A/N: Final chapter is final. :D
Lassiter takes a deep breathe. It comes in slow and swelling. It almost creaks in his chest as if he hasn't breathed this deeply in ages and that's probably true to some extent or another. The ringback on his phone is humming steadily in his ear and he wishes that he had the casual sense in him to just text but he doesn't. Instead he waits, impatiently as the ring drones on for what feels like hours.
It's been a day since his emergency appointment with Dr. Strauss, or Romie as she now asked to be addressed as, and Lassiter has finally come to a decision. He spent the whole night, sleepless, tossing and turning trying to figure things out.
On the one hand, trying things out with Shawn seems like the worst possible decision. He's rude, obnoxious, arrogant, annoying, narristic. The list went on and on went it came to traits that Lassiter despised. Not to mention the little pest's biggest flaw by far is that he can't put any honest effort into anything. He can put a lot of effort, good effort, strong effort but none of it is honest. He always ducks behind some guise or ruse so people won't come to expect anything of him and that's lazy no matter how you spin it. It's the most silmataneously irritating and heart breaking things in the world.
So Lassiter got up and out of bed and went into his kitchen. He put on Old Faithful, who gurgled and bubbled generously to fill up the silence. He figured that if he was going to be up contemplating this that he might as well be as awake as possible. He rubbed his fingers at his temple as memories of Shawn's less than favorable moments flashed through his head.
It's not a secret that Shawn gets on his nerves and, potential feelings be damned, Shawn is always going to get on his nerves. So if that's the case then why try things out with him? The idea of going on dates seems like a pain in the ass and Lassiter hates the notion of having to have those relationship conversation like where they were, what they are, and what they're heading toward. Either one of them will evade when the other wants to talk and Lassiter has always had a bad habit of not saying the right thing to make people stay while Shawn has the horrible habit of saying things that push people away. Arguments will be hell, absolute hell and they'll probably fight over anything and everything.
The coffee had finished it's process and Carlton grabbed a mug, filled it up and began drinking. He had no time or desire for sugar. He just wanted to drink his caffiene straight up and be done with it. He glanced at the table and decided against sitting back down there. Going back to the bedroom was out of the question. He went into the living room at long last and sat on his couch, the couch that only the night before held Shawn who had held him.
The good thing about Spencer is that, at the end of the day after all is said and done, Lassiter can depend on him. The fake psychic may not always be sensible or calm but he is there even when he doesn't understand. Lassiter trusts Shawn with his life as much as he trusts O'Hara.
Lassiter managed to get through half of his cup when he saw the bottlecap still perched on the coffee table and just a few inches away was the leftover DVD's that Shawn and Lassiter had yet to watch. Among the collection is the Breakfast Club, which even Lassiter had seen. He rolled his eyes, Shawn wouldn't know that though because he thinks that the cop is some unculutured old man. Nonetheless, the detective found himself putting the DVD on and settling into the couch, his mug to his lips as the film opened.
Finally, Lassiter's call is answered.
"Lassie?" Shawns voice asks, half surprised and half asleep.
"Spencer," the cop says flatly but the usual greeting drifts off and the silence spurs him the extra mile, his lips parting, breathy and soft, "...Shawn."
The well practiced cop takes a deep breath. He knows how to handle a situation in need of damage control. Granted, he's not the best at it but he knows the general technique. He calms himself. Don't give out too much information. Needs to be done in person. Keep him relaxed but keep him engaged. He can do this. He can absolutely do this.
"We need to talk."
Lassiter is unaware that this is probably the worst thing to begin with. He's unaware that that singular statement has made Shawn's heart plummet well past his gut and probably somwhere in his toes. He doesn't know this and with the silence he's provided he contiues.
"Meet me here, my place, as soon as you can," he says, leaving no room for questions.
"Lassie, couldn't we just-" the younger man tries.
"No, in person, I-" Lassiter pauses for the briefest of seconds to assert himsel, "I want to do this in person."
The false psychic sighs and it threatens the detective. Is that sigh a no? Has he missed his chance? Has the window of opportunity slammed shut and bruised his fingers? Or is that sigh a breathy resignation full of the disappointment he may have caused? Either way, it's terrifying to hear that escaped breath but Lassiter fortifies himself, ready to hear a 'no'.
"I'll be there as soon as I can," Shawn practically whispers.
Lassiter takes it for what it is and, too scared to ruin it by saying something more, he hangs up. He then waits. His stomach grumbles at him from his spot on the couch and he ambles up from the cushions. It was seven o'clock in the morning. Shawn would be here in no time, presumably, and he'd probably be hungry. The cop could wait on his breakfast wait and share a meal and as he's standing in his pantry, scoping out the possibilities, he sees a box and realizes exactly what he needs to do.
By the time Shawn knocks on the door, the table is set and Lassiter can feel his own fear rising from his insides. This could all go terribly wrong. Horribly, terribly wrong. Shawn could walk in here, see the meager offering, hear Carlton's words and react in the worst possible way. He could throw a tantrum, insult him, decide to never speak to him again. All things the cop doesn't want. He just wants to say his piece, let Shawn know exactly what's going on and he hopes to God and justice and whatever else will listen that Shawn takes it well.
Lassiter takes another breath, deep and chest busting, before opening the door and there Shawn is. His short locks are ruffled, a serious case of bedhead/helmet hair. His shirt is long sleeved, baggy around the wrists and obviously slept in. His jeans look just as worn, like he'd just grabbed them off the floor and threw them on. He still looks half asleep and Lassiter wonders just how much of a danger the younger man had been to himself driving that damn motorcycle of his like that.
He just pulls the door more open and Shawn hesitantly enters. Carlton starts to lead the way wordlessly but Shawn stops just a few steps in. The door is still hanging open letting in a breeze and foreshadowing a possible escape. Shawn's sneakers are firmly planted, unwavering on the wooden floor. The cop stares at him unable to speak for a moment but with a dry cough his voice is found.
"We should talk in the kitchen," Lassiter says, "You could eat something if youre hungry."
Shawn kicks his foot a little, gently, almost a sway. He's abnormally quiet and for the first time in his life Lassiter wishes the little oddball would speak up. It's completely diconcerting to see him like this, silent and pensive. There's a shyness about him that appears as a defense. He's ready to be wounded but Lassiter doesn't quite grasp that. Instead, he's just uncomfortable and unsure and thinks maybe he shouldn't have called.
"For God's sake," Lassiter grunts as he walks past Shawn and closes the door, angrily locking it as well. He then grabs Shawn by the shoulder and starts to drag him toward the kitchen.
"Lassie!" Shawn shouts, pulling his arm back to himself, "I don't want to do this!"
The cop is astounded. In all the years that he's man handled Shawn, the smaller man has never fought back. Yeah, he may have struggled a little here and there for play's sake but he never outright broke free. The energy around Shawn is dangerous, hurt and very dangerous and the cop is not entirely sure if he should be fed up or comforting.
"Do what?" he asks, deciding to gauge the situation further.
"Talk," Shawn spouts out quickly, his voice suddenly flooding out through his lips, "I don't want to talk, okay? I've never been good at talking, not like this. I'm not the serious type, Lassie. I don't do serious. And I really don't want to go into your kitchen just to sit down to poke around a bowl of Raisin Bran as you tell me that we're never to discuss last night or however you're going to phrase it. I don't want to hear you say it, okay? I understand exactly what you're going to tell me so we don't need have any sort of talk. I get it. I'm good. You're good. We're good. And now I'm just going to go home and pretend none of this happened."
He starts to turn and in desperation Lassiter reaches out and grabs his arm again. His grip is firm but his fingers are needy and while the the cop can't see himself, he can see Shawn and whatever face the detective's making it's making Shawn look more than surprised.
"- trust me," Lassiter says, his voice clear and solid.
Shawn blinks, confused for a moment, and then just nods. The cop's hand slides down Shawn's bicep, past forearm and wrist and finally entagles itself with Shawn's fingers. A blushing Lassiter, face stern and manly, leads Shawn by the hand into the kitchen.
Once there, the cop stands to the side and let's Shawn take in the sight of what he's prepared. There, on the small table, is a set of two plates, clean and emtpy, two mugs filled with coffee, a small tealite candle lit and set off to the side that Lassiter had managed to find, and there in the middle of it all was a stack of mishappen, burnt at the edges but still golden enough to eat-
"Pancakes," Shawn says, astounded, before looking at Lassiter "Y-you made me pancakes."
"I should have called you yesterday," Lassiter says quickly, trying to get the bad part over with as soon as possible, "I was confused and a little unstable about everything but I-"
He doesn't get to finish. In fact, whatever he was about to say is forever gone as Shawn presses his lips against his. The younger mans arms wrap around the older's shoulders, bringing him in close. Lassiter can feel those baggy sleeves against his neck, can feel slightly chappend lips on his own and it all makes his head swim. And there's no beer or music or darkness. There's only the shadow from his lids as he closes them, melting into this kiss like it's the only thing he's meant to do. His hands find a home on Shawn's lower back, pulling the psychic into him, holding to him like he's a anchor to the world.
Shawn pulls away slowly, his eyes fluttering open in the most attractive way. He smiles at Lassiter, soft and sweetly in a way the cop has never seen before. Happy but still a little dumbfounded, the cop manages to speak.
"You didn't let me finish."
"You didn't have to," Shawn says, "I told you, I don't like talking."
He cups the cop's face gingerly, his fingers affectionately rocking back and forth on his jaw line.
"You made me pancakes, Lassie," he notes, "and you lit a freaking candle. I think you're saying plently right there."
Lassiter is frozen in this position. His hands don't want to let go of Shawn, don't ever want to let go. Still, the back of his head is racing, trying to regain all of his concerns as quickly as possible.
"No one else can know about this-"
"What about Jules?"
"You're kidding right?"
"Of course. But when you say that no one can know do you mean for forever or-"
"Still closeted huh?"
Lassiter fingers sneak into the back of Shawn's waistband, feeling the warmth of skin there and teasing Lassiter in ways he didn't know were possible. He forces his hands to awkwardly travel north a bit, settling on the curve of Shawn's back and hoping the touch doesn't rile him up too much.
"So, does this mean you're over...you-know-who?" Shawn asks.
"How do you know?"
"Because- because I want you."
The cop grumbles it a little and makes it sound so much more simple than what's going on in his head. In reality, Jeremy is always going to be a small part of him. He was his first love really, however short lived and teenaged it was. Still, Lassiter wants Shawn, wants to be around him and be with him and in ways he didn't want to be with Jeremy.
But in the strangest of ways, if it wasn't for Jeremy, for that one kiss in the dark, Lassiter may have never let himself discover what he has and is having with Shawn. Tha kiss carried a spark that lasted for over twenty years and led the way to the one person Lassiter needed the most.
Regretably, Jeremy doesn't get this opportunity. He doesn't have the chance to be an adult and love someone like this. His father ended that, stopped Jeremy from ever loving another person the way Lassiter loves right now. But Jeremy's father can't stop everyone and Lassiter would rather be damned than not take a chance on this life, on these moment, on Shawn.
"We're not calling it dating though-"
However, the cop does like his baby steps and wouldn't hurt to just put off the finality of it all, even just a little.
"How about visitation?"
"It can be conjungcal," he smirks.
"SPENCER!" the cop goes red faced and backs up a little as Shawn presses into him.
"Kidding, for now," he says dangerously, "but dating is dating, Lassie, there's no going around that. Unless you... don't want to date me..."
Shawn looks Carlton straight in the eyes but his expression is soft. Those beautiful blues, those aqua-fucking-hazels turn turbulent with need so much so that Lassiter has to look away.
"Fine," he says, his mouth a tight line, "We're dating then."
Shawn drops his hands from the cop's face and pouts. He's kind of...cute when he does that or so Lassiter supposes. Getting used to the notion is going to take a while but then all of this is going to take a while. There's the matter of coming out to his mother (which shouldn't be an issue really), coming out to O'Hara, the department nestling its nose into his business, there's the matter of Henry and Guster (which are questionable at best even if the best friend already half knows it). It's really not so much the gay part as it is the Shawn part. Lassiter is sure he'll never hear the end of it-
- but then honestly, who could be worse about it than Shawn Spencer himself? And if Lassiter's dating the little twerp, he kind of has the leavrage to shut him up now and then. It can't be that bad, not really. And at the end of the day he has Juliet to support him and now Romie as well.
Lassiter thinks to himself fleetingly that Romie and Jules ought to meet. They'd get along great he thinks. Maybe.
"Don't look so enthused," Shawn says, still pouting.
"I am enthused," Lassiter says, still half scowling, "I'm also thouroughly embarrassed and unaccustomed to- all this!"
He waves his hands around in the air and Shawn grabs them at the wrists. He smiles that warm, sweet, soft and incredibly inviting smile. He then stands on the tips of his toes, just enough to hover his mouth in front of Lassiter's.
"I think you can manage," he says and he just waits there, waiting for Lassiter to kiss him.
The unsure cop gives quick peck first, short and curt but Shawn still patiently waits for more.
There's a lot that they still haven't talked about and probably won't until it becomes a problem or surfaces in the worst of ways. Lassiter's temper is sure to get the best of him at some point. Shawn's bound to do something regretfully stupid and childish. They're going to have nights where they yell and shout and wish the other would just go away. Yeah, they'll have nights like that but they'll also have nights where they snuggle in close to one another, where they whisper 'I'm sorry' in between kisses, where they compromise and laugh, where they just sit next to each other, soaking in the silence, one hand resting in the other's and those nights would make it worth it.
Lassiter steals another kiss. And another. And another. He builds them up until he's truly kissing Shawn, until his tongue slides into the other man's mouth. He puls him in tighter, let's his hands roam his back and waist. All the while Shawn kisses back, fingers digging into salt and pepper hair, hips pressing up and against.
They break and look at each other for a moment. Neither knows what to say or if there's even anything to say. The feeling lingers in the air, hovers in the heaviest of ways and it settles on everything. It's so intense, so bright underneath the light of the kitchen and the streaming sun from the window. It's clearer and bigger than anything in the world. It's so there, it hurts.
Lassiter shifts their position, not wanting them to drown in the feeling around them. So he puts his arms on Shawn's shoulder and hugs him fiercley.
"Lassie," Shawn murmurs into the detective's chest after a few moments.
"We should probably eat those pancakes now."
Lassiter lets go of the psychic and awkwardly manuevers around him to sit down. The small candle is already half melted and the pancakes are probably lukewarm by now. The butter's holding up though and the mug handle still feels warm as the detective takes a sip. Shawn reaches over and grabs the syrup from the center. He flips the cap and then just chuckles a little, light hearted and mostly to himself.
"What?" Lassiter asks, halted in the middle of putting a pancake on his plate.
"Nothing, Lassiecakes," Shawn says with a smile before turning the syrup upside down over his plate, "nothing."
Lassiter can't tell anyone if this is a good idea yet. He doesn't know if it's going to be positive and healthly for him but then who ever could? You don't know if the water's hot or cold unless you get into it. You don't know if you're really going to need a jacket or not unless you step outside. Lassiter is never going to know if having Shawn is the right thing but then maybe he doesn't care because maybe there is no 'right' thing in this world. Regardless though, if Lassiter has to pick whether or not this is a good idea right here and right now he'd have to say-
"So, you want to make out after this or should we skip straight to post pancake sex?"
-it's a start.
A/N: FLUFF! I GIVE YOU FLUFF! :D Anyway, I had fun writing this and thank you to everyone who read and reviewed along the way. I'll probably get to editing this over the course of the month or so and hopefully I can get all my typos fixed. :)