Head Detective Carlton Lassiter was used to being alone in the Santa Barbara police station – he was often the first to arrive and the last to leave – but it wasn't often that he was naked in the building. He'd accidentally discharged his gun into the floor of his apartment while aiming for a squirrel, rupturing a water main and causing the plumbing to be shut down for a week or two.
Luckily, the police station had a bathroom in the basement equipped with a couple of showers. Technically, they were only to be used if you got sprayed with blood or vomited on by a drunkard, but Lassiter was even more of a stickler for hygiene than he was for rules, and it had already been two and a half days since his last shower. Besides, he was the Head Detective. What was going to happen, he was going to get suspended from duty just for using the showers without a completely legitimate reason?
He rinsed the shampoo out of his hair and picked up his body wash. He was aware that it smelled kind of feminine – like citrus fruit, fir trees, and coconuts – but Lassiter was a sucker for anything that smelled like coconuts. Anyway, the body wash was called Burt's Bees Body Wash for Men; it couldn't be that effeminate if it had 'for Men' right there in the title... right?
He rubbed the fragrant liquid into his arm and started to hum. Sam Cooke's "Cupid" had played on the radio station he'd been listening to on the way to work, and while soul music wasn't usually his thing, he couldn't deny that it was a catchy song. He couldn't help but start to sing, albeit in a very quiet, very breathy voice.
"Cupid, draw back your bow… and let your arrow go… straight to my lover's heart for me… for me…"
He squeezed a bit more body wash out of the bottle and unconsciously raised his voice a little. "Cupid, please hear my cry… and let your arrow fly…" He was unintentionally singing pretty loudly now. "Straight to my lover's heart for me…" He straightened up and sang out at the top of his lungs: "For meee!"
A giggle rang out, echoing loudly against the tiled walls and floor. Instinctively, Lassiter reached for his gun before remembering he was in the shower and wasn't armed. Damn it. He'd have to start wearing that waterproof holster again, regardless of what his therapist thought.
He stood still and held his breath, listening hard but hearing nothing. Eventually, he resumed normal shower activity, but he didn't let himself finish the song.
A couple of minutes later, Lassiter turned off the shower and reached for his towel. He was just about done drying himself off when he heard footsteps.
"Hello?" he yelled. "Who is that?" No answer. "Who's there?" Again, no answer.
Lassiter frowned. If he hadn't been naked, he would've chased the spy down as if he - or she, he supposed - was an escaped serial killer. Alas, he wasn't wearing clothes, even though it was late enough now that people would be arriving at the police station within minutes. Lassiter supposed this was one mystery that would have to go unsolved. He had real work to do.
Lassiter let his eyes flutter shut, hoping that when he reopened them, there wouldn't be a psychic in sight. He opened them. No such luck. "Spencer, what're you doing here? You haven't been hired for a case in weeks. I've made sure of it."
"Well, good afternoon to you, too, Lieutenant Lassiter. Way to make me feel welcome."
"You aren't welcome here, and I'm not a lieutenant." Yet.
"Yes, but the alliteration is so much more pleasant than Head Detective. I'll call you that when you change your name to Hassiter. Or Dassiter. Or you could hyphenate the two: Hassiter-Dassiter."
Lassiter gritted his teeth and imagined a world where Shawn Spencer didn't exist. What a wonderful world that would be.
"Come on, Lassie, don't ignore me. The silent treatment only makes me more annoying. You're a detective; you should've caught on by now."
True to his word, Shawn walked over to Lassiter's desk and began fiddling with a gun-shaped paperweight that was more expensive than it looked. Lassiter grabbed it out of Shawn's hands, placed it in a drawer, and returned to his computer. He was just beginning to enjoy the silence – however fleeting he knew it would be – when Shawn started to hum a very familiar tune.
Lassiter froze. After waiting a couple of seconds to verify that his ears weren't playing tricks on him, that Spencer really was humming the same song Lassiter had been singing that morning in the shower, he stood up - very slowly, so he didn't lose control and do something like wrap his hands around Spencer's neck – until he was face-to-face with the singing psychic.
"Where did you hear that song?" Lassiter asked in a voice so low and hostile that it was practically a snarl.
Shawn looked nonplussed by the aggression in Lassiter's tone. "It came to me in a vision this morning. I was in the shower, getting ready to wash my wenus –"
Lassie held up a hand. "I don't know what kind of sick game you're playing, Spencer, but I don't want to hear about you washing yourself. Especially not… that part of yourself."
"It's the medical term for elbow, silly. Don't get your tighty-white panties in a bunch." Lassiter opened his mouth to protest that he was neither twelve years old nor female and accordingly wore neither tighty-whities nor panties, thank you very much, but Shawn continued his story without missing a beat and, as per usual, Lassiter couldn't get a word in edgewise.
"Anyway, I reached for the bar of soap I use to wash my wenus, and it started singing Sam Cooke to me. It did a little jig, too. It's Irish Springs soap, so it was nice to see it getting in touch with its heritage. It was cute. Too bad you missed it. You would've liked it, being all Irish yourself, you lanky leprechaun, you."
Lassiter narrowed his eyes suspiciously and decided the only way to respond to what Shawn had just said was to ignore the majority of it. "Where were you showering?"
Shawn raised an immaculately-groomed eyebrow. "Why? Trying to lay the landscape for daydreaming about me in the shower? I'm not shy, Lassie. Next time, join me! Showers can get kind boring sometimes, just me and my rubber ducks, Hall and Oates. Plus, showering with a friend is a great way to conserve water. Talk about killing two turds with one stone!"
"One: we're not friends. Two: the expression is killing two birds with one stone. And three: just answer the question," Lassiter growled. With every second that passed, his head was starting to throb harder and harder, and he was getting closer and closer to throttling the incredibly frustrating manchild standing before him.
"One: We are friends, Lassie. We are BFTPGEs – Best Friends 'Til Pineapples Go Extinct. Two: You kill birds with stones? I'm surprised. I would think with your avian features, you'd be kinder to animals with such similar bone structure. And C: I… I don't even remember what you were asking. It must not have been a very fun question."
Lassiter clenched his fists tightly to refrain from committing a murder in the middle of the police station. "Were you or were you not in the station showers this morning?"
"No, but…" Suddenly, Shawn's eyes squeezed shut and his right hand flew to his forehead. "I'm having a vision!" he shouted. Lassiter rolled his eyes and relaxed his fists. He'd been present for enough of Shawn's so-called visions that he knew there was pretty much no way to stop them, short of shooting the so-called psychic in the leg. Or the wenus.
Shawn's left hand extended up above his head and his right hand moved from his temple to his armpit, moving about in circular motions as if he was washing it. "It's you! You're in the shower, one of the station showers! It's steamy. You're wet and naked –"
"Spencer!" Lassie barked, loudly and with enough force in his voice that the people at the surrounding desks who'd previously been watching Shawn pretend to shower now shifted their gaze to him. Lassiter glared at them until they looked away. He fought the red rushing to his cheeks. Even he didn't like to think about himself naked, let alone have other people – especially his coworkers and Shawn Spencer – be thinking about it.
Shawn began to sniff the air, his large nostrils quivering dramatically. "I smell… oranges and patchouli and coconut and… is that Christmas trees? Yes, it is! It's Burt's Bees Body Wash for Men!"
Lassiter struggled to keep his jaw from dropping. "How –?"
Predictably, Shawn ignored him and instead began tapping his feet. "You're alone. It's early, so early that no one else is at the station yet. Why are you awake at the crack of dawn? What time do you got to bed, seven?"
Lassiter frowned. "I like to watch the sunrise."
"You start to hum. And then… you start to sing."
What happened next happened so quickly that Lassiter didn't have time to properly react. Shawn lunged forward, slipped one hand around Lassiter's waist, placed the other on Lassiter's shoulder, and began to prance around the office while singing "Cupid" at the top of his lungs.
"Cupid, draw back your bow! And let your arrow go… straight to my lover's heart, for me… for me…"
Eventually, Lassiter recovered from the shock of being forced into an impromptu, same-sex foxtrot and promptly extricated himself from Shawn's wandering hands. "SPENCER!" he bellowed. "Hands off!"
Shawn inhaled sharply and opened his eyes. He let his hands fall to his waist. "Way to go, Lassie. I was singing like a star before you chased away the musical spirits. I'm gonna call you Limon Cowellter from now on."
"I don't care what you call me, as long as you never touch me like that again," Lassiter snapped, adjusting the front of his suit.
"Can I call you Margaret?"
"No," Lassiter said flatly. He glanced at the clock on his desk. "You have now wasted ten minutes of precious police time, not to mention sexually harassed a police officer. It's time for you to leave."
Shawn rolled his eyes. "Oh, please. I barely touched your butt."
"No one touches my butt," said Lassiter threateningly, before realizing what he'd said.
Shawn regarded Lassiter for a moment, the corners of his lips twitching upwards. "I don't really know what to say to that," he said, finally breaking the brief silence. "This is almost as good as that time you told me you don't have balls."
"Well, call The Santa Barbara News-Press. I've rendered Shawn Spencer speechless," Lassiter called out, sarcasm dripping from every word.
"This isn't as shocking as finding out you sing in the shower! You're one of the least singiest people I know, behind my dad and Stephen Hawking."
"You know Stephen Hawking?" Lassiter asked skeptically, immediately wishing he hadn't. That was his number one mistake when conversing - well, arguing - with Shawn: speaking without thinking. It was a fatal mistake. The man could go on for hours.
Shawn sighed, as if he'd told the story a million times. Lassiter had to wonder how many times Stephen Hawking came up in casual conversation. "We met on a sub-orbital spaceflight. Stevie rolled over my foot with his wheelchair, he didn't apologize, we fought for a while, but we made up eventually. I couldn't stay mad at him for long. I've always wanted to be friends with a robot."
"Dr. Hawking's not a robot. He uses a voice synthesizer because he's got Lou Gehrig's disease!"
"What, he left The Velvet Underground and went on to record a bunch of super-lame soft rock songs?"
"Lou Gehrig's disease, not Lou Reed! It's a form of sclerosis!" Lassiter barked.
"Dude, say it, don't spray it," Shawn said, swiping at a tiny molecule of saliva on his cheek with his pinky finger. "Although I like that you know who Lou Reed is." He tapped his pinky against Lassiter's nose and grinned. "Are you my 'Pale Blue Eyes'?"
That was it. What little patience Lassiter had left had run out. "Leave," he demanded, pointing towards the door.
"Say the magic word."
"That's not it. Here's a hint: it starts with the same letter as my favorite fruit."
Lassiter had had enough. He reached for his Glock, fully intending to pistol whip the heck out of Shawn's head until his precious hair was ruined beyond repair. Shawn's eyes followed Lassiter's hand and guessed their final destination. Within seconds, he was backing away and scrambling for the exit. "See you later, Lassigator!" he called over his shoulder as he speed-walked out of the station.
Lassiter breathed hard as he watched Shawn leave, waiting for a few moments until he could be sure that the psychic wasn't going to pop back in and start his shenanigans all over again. His heart beating loudly against the inside of his chest, Lassiter sat back down at his desk and placed his hands on the keyboard. But by now, his mind was running wild, filling itself with images of Spencer prancing around and singing and… showering? Water was running over Shawn's smooth, tan chest, steam blossoming around him like a halo, making him hot, sticky, sweaty…
Lassiter cleared his throat and realized he was blushing. What the…? No. He swallowed his daydream and turned his attention back to the computer. He wouldn't let Shawn win. He couldn't. The only reason he was thinking about Shawn and showers in the same thought was because of Shawn's peeping-eye activities this morning. Yes, that was it. That was the only explanation.
… Wasn't it?