For your consideration, a collision of two of my favorite shows, Psych and In Plain Sight. This is a retelling of what is probably my favorite IPS ep, Trojan Horst. I used a lot of its dialogue and scenes, which of course I don't own. And did I mention this is pre-Lassiet? Yeah... Enjoy!
Disclaimer: not mine
Sometimes Juliet O'Hara hated transporting witnesses.
At that very moment, she was sitting in the passenger seat of a large SUV. Her partner and best friend, Carlton Lassiter, was in the driver's seat, and they were on their way to pick up a witness/informant/crappy person and transport him to a couple of witness protection officers a few hours away. Horst had been a somewhat decent informant but no one was interested in him. The FBI and a few other government agencies wanted his boss, Lola. And he convinced them he could deliver her, for a price of course.
Which is how Lassiter and Juliet were wrangled into transporting the little cretin. Just an hour ago, they had picked him up from the station and already Juliet could sense how tense and pissed Lassiter was. Not that she could blame him. The slimeball wouldn't stop running his mouth and she was doing her best to tune him out.
Now he was ranting about his medicine bag and how he had to check his blood sugar levels every hour to stay alive.
What a tragedy it would be if he lost that bag.
Juliet looked over at Carlton, who was gripping the steering wheel tightly. He had his sunglasses on and for once was dressed semi-casually in pressed black slacks and a navy button down. Not that she blamed him. It had to be nearing ninety five degrees outside and it was barely noon.
Oddly enough, it made her miss Florida.
Juliet herself was also wearing blue slacks and a button down, but hers was a soft green. Since it was Friday, she had also given herself a bit of a break by choosing sneakers over her normal high heels and her hair was down rather than styled up.
"Hey, Mulder and Scully, are we taking a pit stop soon?" Horst demanded from the backseat, grating Juliet's nerves again.
Lassiter glared in the rearview mirror. "Shut up, Horst."
"Oh, very mature," the blond man grumbled. "You know, you two are police. Sworn officers of the law whose duty it is to protect me."
Juliet rested her hand on the back of Carlton's headrest and glared daggers at the annoying felon. "I wouldn't piss him off if I were you."
"That's real nice, big man. Hiding behind Mommy's skirt."
A gas station appeared not far from them and Horst continued, "I need something to drink, now. And I gotta take a leak." He held his cuffed hands up imploringly.
Juliet was surprised when Lassiter made a sharp turn, pulling into the gas station parking lot.
"Thanks, Lurch!" Horst said pleasantly, nearly bouncing in his seat.
Lassiter killed the engine and unfastened his seatbelt. "Want to grab some drinks?"
"Of course." She patted his arm and unbuckled her own seatbelt before getting out of the SUV. As she headed toward the entrance of the store, she heard Horst call out for organic juice, followed by her partner's familiar snarl.
"It's a gas station, moron."
Shaking her head a little, Juliet walked into the gas station and began grabbing snacks and drinks. It was even hotter than when they had left the department, if that was possible, so she grabbed extra bottles of water. Then she made her way to the cashier, who was half-heartedly flipping through a magazine.
After paying for the purchases, Juliet carried the bags outside, where she found Carlton waiting at the bathroom door with a disgusted look.
Horst was yelling out of the bathroom, "Your partner is something, huh? Nice body, little quiet, but I'll bet she's a hellcat in bed. I should know, I work for a female assassin!"
Lassiter looked ready to suckerpunch Horst the moment he walked out of the bathroom, but Juliet placed a calming hand on his arm and motioned for him to go back to the car. He did so reluctantly, stalking off as he muttered under his breath.
While she waited for Horst to emerge, she heard Carlton snap at someone, followed by the sound of scurrying feet. She just shook her head. He had come a long way in the seven years they had been partnered together, but everyone had their off days and she gave him a break.
"Trust me, my friend, men pay good money to get with a woman like that," Horst called out over the sound of water running. "Hey, you know I hate to have to ask, but these cuffs are making it kind of difficult. Do you think you can help me out with my zipper?"
The stall door opened and Horst emerged from it with his back to Juliet. Then he turned around and saw whom he had been talking to, and he let out a deflated, "Aw."
They stared at each other for a moment.
"Isn't this awkward?"
Ten minutes later, they were back on the road and heading alongside Gould Park. The area was gorgeous but empty, and Juliet scowled when she realized she had lost service on her phone. It was 2019, for crying out loud. What part of California didn't have signal? She checked Carlton's phone as well; of course it didn't have signal either.
"Sweet lady Justice!"
Immediately Juliet looked at her partner. "What? What's wrong now?"
He nodded to the dash, where their Check Engine light was flashing. They both let out an annoyed groan, eliciting another smartass comment from Horst.
"We should pull over before the engine seizes." Lassiter began driving the SUV off of the road and onto the empty stretch of space that ran along the highway. The engine began to rattle and smoke, to their consternation.
"Great, so I get to spend more time with my new favorite couple," the blond man groused in the back.
It took all of Juliet's self control to not snarl at him as Lassiter brought the SUV to a stop. After turning off the engine, he popped the hood of the SUV and opened his door, as did Juliet. "I'll take a look."
Nodding, she watched as he went around to the front of the SUV and lifted the hood. Before he did anything, he rolled up his sleeves before he began examining the smoking engine.
"Do you see anything?" Juliet called out to him.
"Hang on. I'm working on it," Lassiter grumbled, his piercing eyes roving over the engine.
Juliet let out a weary breath as she watched Lassiter drop to his knees, out of her sight.
The low rumble of another car's engine caught Juliet's attention. "We've got company!" she called out as she turned and shoved Horst down into the floor of the SUV. "Get in the floor."
"What did you say?" Lassiter called as he rose to his feet and came around the hood of the SUV.
Before Juliet could reply, shots rang out and she watched in horror as one of the bullets hit her partner. "Carlton!" She barely saw him go down as she yanked her gun out of its holster and leaned through the open window, taking aim at the interlopers. She squeezed off three rounds before throwing the SUV into reverse and using it as a shield between the shooters and her partner.
The gunfire continued from both sides, with Juliet leaning back in her seat to protect her head and upper body while she shot blindly through the open window.
There was a pause after her clip was empty, but she heard footsteps and two more shots from the assailants as she fumbled for another clip. Her adrenaline was pumping through her body and she raised her head just enough to see the two people, a man and a woman, bear down on her.
Desperately she grabbed her backup piece from her ankle and resumed firing her weapon. She couldn't let them get closer to Carlton.
Her gun suddenly jammed and she glanced up in time to see the pair hovering just over her door, ready to kill her. Her hands trembled and she gulped air in.
This was it. This was how she died.
Then there was more gunfire, but this didn't come from her would-be assassins. No, it came from Carlton who had somehow pulled himself to his feet and was shooting at the other pair. Juliet grabbed another gun from under Carlton's seat and threw herself out of the car, taking aim.
"Carlton, take cover!" she yelled as she squeezed off more rounds. Either he didn't hear her or he wasn't listening, because he continued to shoot, his expression one of rage.
Finally the man and woman retreated back to their car, still under fire from Juliet and Lassiter as they threw their car into drive and peeled out of the empty area, back to the highway. It was only once they were out of sight that Juliet and Carlton finally stopped shooting.
For a moment, they just stood there, breathing heavily.
"That was…" Carlton's eyes rolled back into his head and Juliet lunged forward as he collapsed to the ground.
To Be Continued...