Disclaimer: I don't own Psych. If I did, every episode would have involved whump.
Of Concussions and Incorrigible Cons by Emachinescat
A Psych Fan-Fiction
SUMMARY: AU of the pilot episode. After being reprimanded by the interim chief, Head Detective Carlton Lassiter bites of more than he can possibly chew after attempting to apologize to a concussed Spencer for the less than gentle arrest at the end of the McCallum case. Spoilers for "Domestic Pilot."
Series: First in AU That Glitters
A/N: As promised, I've started the "AU That Glitters" whump AU series! Don't worry, though, my other stories will be updated soon, too. I just wanted to get this first installment out while it was fresh. :) As for the inspiration for this story, Going back and watching "Psych" from the beginning, I realized that Lassie is rough with Shawn several times during the first season. (Of course, he does the same thing at times in seasons 4 and 7, but not nearly as often, and they're definitely in "frenemy" territory by that point.) He's not super violent, but he does smack him around a bit. So I took the episode in a whumpier direction and had Lassiter take a bit more responsibility for his actions here. Remember that this is the pilot episode, so the only real relationship that's on somewhat stable ground at this point is Shawn's and Gus's...
Please enjoy and let me know what you thought! :)
Of Concussions and Incorrigible Cons
Head Detective Carlton Lassiter stood in front of the interim chief's door, fist poised to knock and foot tapping an anxious rhythm on the floor. Vick had been rather short with him when she'd asked him to come to her office as soon as the paperwork for the McCallum case had been taken care of. It wasn't the "I'm busy, so make it quick" kind of short, either… she was agitated about something.
Taking a deep breath, he knocked.
Her voice rang out from inside, dead serious as could be. Yeah, she was pissed about something.
He entered, and opted for the ignorant approach, which was just as well, because he really had no idea what this was about. After all, he'd already been given a stern-talking to about inter-department romance and Lucinda was in the process of being transferred. A little swell of fury rose at the thought of the man – the so-called "psychic" who had so carelessly ruined one of the only positive things he had going for him.
"Detective Lassiter. Please sit."
He sat stiffly in the proffered chair, refusing to let the cushy trappings lull him into a false sense of security. He maintained eye contact with the chief, letting her know that he was completely comfortable in the situation that he found himself in, and that he had nothing to hide. Never mind the fact that he wasn't all that comfortable with the cloak and dagger business, being left in the dark about why he was here in the first place. "Chief. What can I do for you?"
Vick's eyes may have softened the tiniest bit at his cordial greeting, but she still did not look like a happy camper.
"I'm going to be honest with you, Detective," she said bluntly. "This could have turned out much worse. As it is, I am going to have to give you an informal reprimand and warn you to be very careful in the future."
Lassiter blinked. "Uh, Chief… What…?"
"Detective, you cannot be physically aggressive toward civilians who are in your custody, unless they are resisting arrest or are posing a threat to you or others around you."
Still trying to work through the confusion, Lassiter was both offended and relieved that there had been a mistake like this, that Vick actually thought that he'd attack a non-resisting civilian. Whatever she'd heard, it was all a big mix up. "Chief, let me assure you that I would never—"
"Shawn Spencer. McCallum residence. Yesterday afternoon. Ring any bells?"
Lassiter blanched. "Spencer hardly counts as a civilian. He's a hindrance to real police work, a distraction, and at the time, he was trespassing. I had to take him in." He left the bitter, At least, until he solved my damn case, left unspoken.
"Be that as it may, Detective, your shoving him head-first into the frame of the car was a bit overboard, don't you think?"
Wait, this was what this was about? Seriously?
"He was resisting arrest, Chief. He was… flailing and pretending to have 'visions' and acting like a crazy person!"
A delicate but ferocious eyebrow lifted. "Not when you shoved him into the car. And may I remind you, he did solve the case?"
"Did he tell you this? That little…"
"Detective!" the chief cut him off before he could say anything to get himself into any more trouble, which, although he didn't appreciate at the time, he was begrudgingly thankful for after the fact. "Mr. Spencer didn't tell me anything. I was there, remember? I saw the whole thing… whatever it was."
Oh. Right. Damn that Spencer for getting into his head like this!
"He's fine, Chief," Lassiter responded, much more calmly this time. "Don't let him take advantage of you. This country is crawling with people faking injuries just to get a few thousand dollars from a lawsuit."
"I told you, Mr. Spencer said nothing to me. His father, on the other hand, called me this morning in a rage. Thankfully, I was able to calm him down and help him to see reason, but it wasn't easy."
"So he went and told his daddy that he got a boo-boo at the crime scene?" Lassiter couldn't keep the disgusted contempt out of his voice this time. "I thought they hated each other, anyway?"
"They have a… complicated relationship, and it really isn't our place to bring that under speculation. However…" She sighed. "It is my job to make sure that my officers are not allowing their emotions or anger, no matter how warranted said anger might be, to get the better of them. Especially after what Henry told me this morning. Apparently, Mr. Guster had to take Shawn to the emergency room last night after his headache peaked and he lost consciousness briefly. Mr. Spencer is being treated for a concussion, Detective, and that is why we're having this talk."
"Oh." Lassiter wasn't sure what to say beyond that, but he slapped away the little niggle of guilt that tried to burrow into him at the news. He hadn't meant to hurt Spencer, certainly not that badly. The man was being difficult, had lost Lassiter his girlfriend, his respect… had mocked him by acting like an idiot and still managing to solve the case first…
"Shawn himself is not going to press charges or file a report, though I was obligated to contact him about the matter. He said – and these are his words – that 'Mr. Grumpy Detective-Face is emotionally stunted and is just trying to express how much he likes me in the only way he knows how.'" Vick looked marginally amused as she read Spencer's response off the sheet in front of her. A muscle in Lassiter's neck twitched. "Now, those exact words could be because of the concussion…"
Lassiter fought the urge to roll his eyes. "They're not, Chief. Trust me."
Now appearing to be fighting a smile, the chief said, "Consider this your unofficial reprimand and warning to control your irritation when you are faced with a particularly difficult witness… or consultant. Because once he is feeling better, I do believe the department will be calling on Mr. Spencer again."
This time, Lassiter couldn't stop the eye roll. Or the groan. Vick smiled. "You're dismissed, Detective."
"Yes, ma—uh, I mean, Chief."
Shawn was woken when the doorbell rang, the sound slicing through his aching head like a butter knife through steak... or however that saying went. Without bothering to get up from where he was sprawled on the couch, he called out, "It's open."
Damn, concussions sucked. It was bad enough that Gus had practically dragged him to the hospital after he'd had some sort of dizzy spell last night, but then he'd called his dad to boot? Was this now Gus with his mom for additional parental torture? Not that he would mind seeing his mom… but he was so over worried hovering. Gus played the part of a worried mother exceptionally well, and Shawn couldn't handle two of them… Which was made irrelevant when the door opened to reveal not his mother, but…
Lassiter stepped into Shawn's apartment, keen blue eyes taking the coffee table littered with empty pudding cups, icepacks, water bottles, and prescription bottles. "You just leave your front door unlocked for anyone to come waltzing in? You're just begging to be robbed." Upon taking another look around at the untidy living space, his lip curled and he added, "Or maybe not."
Shawn struggled to sit up past the monkey playing cymbals in his head. "Your contempt for my apartment aside, what are you doing here?"
The detective hesitated. "I was just in the neighborhood and I…" Shawn watched knowingly as the detective's gaze shifted to the rather impressive bruise on his head.
"You wanted to check on me? Oh, Detective, you shouldn't have!"
"I didn't," growled Lassiter. He paused. "This was a mistake. I'll just—"
"Wait!" Shawn shifted, patting the sofa seat beside him. "Come in. Sit down. Rest your rumpus. Put your feet up. Slow your roll. Chillax your—"
With an irritated grunt, the detective passed the threshold and sat in the chair farthest away from Shawn. "Look. I didn't exactly… yesterday, when I…"
"I know, I know. You were just expressing your love for me in the only way you know how, like that little boy in school who pulls the little girl's pigtails because he thinks she's cute."
"Okay, you got me—" Shawn winced as a particularly painful wave shot through his poor, abused noggin. "I was that kid in school. Her name was Melinda, and she had the cutest, bounciest set of—"
"Dear Lord, please stop talking."
"I was going to say pigtails, dude. Mind. Gutter. Get it out."
"This is a monumental waste of my time," the detective spat, standing up so abruptly it almost gave Shawn vertigo… Or wait, he might have already had vertigo, wasn't that a concussion symptom ? And what was vertigo, anyway? Besides an Alfred Hitchcock flick?
Past the pounding in his skull, Shawn heard footsteps stomping away, toward the door. Despite the telltale ringing in his ears, Shawn scrabbled to his feet, ignoring the dark spots dancing wildly in front of his eyes. His pulse hammered, his breath felt short and stunted, and the dizziness spiked. He knew what was going to happen seconds before it did. He was unconscious before he hit the floor.
When the world swam back into focus, Shawn was surprised to find that he was back on the couch, not in a heap on the floor. He noticed blearily that his hands tingled like he'd been sitting on them for a couple of weeks, and his ears were still ringing like a high school band had paraded between them and accidentally left the triangle player behind. With a groan against the horrible pounding that had overtaken his skull – the procession of drummers must've gotten left behind, too – he rolled over to see Head Detective Carlton Lassiter kneeling next to the couch.
"You passed out," the detective stated helpfully.
"I did not," Shawn argued, mostly out of obligatory need to irritate whoever was in his general vicinity. "I fell asleep, suddenly and quickly, in a very manly and not wimpy way."
"Sure you did. Just be glad I got to you before you hit the ground. You would have a matching bruise on the other side of your head."
Shawn feigned shock. "So you dashed to my side, caught me before I hit the ground, gently placed me on the sofa, and lingered over my prone body until you knew I wasn't on death's door? Detective, I'm touched."
Lassiter half-sneered, half-smirked. "You were only out for a handful of seconds. I was hoping you'd stay out of it long enough for me to escape, but of course you had to ruin that plan, too."
Shawn winced, only partly out of pain. "Look, man, I'm sorry about your girlfriend. I just—"
The detective stood hastily, popping up from the ground like a Jack-in-the-Box with a strong Irish hairline and lots of pent-up aggression. "We don't talk about that. Ever."
Shawn lifted both hands up in mock surrender. Lassiter's face softened, just the tiniest, miniscule bit. "You're okay, though? Do I need to call your father or someone—?"
"No! I would rather you leave me here to die."
Lassiter shrugged. "Works for me." He strode for the door.
Shawn hesitated, licked his lips, and then offered, "Detective? Thanks."
"Just take it easy," the detective advised.
It was as close to an apology as Shawn was going to get, and, though Shawn might not have shown it through his next words, he did in fact appreciate it.
"Lassie," Shawn said, testing out the new nickname he'd been considering since he'd met the detective. He watched with glee as the man bristled in agitation.
"What?" the detective ground out through gritted teeth.
"I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship."
The head detective had fled the apartment and slammed the door before Shawn could blink. Shawn settled back into the couch cushions and tried to will his head to stop raging against him. Or at least a plain but not drop-dead-ugly working tolerance, he amended in his head, before he drifted off to sleep.
A/N: So, the medical stuff in this story, brief and nondescript as it is... I've experienced both a concussion and passing out, so both of those descriptions come from experience. I actually got a concussion from hitting my head on a car door, so I know it's possible.
As far as Lassie goes, I wanted him to be very much season 1 - early season 1 - Lassie, so there's not a whole lot of comfort in the hurt/comfort genre yet... but I had to make him dip his toes in to the waters of h/c in any way I could. Hopefully Lassiter turned out okay. I usually write Psych stories in later seasons, when Shawn and Lassie have their "frenemy" relationship more stable. And as far as Henry, even at this stage, I have a feeling that he'd still be up in arms about Shawn getting hurt by a police officer, even if their relationship is not in a good place just yet. Henry is protective in the second episode, after all, telling Shawn to stay off the dangerous case he's on...
Really hope you enjoyed... please review! :)
~Emachinescat ^. .^