Disclaimer: Own nothing psych-ish, claim nothing psych-ish, know nothing in general.
Rating: T
Summary: A short little one-shot for my Contrived Lassiet series. The final scene of S4's Thrill Seekers & Hell Raisers contains the following exchange:

Shawn: Jules. Would you tell Gus it's normal for friends to discuss when they'd like to be eaten in the event of a tragic Alive-esque scenario?
Juliet: Ew!
Gus: Thank you.
Lassiter: Believe it or not, I'm with Spencer on this one. I would eat the three of you in the following order: O'Hara, Guster, then Spencer. I've also made a list of whose organs I'd prefer in the event I need a transplant, and I've planned for the contingency where I'm the last man on earth and I need to choose one person from the department with whom to procreate. [Everyone walks away rapidly.] Well don't worry, none of you made the list!

I call this one contrived primarily because it's just too ridiculous to think the following conversation would ever happen. (You know, more than my usual high-quality plausible stuff.) (*cough*)

. . . .

. . .

Lassiter was striding to his car at the end of a very long day when Juliet called his name from the station steps; her expression was made entirely of the frown and he wondered what he'd done now.

You know what you did. She wants to ask you why you're such a creepy idiot.

She could move pretty fast, so she was in front of him while he was still reviewing other possible offenses. "You. Me. Dinner. Talk."

He blinked at her. "Okay. Where?"

"Just drive," she barked, and got into his car.

He slid in beside her and started the engine. "El Cielo?"

"Fine. You're buying."

"Of course I am," he muttered, but on the upside, she obviously intended to let him live through dinner. (Unless she was planning to go through his wallet afterwards. Girl was practical, after all.)

However, they weren't even six blocks down the road before she turned her angry self to him and snapped, "Why would you eat me first? Is it because you think I'm weak? Expendable? Dead weight? What?"

"What? No," he protested.

"Then why? Because I know you don't have the audacity to think I can't handle myself in a survival scenario."

"Of course I don't think that! I mean, other than wearing those damned heels all the time you're just as likely to survive as any of the rest of us, if not more so!"

She ignored the remark about the heels; probably because they'd had that conversation several times already. "Then why?" she persisted hotly. "Why would you eat me first? I'm your partner. We're supposed to stick together, Carlton. We're supposed to kick ass and find our way out together and rescue the civilians in the process."

"Well, this is survival, O'Hara. Somebody's gonna get eaten. Who's your pick? Spencer? Guster? Me?"

Juliet paused. "Gus. He's a whiner. Maybe Shawn."

"Not me first?" he challenged. "On the grounds that I piss you off the most?"

"Of course not! You're my partner, remember I just said that a minute ago?" Her arms were tight across her chest. "I can't believe you."

"O'Hara, this is just stupid speculation!"

She turned again, almost out of the seatbelt (he was never so glad for its holding power). "You don't do anything casually, Carlton. You planned this out. You plan everything out. You have a reason for eating me first and I deserve to know why before you start salting my fingers and toes!"

"I've been trying to cut back on sodium," he mumbled.

"Carlton!" she snapped. "I am carrying a weapon and I will use it on you!"

"O'Hara—"

"Tell me!"

"Look, this is ridiculous—"

She shouted, "We survive together or we don't survive at all! Now tell me why you would eat me first!"

He shouted back, "Because I wouldn't want you to suffer like the rest of us! I care about you too much to watch you go through that!" He slammed on the brakes, bringing them to a skidding halt in front of El Cielo, startling an old lady walking a Pomeranian. She shook her wrinkly fist at them before stalking off. The dog peed on a hydrant to show solidarity.

Juliet was staring at him, and a wary glance into her dark-blue eyes made him think that somehow all the fight had gone out of her.

"Oh," she said very softly.

"Yeah." He got the car moving again, finding a parking space near the door, but now he was too wiped out to do anything other than shut the engine off and look at her wearily.

"Oh," she said again, gaze still fixed on him, but now a gentler puzzlement in the blue. "I didn't think of that."

"Obviously."

"I'm… I'm sorry."

He glanced at her. "For what? Not figuring out I give a damn?"

She went a little pink. "We don't always see what's in front of us."

"Guess not," he said dryly. "Still want dinner? Or do you want me to run you home so you can take an emetic or something?"

Juliet punched him in the arm, hard enough to make his eyes water. "You shut the hell up. You are buying me dinner."

"Suit yourself." He reached for the door handle, but she grabbed his other arm to hold him where he was. "What now?"

More hesitantly than he'd ever heard from her before, she asked, "If you would eat me first because you care, then… then why… why didn't you choose me to procreate with? If you were the last man on earth?"

He was too worn out to hide anything else from her. "Because I thought that it even if I were the last man on earth, you'd never have me."

Juliet's mouth hung open, and he couldn't read her expression. "Who did you choose instead?"

"The new officer in Booking. I figure she hasn't been warned off me yet."

She rolled her eyes. "You're such a dork."

"Yeah. Thanks for making my point, O'Hara. Are we having dinner or not? Because I can go back to work if I'm just going to argue with people who find me annoying."

"Such a dork," she breathed, undoing her seatbelt and sliding across the seat, tugging at his arm to draw him closer and then kissing him.

Which he so did not see coming.

And could not see during.

And could not think clearly as a result of afterwards.

"Why did you do that?" he managed when she sat back again.

She beamed, tracing a line across his tingling mouth quite sensuously. "Because you care about me enough to kill me, and because after dinner you are taking me back to your place where we are going to procreate until the cows come home."

Lassiter stared at her and said the first thing which popped into his head. "I gotta call the cows and tell them to find another place to hang out tonight."

Juliet laughed, a delighted sort of laugh which warmed him totally and made him forget all the angst of the past ten minutes. "Oh, and if you go near the new chick in Booking, I'll chew your leg off while you're still alive. Got it?"

"Yes, ma'am," he breathed, and followed her out of the car. He would have to revise his survival scenario plan later. "So what do you think about eating Guster first instead?"

"Nah. I'd go for Shawn," she retorted. "More body fat."

"Tasty," he agreed, but he was looking at her legs.

She knew, and turned to him while they were still a few feet from the restaurant door. Grabbing his lapels, and standing on tiptoes, she kissed him again until he was weak in the knees. "I'm glad we had this little talk, Carlton."

He dipped her, and kissed her hard while she was down. "Me too, O'Hara. Me too."

. . . .

. . .