A/N Umm, hi, I'm Blue. *sheepish wave* Some may know me as the author of the unfinished Art of Potions series and are wondering why I'm posting another fic in another fandom. To you I say, for now I'm going where the muses take me. I haven't abandoned OFRI, I just need to find the inspiration again. We've grown apart. There's no spark anymore.
To all of you that don't care about that, this is my first fic in the Psych fandom. Yay! It's actually inspired by a dream I had, so I can quite literally say that Shassie is the stuff that dreams are made of *mrowr*
Title: It's a Smoothie Conspiracy! (of Pineapple Proportions)
Rating: T for teen
Summary: The unthinkable happens when Lassiter turns to Psych for help with a case.
Warnings: Eventual Shawn/Lassiter slash, some angsting, someone getting hurt, probably some OOCness, some butchering of medical facts. Oh, and some jumping around, timeline-wise
Lassiter could pick the exact moment when it happened. He could pinpoint the day, the hour- hell, he could probably figure out the minute if he sat down and thought about it long enough.
Lassiter knew when it happened. He also knew the why. The who was unmistakable. It was the what and the how that was really bothering him. It wasn't that he didn't know what was happening. He didn't know what it meant. And he didn't know how it had happened.
Carlton could picture the moment quite clearly in his mind as he had gone over it again and again since it had happened. The flash of the muzzle firing. The breath being knocked out of him as he was knocked to the floor. The pain of Spencer's shoulder digging into his solar plexus. The spreading, sticky warmth across his abdomen.
Carlton dropped his head in his hands and ran his fingers through his hair. For one terrifying moment, he'd thought it was his own blood. Then he discovered it wasn't, and Carlton could swear that his heart really did stop.
"Here, Carlton." His partner's familiar voice shook him out of his reverie. He looked up to see her standing in front of him, holding a cup of coffee out to him. She looked exhausted and the concern was clear on her face. That was only to be expected- she was very close to Spencer, especially considering the will-they-won't-they dance the two had been doing since their first meeting. After this, Carlton assumed it was only a matter of time before they got together. Nothing made people more anxious to form some kind of lasting bond than a near-death experience.
Assuming that Spencer pulled through.
Carlton accepted the cup she was holding. "Any word yet?" The comforting warmth of the coffee in his hands seemed wrong, somehow. Like he should be the one on a cold operating table, not drinking coffee.
O'Hara settled in next to him, sipping from her own cup. "They're still in surgery, but they've promised to let us know the moment anything changes." She grimaced at the coffee, but didn't put it down. "Gus was able to get in touch with Henry and they're on their way."
Oh god. Henry and Guster. Carlton didn't know how he could look them in the eye. The two people that Spencer loved most in the world, and now he could die because of someone who professed his hatred of the psychic on a daily basis. But he didn't say any of this to O'Hara. "Good," he said. "They should be here. They're his family."
But O'Hara must have seen through his words because she reached over and placed her hand on top of his own. "You can't blame yourself for this, Carlton."
"He's a civilian, O'Hara. As much as he likes to pretend otherwise, he's not one of us." Carlton could feel his anger building, but he wasn't quite sure who it was directed at: himself, O'Hara, the shooter, or Spencer himself. "I'm the one who should have taken a bullet for him, not the other way around. It's my duty to protect him, and I put him in harm's way. So yeah, I blame myself."
"Shawn knew the risks," O'Hara protested in what she clearly meant to be a soothing tone. Carlton found it grating. "He knew that there might be danger every time he was hired by the department-"
Carlton slammed his coffee down on the side table so hard that the hot liquid sloshed over the side and onto his hand. He barely registered the pain of the burn. "That's just the thing, isn't it?" he growled. "The department didn't hire him. The chief didn't hire him. I did."
Carlton couldn't sit anymore and have O'Hara keep giving him sympathetic eyes. He respected his partner; she was a good cop, and he'd grown to like and respect her. He didn't want to say or do anything that he might regret, and he might just if she kept looking at him like that. "I need to stretch my legs," he mumbled and strode out from the waiting area before she could say anything further.
He didn't go far beyond the waiting area. The hallway outside was quiet and nearly deserted, which wasn't really surprising considering the ungodly hour that they were there. A hospital never closed, but visiting hours were long over, and the staff consisted of only the graveyard shift. He leaned against the wall with a small sigh. Lassiter liked the quiet and the solitude, although he had to admit, that he'd had a little too much of both since he and Victoria separated. Spencer, with his annoying habit of running his mouth off with anything that happened to be in that pea-sized brain of his, was occasionally a refreshing change. Not all the time, but when Carlton found his apartment too big and too quiet, he didn't mind Spencer's fake-psychic crap too much. He closed his eyes. He would give almost anything for Spencer to burst into this quiet hallway with one of his loud, disruptive, oddly touchy "visions" right now.
"Juliet was right, you know. You can't blame yourself."
Carlton opened his eyes to see Guster standing in front of him, sipping a smoothie. Of all the things he expected from the quieter, slightly more mature half of the Psych duo, this wasn't really one of them. "Guster... Did you stop for snacks?"
"You know that's right." The man took a loud slurp. "Don't you look at me like that, Lassiter. I got one for Shawn, too. A pineapple one. Someone really needs to introduce that man to some new flavors."
Carlton wasn't sure he'd heard correctly. No scratch that; he was certain that he couldn't have heard correctly. There was denial and then there was bringing a smoothie to a man currently in surgery and likely to be for the next few hours. It was worse than behavior he would have expected from Spencer. "Guster..." he trailed off. What could he say? You do realize that your friend is knocking on death's door right now all because of me?
"You can stop looking at me like that, Detective. I know Shawn's not going to be able to drink it, but we had a two for one coupon that expires today, and I would never hear the end of it if I let it go to waste." He held out a paper bag."You might as well have it. Mr Spencer didn't want it, and Juliet's just going to complain that it will make her fat, and no one wants to hear that."
Almost in spite of himself, Carlton accepted the bag. He took out the plastic cup and sipped from the straw, the bright flavor that burst onto his tongue was one that he would associate with the psychic for the rest of his life. The cold was a pleasant jolt, doing more to wake him up than the cup of bad hospital coffee.
Guster was watching him closely. "There's one thing that you learn when you've known Shawn as long as I have: he'll do whatever he likes no matter what you do. He would have found a way to weasel in on this case whether you hired us or not. At least this way we'll get paid. You are going to pay us, right?"
Carlton felt some indignation at that statement- his best friend could be dying right now, and he was worried about money?- but one look at Guster's face told Carlton that he really couldn't care less about the fee. He was trying to make Carlton feel better. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Did he really look that bad? After all, he wasn't the one with a friend in surgery. "No worries, Guster. I always make good on my promises."
"Good. One less thing for me to worry about."
The two men stood in companionable silence for a few moments, the occasional slurp the only sound they were making.
"It was in his own best interest, you know," Guster said finally. "If you got shot, we'd all be dead. If he got shot, we all had the best possible chance of getting out of there alive. Even him. I know you think he's an idiot, but I guarantee you that's what he was thinking right before he pushed you out of the way. It was the only possible outcome where the three of us got out of there alive." He took another long sip of his smoothie. "I know what you're going to say Lassiter, and you're wrong. Shawn's not going to die. He can't until he's yelled at you for drinking his smoothie."
Carlton watched bemused as Guster sauntered back into the waiting area. I guess we all have our rituals, he thought, and then he looked at the smoothie in his hand. It really would piss Spencer off to find out that Calton had finished the smoothie Guster had bought for him. Spencer would never miss the chance to yell at someone for taking his food. And he was stubborn enough to fight his way back from death's door just for that purpose.
The smoothie suddenly tasted twice as good and Carlton felt the need to gulp it down.
"Dammit," he muttered suddenly, feeling pain shoot behind his eyeball. "Brain freeze." Spencer could even manage to give him a headache while unconscious. The thought inexplicably made him smile.
"Lassie!" Spencer was far too cheerful for someone who had very nearly died less than 24 hours ago. Carlton had expected the psychic to be groggy and unaware of his surroundings, or maybe even in obvious pain. He didn't expect to see Spencer sitting up, propped up by an obscene number of pillows that he must have charmed off of the nurses, looking pale and tired and a little bit drawn, but smiling brightly. "Look Gus, it's Lassie! Lassie came to see me."
"Yes," Guster said, shooting Carlton a knowing look. "Despite the fact that the nurses said you could only have one visitor at a time, and that only family was allowed to see you."
It was true. However, hospital staff had been known to make exceptions for police officers looking to question victims of gunshot wounds. Especially charming young victims that they had spent half the night trying to keep alive. Carlton had just left off the fact that, except for the customary investigation that happened to every officer that discharged their weapon, Shawn's case was closed. And even if Carlton hadn't done everything by the book, he would have absolutely nothing to fear from the investigation. Spencer might be a pain in the ass, but he was the SBPD's pain in the ass, and they took care of their own. "You're here, Guster," Carlton replied evenly. Guster shrugged his response.
"Gus's my brother," Spencer piped up. "My bro. My man-bro. My black man bro. My dome. My shiny, shiny dome." He reached out to pet Guster's aforementioned dome, but Guster batted his hand away.
"Shawn's on some pretty potent pain medication," Guster explained, after a brief, silent scuffle between the two. Spencer was pouting at not being allowed to stroke "his shiny."
"I can see that."
"It's all muddy. Murky," Spencer said suddenly, and Carlton could see a brief moment of seriousness in the psychic's eyes. He looked truly out of his element for the first time since Carlton had first met him. "I can't think straight. I-" But then the mischief was back. "The spirits are having trouble getting through the fog. But they did tell me one thing," he raised his fingers to his temple in an all-too familiar gesture, save for the pain that crossed his face, and the wince he couldn't quite hide. "You, Lassie," he pointed an imperious finger, "have committed a heinous crime. A crime so vile, so outrageous that they could do nothing but scream it into the night!" Spencer fixed his eyes on Carlton, and his gaze was unexpectedly intense considering his condition. "You, Head Detective Carlton Lassiter, you drank my smoothie."
Carlton had to fight down the smile that was threatening to appear on his lips to adopt his usual look of disdain when confronted with one of Spencer's "visions." "The spirits told you that, did they?" he asked, letting disbelief color his tone. "Not someone a little more solid and, oh I don't know, sitting right next to you?"
"Yes, it was the spirits. Because they also told me that you expect me to be appeased with strawberry kiwi." He held out his hands expectantly.
Okay, that was rather more impressive. Carlton surrendered the bag he was holding. "They didn't have pineapple," he explained, feeling a little defensive. How was he to know that the owner of the smoothie place by his apartment was allergic to pineapple? Wasn't pineapple a standard flavor for smoothies? Spencer certainly made it seem that way.
"Under normal circumstances, strawberry kiwi would be a perfectly acceptable substitution, but it will not make up for the smoothie you so viciously stole from me when I was in no shape to defend it." Spencer stuck a straw in the smoothie but made no move to drink it. "You are only half forgiven, Lassipants." His eyelids fluttered shut for a moment, and he opened them again with an effort that was clear to Carlton. "The spirits have stopped screaming."
Spencer was fading fast. He should have known that this miraculous recovery was just a show, just like everything else Spencer did. "I should get going. Paperwork."
Spencer's sleepy voice followed him out. "I expect pineapple next time, Lassie."
"Why can't you give that poor man a break?" Gus demanded after Lassiter had gone. "You should have seen him, Shawn. Lassiter blamed himself for what happened. He was wreck."
"Gus don't be..." Shawn closed his eyes. He couldn't think of what Gus was being. He had to concentrate hard to get past the fog of the pain killers. That much he had been telling the truth about. "Don't be the door knockers from the Labyrinth." Classic Henson never let you down. "Lassie doesn't want to be forgiven. Why else would he have not brought the one flavor he could be sure that I liked?"
"They didn't have pineapple. Do you think he lied about that?"
"No, Lassie's a lot of things, but never a liar." Shawn was having trouble focusing on Gus' almost inappropriately shiny head. "It's true that the smoothie place by Lassie's apartment doesn't carry pineapple, but this is Southern California; we have smoothie joints like Seattle has Starbucks. There's one on every corner."
Gus seemed to chew on that thought for a moment. "But why wouldn't Lassiter want to be forgiven? It's just a smoothie."
There were a bunch of goblins behind Gus performing "Dance Magic Dance." Shawn tried not to be distracted by them, despite the fact that he'd always wanted to squeeze a Muppet to see what it would feel like. "Because I won't blame him for putting my life at risk, and he hasn't forgiven himself about that. He wants me to be mad at him, even if it's just about a smoothie."
"Gus." Shawn interrupted firmly. "I don't want to go to the Bog of Eternal Stench."
Gus sighed and shook his head. "Annnd, we're done. Get some rest, Shawn. I'll be back tomorrow."
"Ponies," Shawn agreed sleepily.
Gus grabbed the smoothie before he left. "No sense in it going to waste," he muttered to himself, sparing a cautionary glance in Shawn's direction. The fact that Shawn had started snoring softly and was drooling a little bit seemed to satisfy him, and he sauntered out of the room drinking deeply from the cup. Strawberry kiwi just so happened to be one of his favorites.
A/N I just want to point out that each new scene will reprent a hop forward in time. Because this is the first chapter, it's the most cohesive in terms of the timeline, but I'm writing this story as if it were just little snapshots of their lives. Some scenes will only be a few minutes in the future, like the above. Some a few hours, a few days, maybe even a few weeks or months.
And I'm trying to be as vague as possible with anything medical so I don't screw it up too badly. ^_^