Great. All he needed to make his day worse was for a snotty security guard to not allow him to enter the place where his only lead went. And that was exactly what was happening.
"Look, I am the lead detective on this case-" Lassiter started, still holding his badge in his hands.
"Look, I am the head of security here, and I'm not to allow anyone on these grounds," the pudgy woman snarled back. Lassiter's partner, Karen Vick, rolled her eyes, stepping forward with the warrant.
"We have a warrant, ma'am," she said curtly, not at all sounding pleased. The security guard ripped it out of her hands, read it over, and tossed it back.
"All you need to get a warrant these days is a few sentences," the guard muttered, and opened the gates. Lassiter, who was still in earshot when she said this, sneered at her as he climbed back into his car. Vick joined him from the passenger side, and they slowly drove into the Wispy Sunny Pines Mental Health Facility, the eeriest building in all of Santa Barbara.
"Alright, Carlton, let's get this over with," she muttered, glancing around the inside of the facility warily. "The sooner we're out of here, the better." Lassiter frowned, but nodded all the same. Two security guards wandered up to them, both looking tired but remotely happy.
"Are you two the detectives we got a call about earlier?" the female one asked. Lassiter picked out blonde hair falling out of her hat. The last name on her uniform read 'O'HARA.' "It's nice to have some regular people around here."
"Regular people?" Lassiter questioned, squinting. "Are you saying that all the guards here also aren't quite...sane?"
"That's exactly what we're saying," the other one responded flatly. He was dark-skinned fellow, who would've been handsome if he didn't look so tired. His last name was Guster. "People go insane here, even if they're not locked up."
"So what's different about you two?" Vick interjected, before Lassiter could get a word in. The two guards looked at each other, and then looked away.
"There's one other guard who works here, McNab. He's pretty much normal, but they're starting to get to them. We're different because we just started."
"Well, we're looking for a few patients." Vick pulled a notepad out of her jacket, and Lassiter provided her with a pen from his breast pocket. "Uhm..." She squinted. Her partner's handwriting could certainly get messy sometimes. "Shawn Spencer? And a Mr. Yang...but I don't think that's her real name."
"No one knows her real name," Guster said, shaking his head. "But she's rather famous around here."
"Do you think we could see them, Mr...?" Vick trailed off. Guster and O'Hara smiled.
"Just Gus, if you would," he said curtly.
"And I'm Juliet."
"Alright then, Gus, Juliet. Care to take us to our suspects?" Lassiter cut in.
He wasn't insane. He didn't care what the doctors said.
He was a psychic.
Was there any other reason that he could hear the voices telling him the truth? He had solved countless murders. Countless. But no one listened to him. Weren't his episodes enough? Wasn't he convincing enough?
So he was stuck here in a cell, left to quietly count the ceiling tiles and try to block out the voices in his head. It was okay fun, but he wanted to exercise his gift. He wanted to point out the miniscule details that told an entire story, a story that could unveil so many things...
"Shawn?" her voice called. He immediately perked up. That was the voice of his friend, his crush, his ever-so-lovely Juliet. "Shawn, you have visitors."
And there she came, in the doorway. Her eyes were a bright blue, shining in the way that no other guards' did. Her hair fell perfectly around her pretty face, though she tried to hide it in her cap - sometimes the hair distracted the other patients, the ones who weren't nearly as calm as him. Shawn stood up, matching her flawless smile.
"Visitors, you say?" Shawn asked, glancing behind her. This was his chance, his chance to show off his skills...he'd start with the lanky man. He'd learn everything about him without even knowing him.
First of all, his short, dark hair was tousled. Shawn didn't know where he'd place that color, somewhere between black and very dark brown, but based on the fact that it wasn't gray and the man's face was relatively young, his age had to be in the early to mid thirties at the most. The man had bright blue eyes to rival Juliet's, but other than that, nothing about him seemed bright: the frown lines, the scowling expressions, even to the way he walked. He was obviously a cop; he had the certain athletic gait that only cops possess. Yes, he was definitely a cop; the flash of gold on his belt told Shawn that this man was a detective for the Santa Barbara Police Department. The very slight bulge at his side had to be his trusty gun; he had a shoulder holster. The man's slender, calloused hands, which kept fidgeting, had to have been trained expertly with said gun. This man could be dangerous.
His partner was short compared to the lanky detective. Her pretty little blonde head reached just below his shoulder. No, blonde was too broad of a description. Honey blonde? It definitely wasn't brown. Her eyes were green with brown in the pupil, or perhaps just brown, the lighting made it far too hard to tell. He would go with the general term 'hazel'. She looked about the same age as her partner, and it was easy to see that they did get along. No hostility buzzed between them, so they must've been quite the dynamic detective duo. He couldn't see a holster on her quite as easily as her partner's, but it had to be there. Something about the way she held herself told him that this was not your typical oh-my-God-I-broke-a-nail woman. She wasn't married, he noticed. Strange.
"Hello, detectives!" Shawn greeted, stepping up to the Plexiglas. Juliet looked taken aback for a second.
"How did you know they were detectives, Shawn?" Juliet asked. The lanky man scowled.
"Well, deductive reasoning, dear Juliet," Shawn replied curtly, bowing. "How can I help you two?"
"We're here to investigate," the lanky detective said. His voice certainly fitted him - a nice baritone, with just the right amount of gruffness to it. Not too harsh, but it certainly could get harsh. "There's some information we need to get from you and Mr. Yang."
"You mean my lovely neighbor? The one with the frizzy hair?" Shawn piped, pointing his thumb next to each other. "Yeah, you're definitely going to get us to talk."
The two partners shared a look. The lanky one rolled his eyes.
"Karen, you get Yang. I'll deal with him."
"Fine, Carlton, if you think you can handle it."
Carlton gave her a withering look, but didn't say anything more. They split, and Gus went with Karen, while Juliet stayed with Carlton.
"How the hell did you know what Yin was going to do?" was the first thing to come out of the detective's mouth. Shawn held up his hands, backing up.
"You're certainly forward, Carlton," Shawn commented. "I like it."
"I asked you a question," he repeated, scowling. There was the gruff side of his voice. Shawn grinned, shuffling back closer towards him.
"Indeed you did, Carlton. Indeed you did. Would you like me to talk, or would you like me to do your classic prisoner routine? Because I can do both."
"I think you know what I want." Carlton narrowed his eyes. Shawn grinned with glee, but them suddenly became solemn. He slumped to the ground, moaning.
"You caaaaaaaaaaan't make me tallllllllk," he whimpered, starting to drool on the concrete. "I plead the fifth! I can remain silent-"
"Shawn," Juliet warned.
"Okay, fine." Shawn sat up, coming eye-to-eye with a very unimpressed Carlton Lassiter. "I do know what you want."
"Any chance of you telling me?"
Shawn grinned, clapping his hands together. This was his chance, his chance to tell the world his story. The spirits were cheering him on. "Do you have a father, Detective?"
"Most people do," Carlton deadpanned.
"Well, my father was unlike any other. As a cop, I assume you've worked cases with child abuse or at least some kinds." Shawn leaned forward, breathing into the detective's face. "My father was abusive, in the most loving way possible."
Carlton raised an eyebrow.
"You see, dear Henry Spencer was a great cop. In fact, I know you've heard of him. He's a living legend, some might say. But we don't get along, Henry and I. See, while you and Karen learned your detective skills at the academy-"And here his voice dropped to a whisper. "-my father beat it into my as a child. And that's where it all started."
"What, the psychic visions?" Carlton asked, still not looking impressed. But Shawn was on a roll; he didn't care.
"Precisely that, my dear Carlton. That's when it began. The mental torture, the hyper-observance - it all lead to this." He gestured hugely around the room. "And they talk to me. The spirits, they do. My father told me that I couldn't get by with skill alone, and he's right. I couldn't because the voices tell me things. They tell me what's going to happen next. And they're always correct.
"You see, it's people like Yin that made my life worth something. The police are stumped, I call Chief Fenich and do him a favor as the unknown son of Henry Spencer, and then you're a psychic. You're a fraud, you're mental. And you're thrown in here to rot for the rest of your life."
"What are you saying, Spencer?" Lassiter asked, folding his arms over his chest.
"I'm saying that Yin was only a victim of my mind. I'm saying that I shouldn't be in the place. I'm saying that sometimes, it's the crazies with the right idea." Shawn leaned back, sitting cross-legged. He grabbed his ankles, where his legs were crossed, and rocked back and forth. Carlton looked down at him, frowning. "I'm saying that the whole 'death' thing could've been avoided if you had listened to the ones you throw aside first. Everyone is an asset, Carlton. Even us."
Juliet and Carlton shared a look. Karen walked over, looking shaken.
"Carlton, let's go," she whispered, clutching his arm. He nodded, saluting his farewell to the security guards. They were out of the cells in mere seconds.
And Shawn started laughing. Laughing because he had just given his entire story for the first time, and it went flawlessly. The other patients soon joined in the echo, and Shawn's best friend Gus left immediately. Juliet, his ever-so-lovely Juliet, tried to calm them all down. But it would never work. So she soon followed her fellow guard, and Shawn quieted down.
It was then he realized just how insane he had gone. And Wispy Sunny Pines would become home to him.