Disclaimer: psych isn't mine, and I probably shouldn't even claim this story

Rating: T

Summary: I went nuts; or, Lassiter after too many hours at work. Sort of a companion piece to my story Rumors.

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It was late.

Very late.

The bullpen was dark except for the lamp on Lassiter's desk, even though police stations are open 24/7 and there should have been at least a few other people around, but this is fiction, and that's how we roll around here.

It was so late that all-night diners were considering locking up, but they wouldn't, because they never do, because that's sort of the point of an all-night diner.

Lassiter had knocked back eighty-seven cups of coffee in the past eighteen hours, maybe twenty. Hours, not cups. He knew the difference between eighty-seven and twenty cups, and so did his bladder.

He was pretty alert, despite being completely exhausted. There was still work to be done.

But since he was finishing up paperwork on seventeen separate cases simultaneously, he may well have been a little over-caffeinated.

Then a woman said, "Carlton."

She said it like she knew him, which she probably did, since she'd used his first name, so he looked up at her.

But he didn't know her, and she wasn't wearing any police ID. Technically she shouldn't have been there at all; it's not like members of the public could just walk into the recesses of the police station, but again, refer to paragraph three.

The woman was willowy but a little short; her hair was red and blonde and sort of brunette (streaked) at the same time. She was beautiful but plain, down-to-earth but sexy. She wore a long black skirt and a Crimson Tide t-shirt, silver earrings with a gold necklace, watches on both wrists, and she carried a cane. She wasn't using it; she was just carrying it. One eye was green, and coincidentally, so was the other.

"Who are you?" he inquired, deciding it was best to quit studying her.

"I'm Mary Sue," she said, "from a small town in the Midwest. You don't remember me but you fathered my child."

He blinked. "I think I would remember fathering your child. When did this happen? I've been under the influence of a lot of mind-altering substances over the past year."

"He's thirty."

Lassiter looked her over again. "You're thirty."

"He was premature."

He began to consider the remote possibility that he'd had too much coffee. "Uh. Right. So?"

"So although you don't remember our torrid seven-week affair—yes, I can see that you don't; it's all right; thirty years was a while back—"

"We had a torrid affair when I was thirteen? Before you were born?"

"Don't interrupt," she admonished him. "I'm trying to forgive you for not remembering me."

"Thanks."

"Anyway, I wanted to come see you and confess I haven't been faithful. Also that I'm one of Shawn Spencer's twenty-eight sisters."

Lassiter stared at her. "Which one?"

Mary Sue calculated. "The nineteenth, I think."

Just then, Detective Gifford came into the bullpen and went to his desk. Picking up the phone, he punched in a number.

Lassiter, whose thought processes were under some duress right now, listened unabashedly, as did Mary Sue.

Gifford said to whomever he'd called, "I think it's the cabbage." There was a pause. "It's me—David. I think it's the cabbage." There was another pause. "For the rash! I think it's the cabbage!"

Then he hung up without another word and strode off.

Mary Sue sat down in the chair next to Lassiter's desk, crossing her legs gracefully. One of her shoes fell off. She was unconcerned.

"Henry Spencer has twenty-eight daughters?" he asked, re-focusing on their bizarre topic.

"Well, yes, but in his defense, his wife has alternately been good, evil, murdered, missing and yet there the whole time. Even when one of the daughters was really fathered by Gregory House."

"Who the hell is Gregory House?"

She waved that off. "The thing is, I feel the need to randomly come back into your life and disrupt it. I hope that's all right. Are you dating anyone?"

Before he could answer, Dobson came into the bullpen, walking through with new officer Miranda Wright. Miranda asked, "What makes a civilized healthy man who didn't just eat dirt or poison or hot mustard or sushi or bleu cheese need to spit in public?"

Dobson was unfazed. "Spitting is a manly art, a point of pride, and a bonding experience."

Miranda retorted, "Oh that's nice. Wonder if Hallmark makes a card for 'so you had your first spit!' Makes me misty just thinking about it."

The two walked down the hall and out of earshot.

Mary Sue looked at Lassiter. "Well?"

"No, not at all."

"I mean, are you dating anyone?"

He hedged. "Tell me again how I know you?"

She rolled her eyes. "Seven years ago, right after your separation, you and I met in Paris—Texas, that is—over a dead body, and—"

"I thought your son was thirty?"

"It comes and goes. Anyway, once you solved the case and caught the mime, we went up to Looneyville—still Texas—and spent three weeks making the beast with two backs."

"Wait. You said it was a seven-week affair."

"You know men aren't good with measurements. Now, are you having dinner with me or not?"

Lassiter looked around. "It doesn't seem so, unless Dobson comes back with a tray of food."

"Your eyes say yes." She leaned in closer and peered at him. "Such beautiful eyes. The bluest blue, the most cerulean depths, the azure of a sky just as the sun disappears, the ocean before a storm, the ocean during a storm, the ocean just after a storm, the ocean when there's no storm at all, the color of a life-guard's swim trunks when his day-glo orange ones are in the wash, the color of all the blues in a box of Crayola™ mashed together to the sound of harp music, the way a marmoset—"

"Hold it," he interrupted. "Harp music?"

"Really? I didn't think I'd make it past life-guard."

"I'm trying to think outside the box." He ran a hand through his hair. "What do you really want? I'm not rich enough to be worth hitting up for money, there's no way I fathered your child no matter how old he is, and I've never been to any Paris, let alone Looneyville, Texas."

"Crap," she muttered. "Okay, well, there's just this." She hooked the cane over one wrist, scooched her chair closer, cupped his face in her hands, and kissed him with enough intensity to make him imagine a trip to Looneyville with great pleasure.

Then, flinging him back against his chair, she got to her feet and pushed her long curly wavy streaky blonde red brunette hair over her shoulders.

"Okay," he said.

"Yep. See ya around, Carlton." She strolled away. She seemed to be listing to one side despite the cane, not that she was using it, but still.

Lassiter surveyed the empty bullpen. No more coffee for a while.

She came back, picked up her shoe nonchalantly, and strolled away again.

Yeah. No more coffee for a good long while.

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