn's voice as soon as possible. He also didn't want to read too much into the prominent slur he could hear.
"Oh, you will... Anyway, I had a rough night and long story short, I've got very little clothing on, no wallet or keys and I'm not entirely sure where I am. I need a ride."
Carlton pinched the bridge of his nose, not entirely comfortable with the mental image that Shawn's story was bringing up. "And why would you call me, of all people?"
Shawn made a small noise as if to signify that he was thinking. "I was going to think of something witty, but it's just not happening right now. Rain check on that one, buddy. Really, it's probably because you're the first number on my list."
Carlton shrugged to himself, only a little taken aback. "Really?" Sounding more hopeful than he had meant, he mentally slapped himself.
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure I was drunk when I put your number in, so it has that little star symbol in front of it. What's that called? An asteroid?"
"It's called an asterisk."
"I've heard it both ways. Anyway, so, are you up for the challenge? If it's not exciting enough for you, we can raise the stakes. I can get rid of the rest of the clothing I do have and we'll see if you can find me before I get abducted by a trucker. Sound good?"
He sighed, knowing that he had nothing better to do at four in the morning, he began getting dressed. "Fine. Where exactly are you?"
He could hear Shawn sigh in relief, as if he thought that Carlton would hang up on him or tell him to walk. "Yeah, about that.. I don't have an address and words are all kind of wooshy right now. It's a few blocks southeast of the place the crazy cat lady lived when we were working the Cooper case a few months ago."
"What? Shawn, that's almost an hour away from my house! What are you doing near the crazy cat lady's anyway? And what do you mean 'wooshy'?" Despite his annoyance at the distance, he didn't slow down in getting ready to leave.
"I was having a few drinks down the street until I got kicked out. I started walking and it was the only area that looked familiar so I just went with it." Carlton could practically hear Shawn shrugging with indifference.
"I'll be at the old gas station down the street in twenty minutes. You remember where it is?"
"Mhmm, I'll wait there."
"I'd pinky swear you, but I don't think I need to point out the obvious problem we would have with that right now."
When Carlton pulled up to the condemned building, Shawn was nowhere to be found. Drawing his gun and flashlight, he carefully began to walk around the outside of the parking lot. He froze when he heard a rustling from behind the building.
"It's just me, Lassie." Shawn stumbled out from behind the building with his hands in the air in a 'don't shoot me' gesture.
"Jesus, Spencer, what are you doing back there? You almost got shot." Carlton huffed as he put his gun away, but kept his light fixed on Shawn's face.
Shawn blocked the light with his hands and frowned. "Hiding so as not get abducted by truckers. Not that I thought you'd lose the challenge, but really, it didn't seem worth the risk for me."
Ignoring him, Carlton beat him to the car and stared out from the driver's seat as Shawn sloppily made his way into view. With the headlights fully on him, the detective noticed that the psychic wasn't lying about his lack of clothing and belongings. He groaned one last time before Shawn made it inside the car. He was going to regret this, he just knew it.
"Do I even want to ask where your clothes are?" Lassiter regretted the question as soon as it was out of his mouth. He was also already regretting the nice, long look he got of Shawn in nothing but his boxers and a very fitted, white undershirt as he approached the car a moment ago.
Shawn tried to cover his melancholy expression with a sheepish grin, and if it were anyone other than Lassiter, looking any less closely than him, it probably would have passed as genuine drunken silliness. "Let's just say that I thought I was going home with someone single and I was more wrong about that than the time I thought you could actually bake cakes with a light bulb."
Carlton winced and made a sympathetic face, trying equally as hard as Shawn to hide his true expression — Jealously. "Sounds rough. Some guy come home and try to kill you?" It would serve him right...
Shawn snickered, amused by the detective's assumption. "More like a really manly woman. Hmm... How do I describe her? Think... Think about the woman in fingerprinting." He rolled his head along the back of the seat, looking lazily over at the driver.
"Actually, that's a man."
After a few moments of awkward silence, Lassiter had a revelation. "Wait, you went home with a woman that has a girlfriend?"
Shawn looked over at the detective again, amused once more by his incorrect assumption. "Nope." He let out an unmanly chuckle and left his answer vague and short, partially to see how long it would take for him to figure it all out and partially because he was worried about telling the truth out loud in front of Lassiter, even drunk and slightly uninhibited.
The detective's brows furrowed for a few minutes, trying to work out in his head how exactly anything Shawn said could possibly make sense. It only makes sense if he went home with a man...There's no way... Well, I guess it is possible, but... No! Don't get your hopes up, just because you want him to like guys doesn't mean it's going to magically happen. If anything, he's just toying with you.
"Don't hurt yourself trying to think too hard, Lassie. I went home with a man." He fought through the drunken haze to watch Carlton's reaction to his admission. He then groaned to himself, thinking about it too much. "A straight man..."
Shawn wasn't sure if he felt more stupid for admitting to Lassiter that he went home with a guy or that he had admitted it to Lassiter, the straight guy that he's been in love with for over a year. As the gears turned in the detective's head, Shawn closed his eyes. The conversation ahead might be less weird if he just pretended to sleep until they got to his apartment.
"Well, up until getting your ass kicked by a woman, how was your night?" Carlton blurted out awkwardly, not sure what else to say, but having too much going through his mind not to say anything.
"Lassie, I just told you that I went home to have drunken, rambunctious sex with a man and you come back with 'how was your night?'. Really?" Shawn was thrown completely off by the off the wall question.
"Actually, you hadn't mentioned rambunctious sex until just now, but even if you had, that probably would have still been my response. What's wrong with that, anyway?"
"Well, first off, I figured you'd be at least a little weirded out by the fact that I like guys considering how straight-laced you are. Secondly, she didn't kick my ass, she just threw me out and kept all of my stuff..." Shawn pouted at the loss of his favourite pair of shoes and the buy-one-get-one-free coupon for The Pancake Barn that was in his wallet. He and Gus were going there for dinner tomorrow night and now he would actually have to pay.
"Oh, please, Spencer. I've had suspicions about you for a while. I am a detective, you know. I get paid to figure things out." Carlton huffed, insulted that Shawn thought he could get the slip on him, even though he'd had no idea bout Shawn's orientation.
"Riiight, is that why your eyes got all big and wide when I said I went home with a man? You had no clue, admit it!" Shawn teased, glad that the older man hadn't known and was still taking it quite well. He maybe even looked a little happy?
Carlton smiled just barely, a huge sense of relief coming over him, knowing that maybe Spencer wasn't as far out of his reach as he'd thought. "You're right." That was definitely the first time he'd said those words to the psychic without it stinging. "I didn't know, but it doesn't surprise me. You seem like the type that would fall in love with a person for who they are, not what they are. I respect that a lot."
Shawn sat, staring across the car, not knowing what to say. Normally, when Lassiter talked about him, there was a snide tone, underlined with bitterness, even when he was trying to be nice. It made him more than happy knowing that Lassiter secretly respected his character, maybe even admired it a little. "Thanks." He smiled lazily, feeling more drunk by the minute.
Lassiter looked over to the passenger and their eyes met. "You're welcome."
Shawn smiled to himself, closing his eyes again. We totally just had a moment. Now I'm really getting tired...
Shawn woke up to a soft tap on the shoulder, signaling that they had arrived home and he was getting kicked out for the second time tonight. Before he knew what was happening, his door was opened and Lassiter was leaning in, tapping him again to wake up and get out.
His arm was slung over the detective's shoulder as he got out, obviously needing the help. It seemed like the nap he took had only made him more drunk and uncoordinated instead of sobering him up. "Wait just a minute, I may be drunk, but I'm pretty sure this isn't my apartment, Lassie." He slurred, leaning his nose into he colleague's neck as he spoke.
Carlton inhaled deeply, trying to concentrate on walking the both of them up his front stairs instead of the hot breath on his neck and the warmth of Shawn's body against his in a way he never thought that he would know. "Ding ding, we have a winner. You don't have your keys, so you're staying at my place tonight. You can get your spare from Guster tomorrow." He opened the front door, tossing his keys on the table just inside.
"Riiiiight, gotcha. You're so smart, Lassie." Shawn smiled, losing all inhibition at the pinnacle of his drunkenness. "And sexy. You're very, very sexy, Lassie." Shawn giggled, grabbing onto him tighter as they swayed.
Carlton stopped dead in his tracks, having propped himself and Shawn against the wall to take their shoes off. "What?" His eyes were wide with confusion and a little bit of hope.
Shawn pushed off of the wall and turned to face Lassiter, still having to be held up partially. "Oh, like you don't know! Always walking around the station in your suit, with your gun, acting all authoritative." He made his point by running his hands along Lassiter's waist, inside his suit jacket. He closed his eyes and leaned his face dangerously close to the head detective's, sliding his hands up the leather holster and onto his chest. "Like you don't know how many people you drive crazy."
Lassiter also closed his eyes, feeling the warm air from the lips so close to his and the pressure of the hand on his chest, as the words coming from the psychic sunk in. Shawn thought he was sexy. Shawn was an inch away from his face.
Shawn moved his body closer, every bit of him touching the older man. He was half too tired to stand on his own and half overwhelmed with the need to be touched, to feel something. Carlton took another sharp breath as their bodies came into full contact. He brought his hand up to Shawn's neck and opened his eyes to find the young psychic staring at him. Looking into those eyes, he felt like he was getting drunk off of Shawn, intoxicated by the feel and smell of him. It was better than any dream he could ever imagine.
The psychic's eyes slid closed again and he leaned in, connecting the only part of them that wasn't already so. Lassiter couldn't keep his eyes open either as he felt the warm, wet touch of Shawn's lips on his. His hand tightened, forbidding the other man from backing away as all of his bottle up passion began to escape into the kiss.
Shawn's hands dug into Carlton's shirt as he felt the others tongue prodding its ways into his mouth, caressing his own. He moaned as the kiss deepened and pressed himself even tighter to the firm body of the man currently making him melt.
Lassiter tried to contain himself as he finally tasted what he had considered to be the forbidden fruit — Shawn. He was brought out of his haze by the strong taste of alcohol still on Shawn's breath, flooding his own senses. Before he could let go any further, he grasped at every ounce of self control he could find and separated himself from the other man.
He moved his other hand to Shawn's chest to support him as they moved apart. "Spencer. Shawn... I can't do this, I'm sorry." Shawn, not seeming the least bit deterred by what he was saying, moved in for another kiss, whining as he was pushed away again.
"Why not? I know you want to kiss me." He groaned, rubbing his nose against Lassiter's, their lips just barely touching. "Please, kiss me."
Carlton steadied himself, not sure he had the amount of willpower needed to turn down a ready and willing Shawn Spencer pleading for kisses. "You're right." For the second time tonight, he found himself saying that. "I do want to kiss you, more than anything, but not like this. Not when you're drunk and don't know what you're doing."
Shawn went for a low blow, grinding his half-erect lower half against the detective's. He smiled and moaned as they connected, feeling that he wasn't the only one currently excited.. "I'm pretty sure I still know what I'm doing."
The detective's knees would have given out in that moment if not for the wall. He bit his lip to keep from making an undignified noise. "Shawn, you know what I mean." He separated their faces once again and locked eyes with the brunette. "You need to go to sleep now. If you still want to kiss me when you wake up, then we'll talk."
Shawn nodded sullenly, allowing himself to be escorted to the couch. He settled in and before he knew it, he had blinked and Carlton was back to the couch with a blanket and pillow, tucking him in. As he fell asleep, he had a feeling that the hangover in the morning was going to be totally worth it.
Shawn kept his eyes closed as he woke up, covering his face with his hands. No matter what, he couldn't seem to keep the light out of his eyes. Finally giving up, he moved his hands and looked over to find Detective Lassiter staring at him quite seriously.
"Take these." He handed over a glass and a couple of pills, not even the slightest sense of amusement on his face.
Shawn was pretty sure that he'd kissed Lassiter last night and he was also pretty sure that he wasn't the only one that had liked it. Maybe he'd gotten it wrong in his drunkenness. Maybe he imagined Carlton being as excited as he was. He took the pills without question, not wanting to make the following rejection any worse than it was going to be.
"I need you to tell me everything you remember that happened last night, Shawn. Everything." He'd never seen the blue eyes so hard and calculating, completely devoid of any emotion.
He put his hands on his head as he sat up, fighting against the nausea he felt, only partially due to his hangover. "Look, whatever I did last night, I'm sorry. I get handsy when I get drunk, I know I crossed a line and it won't happen again. Can I please go back to sleep and we can both pretend it never happened?"
"I don't mean what happened here. Before that, I need to know everything that happened before that." He raised his voice, obviously losing his patience.
"Okay, okay... I went out to a bar, met a guy, hit it off and went back to his place. His wife came home before anything could happen and kicked me out. That's it." It worried him that he'd never seen this side of Carlton before. It was dangerous, almost feral and more than a little frightening.
"Is this the man you met?" He held up a picture of a man a few years older than Shawn with dark hair, light eyes and a charming smile. The Detective couldn't help noticing the resemblance as he stared at the image earlier.
"Yeah, that's him. Carlton, what's going on?" Even Shawn felt that the moment was too serious for nicknames and jokes. He sensed that something was very wrong.
"His name is Mark Ledder, he was found dead by his housekeeper this morning. There were obvious signs of a struggle, your belongings were all over the scene and his wife is officially considered a missing person. I need every detail about what happened."