Before we start, a few warnings:
Warnings: Contains a few original characters, which I know some people don't like. I find many original characters off-putting, but when done well, they can add to the story. In this case, Juliet needed some girlfriends, and frankly, I couldn't see Chief Vick hanging out with the gang outside of work, so I had to come up with a few people to make the premise of the story work.
Spoilers: Tiny one for the episode Feet Don't Kill Me Now. Also spoilers for the movies The Lost Boys and When a Stranger Calls. I thought I'd warn you, in case you care.
On with the fic…
"A slumber party, Spencer? Oh, no. No way."
"Oh come on, Lassie. I let you host your poker game once a month. I even won us a grand the first night alone."
"Yeah, which is why they've banned you from ever playing again."
"I can't help the fact that the guys all have obvious tells. At least I earned us enough for that big screen in the den, which was a big hit during the last Super Bowl by the way, which I ALSO let you host a party for. I even made the snacks."
"Your idea of 'snacks' is disturbing."
"Hey, Buzz loved my Peanut Butter and Habanero hot sauce sandwiches, and you have to admit, the Twizzlers dipped in nacho cheese sauce were a hit with everybody."
The detective looked down at his boyfriend with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. "You're right, they were good."
Shawn responded to that twinkle by grabbing the detective's tie and slowly pulling the taller man's face down toward his own. "Awe come on, LassieBear. Jules is YOUR partner. She needs our support right now. She's going through a tough break-up." Shawn punctuated his plea with a series of kisses along his boyfriend's jaw, and because he was willing to play dirty, he added a short nibble to the taller man's earlobe (a spot that he knew damn-well would make the hardened detective melt) while slipping a hand down his back slowly to his butt.
He knew his plan was working when the detective's hands flew up and gripped Shawn's biceps, his breathing hitched and labored. "Okay, fine. We can host a slumber party."
"Thanks, Carlton." Shawn pulled back so he could look into his boyfriend's eyes. They sparkled with an azure intensity which Shawn could read as easily as a stop sign. Of course, you wouldn't have to have Shawn's talent for observation to know exactly what Detective Lassiter was thinking. Anyone could tell by the bulge that was slowly growing at the front of his trousers, right where he was pressed into Shawn's hip.
"I'll go call Jules and tell her the good news!" Shawn spun around and made like he was going into the kitchen.
"Freeze!" the detective commanded in his most authoritative cop-voice, grabbing Shawn's shoulder before he had made it two steps, turning him, and pressing him into the nearest wall, the entire length of his own body pressed into the younger man's back. "You're coming with me," he roughly whispered in his ear, somehow pulling both of the psychic's hands behind his back and producing a pair of handcuffs from his own belt in one fluid movement. Shawn wasn't the only one willing to play dirty, and the detective happened to know a few tricks that would make Shawn melt.
And from the way that Shawn was already panting, the detective didn't think they were going to make it to the bedroom this time.
After affixing the psychic's hands in the cuffs he spun the man around, again pressing his weight into the other man's body, keeping him pinned to the wall. He kissed the man deeply while his hands made quick work of the button and fly on his jeans. When he had exposed what he was looking for he dropped to his knees and took the other man into his mouth, sucking and licking. It didn't take long for Shawn's pants to turn into moans and grunts that seemed to run like a current straight from Carlton's ears to his groin.
"Stop, ah…wait! Not…yet." Carlton's expert mouth was fast pushing Shawn over the edge, and Shawn didn't want that to happen yet. Despite the fact that it was Shawn wearing the handcuffs, the detective obeyed, pulling back and looking up at the younger man with an intense hunger than nearly sent Shawn over the edge again.
"Take the 'cuffs off," Shawn instructed, and again Carlton obeyed, grabbing the keys from his belt and reaching around Shawn's body to unlock them, pressing the side of his face into the other man's groin in the process. The pressure tore a growl from Shawn's throat, and as soon as one hand was released he launched himself at the detective, pushing him back and straddling his hips.
"You know what we haven't done in a while?" Shawn asked, slowly rocking himself against the older man, making sure they both stayed at a heightened state of arousal.
"Uuuuhhhwhat?" Carlton groaned, enjoying the friction of the other man on his lap, but needing more at the same time.
"Stay right where you are, don't move a muscle," Shawn commanded. It was a testament to how turned-on Carlton was that he didn't even consider disobeying Shawn, who disappeared into the kitchen and reappeared seconds later holding a bottle of organic olive oil. Just seeing the oil caused Carlton to let out a long, low groan.
"So," Shawn asked as he started to slowly strip out of his clothes, "Whose turn is it this time?"
Shawn's head rested in the crook of Carlton's arm. He was languidly running his fingers over the older man's sculpted chest, noting a few grey hairs there among the dark brown ones. And darn it if THAT wasn't one of the sexiest things he had seen that day. He smiled, subconsciously biting his lip.
"Maybe we should get a rug for the living room. This wood floor is really killing my knees."
"We don't do this out here that much." The detective kept his eyes closed as he spoke, relaxing and at ease with the weight of his boyfriend pressed up against the side of his body.
"I guess that's true, besides with that logic, we would have to carpet every room in the house."
The psychic sat up and rested his back against the nearest wall, totally indifferent to the fact that he was sitting on the floor of his living room wearing nothing but a pair of handcuffs hanging off of one wrist.
His boyfriend sat up too and moved beside him. "Not every room," he said, "We haven't had sex in the garage."
"Lassie, don't you remember last year after I took you for a ride on my motorcycle, and it started raining on our way home. You told me to keep the engine running because you liked the vibrations."
"Oh….yeah." They sat in silence for a few minutes, each lost in memories of hot, wet, motorcycle sex.
"Uh, Shawn? Do you think we could, ah…"
"I thought you would never ask."
The next day, in their down time between solving cases, Shawn settled the plans with Juliet for her to pick up her friends and bring them with her to Shawn and Carlton's house after work on Friday.
On Friday, Shawn didn't even bother going into the station, and instead brought Gus to pick up supplies.
"What are the crucial ingredients for a successful slumber party?"
"I wouldn't know, Shawn. You're the gay one. Which is totally unfair, by the way. You and Lassiter somehow dupe Juliet and a bunch of her single lady friends to come sleep with you at your house, and neither of you has any interest in doing anything with these ladies besides actually sleep."
"Oh, I assure you, GusGus, I have interest in way more than sleeping."
"Uh huh, right." Gus was obviously unconvinced.
"I do. For example, I've already picked up some pore reducing mud masks, a few slasher films and romantic comedies—plenty of John Hughes, of course—and a plethora of empty calories in the form of snack foods: Spray whipped cream, squeeze cheese, hummus, Maraschino Cherries, caviar, anything that comes in a can or jar, really. And of course, surfaces for it to be served on. Strawberries, crackers, chips, pita, popcorn, Gummis—the bears, not the worms—banana split ingredients. Juliet is bringing the supplies for Mani/Pedi's. What else do I need….?"
"It's totally unfair."
"That's a great idea!" Shawn said, grabbing his best friend's hand and dragging him to an isle at the back of the store. When they got to the isle, Gus groaned and again said, "Totally unfair," looking around at the products that surrounded them.
"Okay, what are you thinking, Margaritas, Daiquiris, Piña Coladas? Of course, I should also pick up some scotch for Lassie."
"Totally. Completely. Unfair."
"Oh, Gus. Don't be the bristle that sticks out to the side on an old tooth brush.*"
It was only after they had finished shopping, and Gus had reluctantly agreed to help Shawn bring the supplies home and start setting up that Shawn offered him a small glimmer of hope. "Jules actually mentioned that you should stop by at some point. She has a friend that she has been thinking of setting you up with."
"You KNOW that's what I'm talking about." Gus resumed his task of helping Shawn rearrange the furniture in the den and lay the thick Chenille Shag rug Shawn had just bought (to help soften the floor for the sleeping bags, Shawn said, but that didn't explain the look on his face as he ran his fingers through the soft, plush pile) a bit more enthusiastically now that he realized he would be the only guy even remotely interested in women attending a slumber party full of single ladies.
A little after five, Carlton got home. Shawn greeted him at the door, already wearing an old tee shirt, a new pair of baby blue pajama bottoms with rainbow colored stars all over them, and pink fuzzy slippers. "Hey, Carly. Welcome home." He leaned in to kiss his boyfriend, and then whispered in his ear, "Guess what I bought today."
"A pair of women's pajamas?"
"Yes! Aren't they great? I mean, look at my butt in them."
He turned around so that Carlton could see his butt, and was obliged when he turned back around to find that familiar twinkle in his boyfriend's eyes.
"I got you some pajamas too—Don't worry, yours are way more butch," he added quickly when it appeared that Carlton was about to protest. "But," he again moved in, pressing his body against his boyfriend's, "I also got a thick, soft rug for the den."
Carlton bent down and kissed him, finally laying his hands on that star-covered backside, and slowly pushing him backward toward the room in question. It was only as they entered the room, still locked together from mouth to groin, that Carlton heard a throat clearing.
The detective pulled his face away from his boyfriend's to find the source of the noise, but kept their lower bodies locked together firmly with his hands on Shawn's ass.
"Oh, Guster. YOU'RE here."
"It's nice to see you too, Carlton. I'm fine, thank you for asking. How are you?"
"Very funny," Carlton responded, giving Shawn one more lingering kiss before reluctantly pulling away. He proceeded to peel off his suit jacket and throw it over the back of his usual chair (a stylish but comfy brown leather one in which Shawn was rather fond of having sex) and plopping down. Gus was watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Shawn had gone back into the kitchen, and when a knock came at the door a few minutes later he poked his head back into the room. "Can you get that, LassieCheeks?"
Carlton was about to get up, but Gus beat him to the punch. "That will be the ladies! I'll let them in, Carlton. Sit, you've had a hard day at work."
He was about to settle back into the chair when Shawn interrupted his plans. "No way, cowboy," He said, grabbing him by the hand and pulling him upright. "No guns, badges and holsters here tonight. This is a strictly jammies-only zone for the duration of the evening. Go on up to the bedroom, I laid your new pajamas out on the bed for you." He turned him around and pushed him out the door.
"But Gus isn't wearing Pajamas…"
"Shawn, Carlton!" Juliet's voice stopped their procession toward the foot of the stairs, "Come meet everybody."
They turned back toward the door for introductions.
"This is Carlton Lassiter, and Shawn Spencer. Gus is Shawn's best friend," she pointed out, and one of the ladies nodded as if this cleared up a bit of confusion, but the others still looked confused. "These are my friends Maggie, Veronica, Susan, and Rachel." The ones introduced as Veronica, Susan, and Rachel were the ones who still seemed confused.
"Nice to meet you." Carlton offered them with a polite smile that Shawn could tell hid a slight discomfort.
"Come in and make yourselves at home. We'll give everyone the grand tour, but first, everyone into their pajamas." Shawn smiled his warmest smile at them all, before turning back toward Lassiter. "You too." He gave the detective a swat on the ass, and made his way back into the kitchen.
Carlton offered them all another uncomfortable looking smile, which came out as more of a grimace, before heading toward the stairs.
"There is a bathroom down the hall, first door on the left under the stairs. I'll show you the way." Gus offered the ladies his arm, which was immediately snatched up by Maggie. The other three stayed and turned toward Juliet, looking for clarification.
"The one with the guns hanging off his shoulders and the badge is your partner?" the one called Susan said.
"Yes, Carlton is my partner."
"Does he live here too?"
"This is his house, his and Shawn's."
"Are they all gay?" Rachel asked, sounding hopeful.
Juliet finally figured out what the confusion was.
"Carlton and Shawn are gay. This is their house. They have been together for almost three years now. Gus is not gay and does not live here. He has been Shawn's best friends since they were little."
"That tall drink of water with the gorgeous blue eyes is gay?" The one called Veronica spoke up, disappointment evident in her voice.
"Afraid so, Ronnie. Very much gay, and very much in love with Shawn."
"Damn!" She giggled, showing that she would get over the disappointment fast.
"His boyfriend too—Shawn—they make quite the hot couple." Susan added, sharing a giggle with Veronica.
"Do you think we'll get to see them kiss tonight?" They giggled again.
"So what you're saying is Gus likes women?" Rachel asked over the giggling, still sounding hopeful.
"Yes, Rache. Gus likes women. He is the one I was telling you about."
"Are they all cops?" Susan asked, still smiling about Carlton and Shawn.
"No, Carlton and I are the only cops. Shawn is a psychic detective. He has worked with us on many cases, though. Remember that news about the buried treasure we found, and the T-Rex? That was Shawn. He and Gus are co-owners of their detective firm."
"Is Gus Psychic too?" Rachel seemed very interested in Gus.
"No, he's not psychic."
"Then what does he do at the psychic detective firm?" Veronica seemed confused about this fact.
Juliet opened her mouth to speak, but only took a breath. She closed her mouth again, before saying, "You know, I don't know, but he seems pretty important to Shawn's process. He's also a rep for Central Coast Pharmaceuticals."
Just then, Carlton appeared at the head of the stairs. He had changed into a pair of black satin pajamas with little silver handcuffs on them, and a dark blue smoking jacket with velvet lapels. The whole effect reminded Juliet of a young Hugh Heffner.
"Ah, there! See? I told you yours were more butch." Shawn had emerged back from the door to the kitchen, and was watching appreciatively as Carlton made his way down toward them. They met at the base of the stairs, where Shawn immediately inserted himself in Carlton's arms.
"I do like the handcuffs."
"I thought you might. And the smoking jacket brings out your eyes." Shawn was rubbing his hands up and down the velvet lapels of Carlton's Jacket, and Carlton leaned down for a quick kiss.
"Thank you for not making me wear pink fuzzy slippers." Carlton whispered against Shawn's lips between kisses, though it was still loud enough that everyone else could hear him. He had black leather slippers on, which were lined with some sort of silvery grey fur. Susan and Veronica were giggling again.
"Awe!" Maggie, who was emerging from the bathroom wearing a purple nighty, had just joined them in the front room. "Juliet, you're so lucky you're friends with a couple like Carlton and Shawn. I wish I had gay friends, especially hot ones like these two."
One by one the women all went to change into their pajamas, while everyone else moved into the den, talking about what they all did for a living. Carton sat on his usual chair, with Shawn perched on one of the arms. Gus let the ladies have the couch, and he sat on the floor in front of it. When Juliet, the last one to change, finally came back to the room in white cotton pajamas with small pink roses on them, Shawn offered everyone a drink and took them on a tour of their house. After the tour finished, as everyone was headed back down into the den, Carlton pulled Shawn aside.
"I think I'm just going to stay up in the study and watch TV. I don't really relate to women all that well."
Shawn, who had noticed how stiff Carlton had been acting, but also knew how much his boyfriend tended to open up (and how touchy-feely he sometimes got) when he was tipsy, had anticipated a request like that. "Why don't you just come down, have a scotch and eat dinner with us before you do? Besides, you relate to Juliet just fine."
"That's different. She's my partner. She's a cop."
"I hate to point this out to you, big guy," Shawn said as he walked up to his boyfriend, pulling him down for a quick kiss, "but she's also a woman."
"But she isn't all giggly, and she doesn't call us hot."
"We are hot."
"Come on, Shawn, you know what I mean. We're gay. I spent most of the first 35 years of my life trying to pretend to be straight; I don't want to have to deal with that now."
"They don't want that either. You be as gay as you want to be around them. Believe me, they don't mind."
"But I don't think I'm the kind of 'gay' they're expecting. What possible interest could they have in me?"
"Be yourself, they're not expecting anything from you."
Carlton was quietly stewing. Shawn took pity on him and tried to offer an explanation. "You must have noticed how flirty I am with everyone, especially women."
"I had noticed that, yes."
"And you must have noticed how women respond to my flirting, as opposed to, like, when Gus does it."
"Guys like you and me are safe, Carlton. We don't want to get into their pants; we don't want anything from them. We offer them all the fun parts about hanging out with men, without any of the complications or consequences that come with heterosexual guys. Didn't you notice how Juliet changed after she found out about you and me?"
"Well, she started talking about her 'female issues' more often, and about her boyfriends, I guess."
"That was her relaxing. You'll see it again as soon as Gus leaves after dinner. The atmosphere will change. What you offer them is an incredibly sexy, smart, witty guy friend who they can act natural around without having to worry about 'mating rituals' or, god forbid, you misinterpreting their friendliness as sexual interest and them having to fend off a rape attempt. You can offer them that by totally being yourself. You offer them another aspect of safety too, even more than I do. You're a big tough cop; you are trained in firearm use and hand-to-hand combat techniques. If we went out drinking with them and some guy started harassing them, you could take care of him real quick. You don't need to feel the need to perform for them; exactly who you are is exactly what they'll love about you, just like I do."
He gave his boyfriend one last kiss and turned to make his way down into the den, knowing that his boyfriend was following him. "Okay, ladies!" He exclaimed as they entered, "What do we want for dinner tonight, pizza? Chinese? Thai?"
It was decided that they would order both pizza and Thai. By the time it came, Carlton and had opened-up slightly. He was still a bit quiet, but the crease between his eyebrows had disappeared, in any case, and he wasn't sitting as stiffly. They all ate in the den while Sixteen Candles played in the background, largely ignored as they talked. After dinner, Gus bid everyone farewell, having gotten Rachel's number with a promise to give her a call next week. Ever since Shawn had decided to be completely open about his sexuality, Gus had noticed an added benefit in his own life. Having a gay best friend tended to make him more popular with the ladies. They correctly took his comfortable relationship with Shawn (and more recently, Shawn's boyfriend) as a sign of his open-mindedness, a characteristic women seemed to respond to in an overwhelmingly positive way.
Shawn had been right. After Gus left there was a notable change in the ladies' demeanor. They did relax, both psychically and mentally. They were still incredibly flirty with both Shawn and Carlton, in fact, Gus's absence seemed to increase this aspect of their behavior, but even Carlton could feel the lightness, the lack of expectation, totally different than the small flirts they had shared with Gus. Paradoxically, they also seemed to enjoy any amount of banter or physical touching between the detective and the psychic, no matter how small. At one point, Shawn had set himself on the floor in front of Carlton's chair, leaning back into the taller man's legs and Carlton's hand had found its way to Shawn's head, where he subconsciously ran his fingers through Shawn's thick hair, making it stick up even more than it usually did. Carlton wasn't even aware that he was doing it until he noticed the ladies smiling at it.
After Gus left the conversation had also turned more personal, less about jobs and family, and more about dating.
"I don't know why you didn't drop that loser months ago. I never liked him." Veronica had said when the topic came back around to Juliet's recent break-up.
"Actually, I didn't either," Shawn had added.
"You see, you should have listened to the psychic," Susan winked at him.
Shawn and Carlton shared a smile. Shawn had told Carton the truth about his gift a while ago, before they had even gotten together. It was partially learning the truth about Shawn that had led to the detective's romantic interest in the man. Before that point, he had been physically attracted to Shawn; it was hard not to be, especially with all his attempts to rile the detective by flirting with him at every possible opportunity. But the knowledge that Shawn was lying to them kept any feelings deeper than a physical attraction at bay, and Shawn's flirtation remained just that.
At the time Shawn had no idea that Carlton swung that way, and had only been doing it to get under his skin. It was only after Carlton had learned the truth, and began getting to know the real Shawn, that the psychic had been shocked and elated to find that the sexy detective could be quite the flirt himself. They had danced around each other like that for months, their interactions becoming quite intense, before Carlton had finally made a move, actually launching himself at Shawn in an empty interrogation room where they had been having an argument over some aspect of a case, pressing him to the wall and kissing him. Juliet's voice had interrupted their kiss, as the speaker from the observation room on the other side of the two-way mirror crackled to life and filled the room with her exasperated voice. "It's about time!" Apparently their sexual tension had become quite obvious. Even the chief was relieved, saying that now everything could return to normal, that with the way things had been going, the likelihood of every combustible object in the precinct spontaneously bursting into flame whenever the two men were around each other was getting too high, and something about the department's inability to afford the extra fire insurance. She hadn't even chastised Carlton for kissing someone while at work.
Even after Shawn had admitted to them that he wasn't REALLY psychic, Juliet had still believed that he was. When he explained about his eidetic memory, and his penchant for inductive reasoning, she had said that he may not be able to see the future, but he could see the past and was usually pretty spot-on when guessing about the future, and that sounded like psychic to her. She was currently beating herself up for not listening when Shawn had mentioned that he didn't like Archie. "Well, I figured it out eventually. The break up wasn't even that hard, the problem has been his behavior in the two weeks since."
"Three." Shawn corrected her.
"No, it's only been two weeks, Shawn."
"Actually, it's been three," Carlton spoke up in support of his boyfriend. "Remember, we were working on the LaPaglia case at the time. I just presented at the preliminary hearing today. It was three weeks ago, three and a half, actually. Closer to four."
Juliet got very quiet, looking down into her lap. "What is today's date?" she asked.
"The twenty-third," Susan offered.
Juliet continued looking down in her lap. The others were starting to wonder about her sudden silence.
"Oh, my god," she finally said. "I might be pregnant." She finally looked up at them all, eyes wide in horror.
"What?" a few of her friends chorused.
"It's been three, almost four weeks…"
She got up off the floor and started pacing across Shawn and Carlton's den. "What am I going to do? I can't have that man's baby. I can't have a kid at all right now!"
"Wait, wait, wait! Hold up. Are you sure?" Shawn and Carlton had also risen.
"Yes, Shawn. The last time I had my period was two weeks before I broke up with Archie. I remember because we had been working that case at the butcher shop. The smell of raw meat always gets to me during my period."
"That was over a month ago," Carlton added.
"I'll go pick up a pregnancy test," Shawn offered.
"No," Carlton put his hand across his boyfriend's chest, stopping his progress. "You've been drinking. I'll go get it."
It wasn't until he had arrived at the store and was standing in the isle that held pregnancy tests (as well as condoms and lube) that he looked down and realized that he was still wearing pajamas, and it was only early evening. What made matters worse was that there were more brands of pregnancy tests than he had ever thought possible. He had no idea what kind to get, so just in case he grabbed one box of each.
He also didn't want it to look like he had gone to the store for just a pregnancy test, so as he made his way randomly through the store to the front he picked up a few other things he had bought there before. Of course, he was so worried about how a pregnancy would affect the life and career of his partner, his mind wasn't totally on the task. It was only as his cashier looked at him in alarm that he scanned his intended purchases with a critical eye. There were six boxes of pregnancy tests, leather polish, a bottle of gun oil, and a pack of bullets. He often stopped at this store on his way to and from work, and this was where he got his gun maintenance supplies. Trying to appease the look of horror on the cashier's face, he added a last minute pack of bubble gum. Somehow he didn't think it helped.
When he got home, he handed the bag to Juliet. "Is THIS what you bought? One box would do!" she sounded like she was holding back a laugh.
"What, I panicked!"
"Clearblue Easy Digital, First Response, e.p.t., Fact Plus, Aimstick, Vagisil…Carlton, this is a screening kit for yeast infections."
The women all laughed; they seemed to think the results of his excursion to the store were adorable. Shawn was just glad that Juliet was smiling, as she hadn't done so since she realized she might be pregnant. He was prepared to do anything to keep her distracted and happy.
"Well, which one should I use?"
"Use one of each," Susan suggested, "some are more sensitive than others."
"That seems like a lot of waste." Juliet was feeling guilty that Carlton had just spent close to a hundred dollars, not even counting the things he had bought for himself.
"No, use one of each, and we'll use up all the rest too," Shawn suggested. "Come on, everyone. A round of pregnancy tests on us."
They had fun, each taking their turn going into the bathroom to take a pregnancy test, even Shawn and Carlton.
"You want to use a Clearblue Easy Digital?"
"I'd rather have a First Response and an e.p.t."
"Okay wait, this one says to dip the strip. Do they mean in the toilet?"
"No, we'll need a cup."
"I'll get some shot glasses."
Carlton picked up the box of Vagisil, which no one had wanted to use yet. "I'll take one of these. What are the directions for this one?"
"Okay, Carly," Shawn picked up the insert from the box and scanned it for the directions. "You need to press the wand up against the inside of the labia or the vaginal wall for 5 seconds."
"Okay, I won't be using that one." The blushing detective slowly put the wand back down on the table. The women were now laughing quite uncontrollably. "Which one can I just pee on?"
"How about the Aimstick?"
"Yes, aim, that is something I can do."
When they were all done the sink, the back of the toilet, and the edge of the bath tub were all lined with pregnancy tests. Shawn was the last to go into the guest bathroom with his Fact Plus. There was no surface free for him to place the test on afterward, so he quickly opened up the mirror and stuck it behind. They set the timer, and while they waited, they started putting on mud masks. No one drank any alcohol, in deference to Juliet. Carlton refused a mud mask, but he did allow the women to attack him with a pedicure set. They were particularly delighted to find out that Carlton had ticklish feet.
"No, no polish. Not even blue."
"How about clear? It strengthens the nails."
"You know, weakness of the toenail has never really been a problem for me." He smiled down at Veronica as he spoke; making her wish, yet again, that he was not gay.
"If I met you at a bar I would never suspect that you were gay."
"Well, you would be wrong," he said, looking over her head to where Shawn was sitting, face covered in drying greenish brown slime and fingernails being painted what he had called 'a manly shade of black.'
"What's the most 'stereotypically gay' thing about you?" she asked.
"He gives the best blowjobs in the world!" Shawn exclaimed from across the room.
Shawn had looked up now too, he and Carlton locking eyes in a way that made the females in the room salivate.
"This is true," Carlton said, finally looking down at Veronica.
It took her a few seconds to recover. "You know what I mean, besides the sex with men part, what is 'gay' about you: secret obsession with Barbara Streisand, unusual skill in interior design, a fashion IQ of a thousand…?"
"There's nothing, really."
"Oh, don't let him fool you," Shawn offered, "There's plenty. For instance, the dancing."
"Oh!" Susan exclaimed, along with Veronica's wordless exclamation.
"Dancing?" Maggie couldn't even picture it.
"Yeah," Juliet added, "He even takes lessons. Tap. 'Been doing it for, what, four years now? He's pretty good."
"He's very good!" Shawn agreed.
"Tap dancing is not 'gay,'" Carlton protested.
"No offense, but it kinda is."
"If it is, then you're in trouble Rachel. Gus takes lessons at the same studio."
After a bit of hooting, and poking fun at Rachel, Veronica spoke again, "So, let's see some moves."
"I'll go get your shoes!" Shawn offered, and was out of the room before the detective had a chance to say 'no.'
Not that he would have refused. He would do anything he could to make Juliet smile just then. Plus, he loved to dance. He had surprised his teacher with the extent of his progress. She had called him a natural, but he figured it was just because he tended to practice when he needed clarity on a tough case, and he had had a lot of those over the years. When he started he was in the beginner class, which was full of children. Now he was in the highest level class, the same class Gus was in.
When Shawn returned, the detective put his shoes on while Shawn and the ladies moved the new rug and pulled the couch back to give Carlton optimum floor space. Then they piled on to the couch to watch.
Carlton started with a slower, shuffling step that had a good beat. Even without music, it was obviously soft jazz. As he went on, adding more turns and spins to the routine, the beat became faster. He started adding claps to the sound, then the occasional slap of a hand on a thigh or chest. The ladies all watched, spellbound. Even Juliet, who had seen Carlton dance many times at recitals over the years (and a few times at the station during a tough case) was blown away. When he was improvising, like he was now—dancing what he felt rather than going through the steps of a set routine, Carlton shone. Shawn watched transfixed as well. He had seen Carlton dance like this many times, and he always enjoyed every minute of it. It was rough, masculine, raw, and sexy. And if it was gay, it was exactly the kind of gay Shawn liked. Finally, Carlton began to move even faster and harder, slowly building up what John Lennon would call an "orgasm of sound," his stomping, slapping, and spinning hitting an apex. He finished with a series of turns, culminating with a jump upward that landed in a stomp as he hit the floor, like the punctuation at the end of a sentence. He stood there, panting, looking at the people piled on the couch in front of him, each of whom was breathless.
Before anyone had a chance to respond, the buzzer in the bathroom sounded.
"Oh, my god!" Juliet quickly launched herself from the couch. "I can't do this, I can't look."
Shawn had jumped up not long after Juliet. "No, Jules. You can do this. It'll be fine."
"Are you saying that as Shawn the psychic or Shawn the friend?"
Shawn let out a sigh. "Friend," he had to concede, pulling her into a hug.
"Hey, do you want me to go look for you?" Carlton asked.
"Yes, thank you! That would be great." He made his way out into the hall. The click of the metal plates on his shoes hitting the wood floors was the only sound to break the silence. No one seemed to be able to move. The time dragged on, though Carlton was probably only out of the room for a minute. He came back in with a huge grin on his face. "You're in the clear. Not a plus sign, double line, or 'pregnant' in the room!"
As a group, they all released the breath they had been holding since the buzzer sounded. Carlton, who was still standing in the doorway, flew toward Shawn and Juliet to hug her, and the other women were quick to join in the group hug. Juliet started tearing up, despite herself.
"I need a drink!" Carlton finally exclaimed.
"I couldn't have said it better myself!" Juliet concurred.
They all seemed to agree that the best way to celebrate would be to get tipsy. They pulled out Carlton's poker table, and all sat around it, playing poker and I've Never at the same time. The atmosphere was totally different than Carlton's poker nights with the guys, and he had to admit—he was enjoying himself.
"Okay, I've never had sex with a woman," Ronnie said.
Shawn, Carlton and Susan all took a drink. Every face in the room displayed varying degrees of surprise.
"Really, Susan?" This came as a big surprise to Juliet.
"Hey, I was in college. It was no big deal. I'm more interested in Shawn and Carlton taking a drink. What gives?"
"Hey, I was married once," Carlton offered.
"So are you guys actually bisexual?"
"No," Shawn answered. "I thought I was for a while. I always knew I was attracted to men, but I've usually gotten along better with women. Gus has been the only guy I've ever really been able to hold on to a relationship with. I thought that meant I was attracted to women too, but I realized I really prefer women as friends, and that I was just choosing the wrong type of guy to try to relate to. I'll raise two blue M&Ms and a cherry Starburst."
"Fold," Juliet said, dropping her cards to the table.
"So what's the right type of guy?" Susan asked.
The women laughed. Veronica spoke, "I'll call. What about you, Carlton?"
"Nope, I've always known I was gay. But being a crim major and going to the police academy with the stereotypical macho cop-wannabes beat it all down, literally sometimes. In the late 80's and early 90's in that atmosphere it was the closet or death. I chose the closet. I dated women to fit in. When my first serious girlfriend started asking why I never tried to have sex with her, I asked her to marry me. I used marriage as a safety net. No one is going to accuse you of being queer if you have a wife. When she left me, I started seeing my partner before O'Hara. I think I chose the most inappropriate woman to date, because I was sort of hoping people would find out. I needed the safety net back. I would have preferred being disciplined, possibly even losing my job, for dating a co-worker than anyone find out that I was gay. Those are the two women I've slept with."
"Really, Carlton?" This was news to Juliet. "I never knew it was only two women. A smart, handsome guy with a steady job like you? I'm surprised there weren't more."
"A smart, handsome guy with a steady job and absolutely no desire to sleep with a woman," he answered, "Raise a piece of licorice."
"Still, you must have been beating them off with a stick."
"The only women I meet in my life are cops, criminals, and victims."
"Red or black licorice?" Maggie asked.
"Uhh….red," Carlton answered.
"Call. What made you change your mind? You seem to be pretty open now."
"Honestly? Even though it wasn't 'closet or death' any more, I had been in there so long, the thought of coming out was scary. The closet had become comfortable." Carlton looked up at Shawn to finish speaking. "But then I met someone. And he was amazing, and brilliant, and sexy as hell. And a life without him in it seemed even scarier."
"Awwweeeee!" The women seemed to exclaim in unison.
Shawn just smiled shyly at his boyfriend.
"Get over there and kiss him!" Susan shoved against Shawn's shoulder. It was probably a testament to how much they had actually drank that Shawn obediently got up and straddled Carlton's legs, tilting the other man's face up with a hand on each cheek and kissing him thoroughly. Carlton merely wrapped his arms around Shawn's middle, kissing him back without even a hint of embarrassment. It was not exactly the kind of short kiss that was appropriate in front of guests you don't know well, but no one complained. Not meant to arouse (though it may have been having that slight effect on everyone in the room), but to convey deep feeling, the kiss was slow and tender.
Finally, as the men pulled away from each other, breathless and flushed, Susan spoke. "Hey, are you distracting us with your hotness on purpose? I can't help but notice Shawn is winning every hand."
"Hey wait, isn't Shawn Psychic?" Rachel asked.
"Oh, my god, we are so dumb"
"Fold!" A chorus and a thud went around the table as every woman slapped her cards down onto the green felt.
After playing a few more board games and drinking quite a bit more, they all settled down to watch a horror movie. Of course, more talking than actual watching was going on.
"What are you talking about? Sam's character is not gay; he's too young to have any interest in sex. The whole movie is a metaphor. Vampires threatening young adolescents…it is about the end of the carefree time right before puberty strikes. Why do you think it's called 'The Lost Boys'?"
"Okay Lassie, first off, what's with the undergraduate film studies deconstruction? You're reading WAAAAYY too much into the plot. The movie is seriously not that deep. And second off, Cory Haim was 15 when they filmed this movie. That is plenty old enough to be interested in sex. And third off…NOT GAY? Did you see that poster of Rob Lowe he had…IN HIS CLOSET, by the way? No heterosexual teenage boy would hang a poster with a half naked male actor striking that pose in his room. And what about his 'Born to Shop' shirt, or the song he sang in the bathtub?"
"I thought the whole movie was kinda gay." Veronica added.
"No kidding. Except for Star, the entire vampire clan was one big homosocial sausage fest."
"The real sexual tension was between David and Michael. David was looking for a companion, someone strong like he was, not like all the other vampires, who were mindless yes-men," Juliet added her two cents to the discussion.
"And he obviously had a thing for Jim Morrison; Michael was a spitting image of him," Carlton conceded.
"So you admit the movie is gay?" Shawn looked hopeful.
Carlton wasn't ready to give up just yet. "Spencer, it was the 80s, the height of consumerism. It was all waxed chests and pastel shirts, but interlaced with hyper- masculinity. It was so camp it almost became a mockery of itself. The whole decade was a cesspool of homoeroticism. It was like an ambient gay."
"Hey, wasn't the director gay?"
"He was, Susan! See, it makes perfect sense. With the 'ambient gay' of the 80s, and the gay director, our young hero was obviously queer as a two dollar bill."
"You mean a three dollar bill."
"I've heard it both ways."
After The Lost Boys they popped in When a Stranger Calls, each claiming an area on the floor to lay out their sleeping bags. Shawn and Carlton lay together on the couch. Before the babysitter found out that the call was coming from inside the house, everyone was asleep. They all woke up sore the next morning, deciding that 30 and 40 something was probably too old to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor. A little awkwardness ensued when Carlton woke with an erection. Thankfully, Shawn could feel his boyfriend's predicament pressed into the back of his thigh as he laid nestled back into the older man's chest. He distracted the ladies and brought everyone into the kitchen so Carlton could get up, get dressed, and deal with his problem. Of course, he had to shoot the detective a smile just as he left the room, making it very clear that he had felt it.
After breakfast the women had left, and Shawn and Carlton set to cleaning up everything from the night before. Shawn had gone into the bathroom to take out the trash, which was stuffed to the gills with pregnancy tests. He remembered that he had put his test behind the mirror because there had been no room. He figured Carlton wouldn't have checked behind the mirror as he was picking them all up and checking them the night before, and sure enough, when he opened it, his still lay where he had put it, perched right on top of a box of Band-Aids. He grabbed it to throw into the trash bag before he tied it to bring out, but as he did so, something caught his eye. On his test, clearly visible against the white paper, was an obvious dark pink plus sign. He stared at it for a whole minute, unable to think. Finally, he looked up into the mirror, placing a hand gently over his stomach.
"Uuuugggh, how did somebody manage to drip chocolate sauce on the UNDER side of my poker table?" As he heard his boyfriend enter the den behind him, Carlton turned to show Shawn the napkin he had been using to wipe up, but stopped in his tracks at the look on Shawn's face.
"What's wrong, Shawn?" It was only after he asked that he noticed Shawn was holding a pregnancy test. Shawn flipped it around so Carlton could see the front of it. "Oh my God, Juliet!"
He was already headed toward the kitchen to grab the phone when Shawn caught him by the wrist. He turned to find his boyfriend looking down, shaking his head. "It's not Juliet's."
"Then who-" his question was cut off in his throat when Shawn looked up at him.
After assurances that yes, I'm sure there wasn't another one behind the mirror; no, I didn't look behind the mirror when I checked them, and a half hour waiting on hold on the customer service for Fact Plus, Carlton was greeted with a chipper voice on the other end of the line.
"Hello, this is Kelly from customer service, howmayIhelpyou?"
"Hi, Kelly. My boyfriend peed on the stick and we have a pink line."
It took another ten minutes to assure her that she had heard him right, he had said boyfriend, and this wasn't a prank call. Finally, after explaining to her WHY a gay couple would even take pregnancy tests in the first place, and another few minutes waiting on hold while Kelly consulted her supervisor, they had an answer. False positives were known to appear on tests hours after they were taken about 5% of the time. It was uncommon, but not unheard of. Out of the more than 50 tests that currently sat in their bathroom, it was understandable that they would see at least one false positive after that length of time.
Carlton thanked Kelly and her supervisor, explained the situation to Shawn, and they both went back to cleaning. It was only after a half hour that he noticed Shawn was being unusually quiet, and wasn't quite acting like himself. He could swear Shawn seemed almost sad. "Are you alright?"
"What? Oh, yeah. I'm fine." His words were reassuring, but the way he said them was not. Still, Carlton continued cleaning with Shawn, until a thought struck him like lightning. It caught him so off guard, he dropped the glass he had been picking up off the floor, causing it to shatter into pieces at his feet.
"Oh my God! Are you okay, Lassy?"
The detective ignored the question, ignored the shards of glass around him; he turned and stepped over the pile, quickly crossing the room and pulling Shawn into a tight embrace, kissing him in a deep, toe-curling kiss that left Shawn dazed and lightheaded. He pulled back, but kept his blue eyes locked onto Shawn's hazel ones that always seemed to change color. "I love you, Shawn."
"I love you too, Lassie. But what's going on?"
"Let's have a baby."
"Uh, Carlton, despite our moment of confusion of a few minutes ago, I assure you, a man cannot get another man pregnant." Ignoring Shawn's actual reply, Carlton instead focused on the smile that flashed quickly across the shorter man's face after Carlton had said those words.
"I know that. Let's use a surrogate, or adopt. I want to be a daddy with you."
The smile slowly started creeping across Shawn's face again. "Are you serious?"
"Uh, I-I wouldn't even know how to start…"
"I've been looking into it a bit. The adoption process can take few years, so can finding a surrogate, and there are a lot of decisions we need to make first, but I know the first step I'd like to take." He finally pulled away from Shawn's embrace and dropped down on one knee.
"Shawn Spencer, will you marry me?"
Shawn was quick to drop down, meeting Carlton face to face. He barely got out the "Of course I will!" before his lips had again found their place against Carlton's. The kiss deepened, and soon the men melted together in a tangle of limbs, bodies moving together surrounded by piles of their shed clothing.
The broken glass lay across the room, forgotten and glittering in the Saturday morning sunlight.
* A disgusting amount of brainstorming went into this line. I came up with so many, I don't know if I picked the right one. I thought I'd share some of the alts: Don't be that grape that's way too sweet when you bite into it; Don't be the cake left out in the rain; Don't be a Heely with gum stuck in the wheel; Don't be a bowl of soggy Cocoa Puffs; Don't be a precariously stacked pile of oranges at the supermarket; Don't be a misspelled prison tattoo; Don't be the second gunman on the grassy knoll; Don't be a Lifetime movie about teenage pregnancy; Don't be an anagram of anagram; Don't be the bullfrog that says, "wise" in the Budwiser commercial; Don't be one of my dad's shirts; Don't be a German expressionistic art film; Don't be a badly tuned AM radio; Don't be a limerick that doesn't rhyme; Don't be the crusty white substance clogging an old sprinkler; Don't be the unintelligible lyrics to Louie Louie; and finally…Don't be the candy bar that gets stuck in the spiral of a vending machine (a reference to another Psych fic of mine, The One that Got Away).
** I found out while researching if my premise was even plausible that illnesses and diseases ranging from urinary tract infections to certain types of cancer can cause positive pregnancy test results in males, but I didn't include that here because that was a whole road I didn't want to go down. I'm too much of a romantic to write a story where Shawn gets testicular cancer. Hurt/Comfort can be fun, but I don't think I can write the amount of comfort needed to counteract that much hurt. On a positive note, I also found out that, indeed, a false positive can happen if you wait too long to read the results.