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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

I'm pretty pleased with this installment. :) I have a real thing for having Lassiter accidentally hurt Shawn and then feel guilty about it later, I've noticed. This is an AU of S1E3, "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Piece," so there will be spoilers. I only gloss over very briefly (blink and you'll miss it) a few key points of the plot, and although I do try to get the episode's plot back on track at the end of the story, this story's not really about that. Cue the whump. :) On that note, there is a pretty nasty injury, but it's not too graphic, so I don't think a warning is necessary. Please let me know if you all think it is and I'll change it. :)
Author's Chapter Notes:
To give you a bit of context, this takes place when Lassiter is trying to drag Shawn out of the hotel kitchen when Shawn's having his "vision" about the dead body in the dumbwaiter. A few references to the episode are throughout, but you don't *have* to have seen it to understand. :)
Hands scrabbled desperately at the surface of the cooktop, searching for any purchase. When none was found, the hands moved to the hanging pots and pans, clawing and grabbing for a solid hold on something useful. He felt the arms wrapped around his middle, their owner doing his best to pull Shawn back, away from freedom, from validation, from the body in the dumbwaiter just waiting to be revealed by his miraculous “psychic” powers of awesome.

But Lassie was making it rather difficult.

While Juliet watched on, the expression on her face half-amused, half-exasperated, the two men struggled across the hotel kitchen, Lassiter trying to pull the squirming Shawn out of the room and away from his case while Shawn, in the throes of another wild vision, strained for the opposite end of the room, twitching and babbling nonsense about something sinister in the moronic server.

“It’s called a dumbwaiter, you imbecile,” Detective Lassiter grunted as he attempted to dig his heels into the tile, refusing to let the flailing psychic free to cause more chaos and make an even bigger fool of the department.

“I’m telling you, Lassie,” Shawn all but shrieked, groping for the heavy iron skillet hanging from the rack above the counter, “the spirits are clearly telling me that Dexter Mandible is crammed right in that tiny space like marshmallows in Gus’s mouth during a game of Chubby Bunny.”

Lassiter and Juliet both took a moment to grimace at the image conjured by Shawn’s simile, but the head detective quickly recovered. “Who the hell is Dexter Mandible?” he growled as he managed to yank the psychic back another three paces. Good Lord, it was like dragging a feral cat to a bathtub, Lassiter thought, barely missing being slugged by yet another of the so-called psychic’s erratically floundering limbs. Except maybe with less claws. Not that Lassiter spent any time bathing cats, feral or otherwise.

“You know, the manager guy, the one who’s been missing and that you wrongly think is the bad guy!” Shawn, slogging forward despite Lassiter’s attempts to stop him, managed to get a firm grip on the handle of the skillet. “Don’t pretend you don’t know who he is anymore just because you’re about to be proved wrong!”

Lassiter panted, “The facilities manager’s—” Shawn clung on to the cast iron handle like it was a lifeline in the middle of the sea while Hurricane Lassie-frass raged on around him, trying to pull him into the inky depths for all eternity, “—name—” Shawn felt something give slightly as Lassiter renewed his efforts and gave his midsection an especially hard yank, “—is—” Juliet suddenly gasped in alarm, calling out the detective’s name in warning as she noticed the overhead rack shift with the combined, manic strength of the testosterone fueled game of tug-of-war, “Dietrich Manheim!”

He gave an especially aggressive yank backwards, Shawn’s hands remained like little spider monkeys on the skillet, and with an almighty groan, the cookware rack gave up the ghost and released its burden upon the head of the man who had so rudely pulled it down. As the rack and its pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils rained down, Lassiter’s momentum threw him back, out of the line of fire, as he lost his grip on Shawn.

After the clamor of the KitchenAid calamity gave way to a dreadful silence and a limp figure covered in the corpses of state of the art, cast iron pots and pans, there was a disbelieving pause as the two detectives stared in shock at the mess before them.

A groan from beneath the kitchen carnage spurred both head and junior detective into action, and they hastily began lugging cookware off the weakly stirring form. Some of the pots – that skillet Spencer’d been clinging onto for dear life, for instance – were alarmingly heavy.

Once Shawn had been mostly unearthed and dazed hazel eyes blinked languidly at them from beneath a mass of rapidly swelling and reddening bruises and contusions – it was probably a safe bet that the rest of his body didn’t look much better than his face after having been assaulted by a dozen or so dive-bombing kitchen items – the detectives tried to help him sit up. When Lassiter gently tried to bring his left arm forward to place around his neck for support, Shawn let out an ear-piercing scream and then whimpered as the detective leaned forward and manipulated the limb to better see the damage.

Juliet cried out in alarm and the detective swore colorfully at the stream of red – how the hell had they missed that?! – spilling from the hand and splattering the tiles with blood. “O’Hara, call an ambulance,” Lassiter ordered.

Juliet was already on the phone with dispatch before he opened his mouth.




The pow-wow in the waiting room was less like the proverbial “come to Jesus” meeting and more like a “damn Lassiter to hell” vigil, at least once Gus and Spencer Sr. showed up. Then the chief arrived, demanding to know what had happened, and how her newest consultant had ended up looking like he’d just gone twelve losing rounds against The Rock, and with a steak knife impaled in his palm, and everything just got better.

So much better, in fact, that a rather frazzled looking nurse had to relocate the noisy group to a spare office off the main waiting room. “I promise, we’ll let you know as soon as we have any new information on Mr. Spencer and you can see him. In the meantime, I must ask you to keep it down, because you are disturbing the other people in the waiting room.”

“It really wasn’t Detective Lassiter’s fault,” Juliet appealed to the chief.

“This isn’t the first time this detective has been unnecessarily rough with my son!” Henry interrupted hotly. “And this time he ended up with a knife through his hand.”

Gus whimpered.

“Chief, I know it looks bad,” Lassiter managed to get in, “but I didn’t physically hurt Spencer. He was fine until he pulled the damn cookware rack down on his head.”

“Be that as it may,” Karen hissed, quieting all arguing parties with a raise of her fierce eyebrows, “you cannot deny that it doesn’t look good, Detective. You and Mr. Spencer were engaged in some sort of altercation, with only you and Detective O’Hara in the room. You have to call for an ambulance because Mr. Spencer ends up with a steak knife in his hand, a severe concussion, and bruises from head to toe. And even if he was ‘fine’ until the rack fell, it does not make up for the fact that you were, once again, physically engaging with a civilian, who was not a suspect and not under arrest. If Mr. Spencer was being a hindrance to the investigation, you should have gone through the proper channels, either had security or some other officers not so emotionally involved, to escort him out.” Her brown eyes blazed with an intensity that seemed to raise the temperature in the small office a few hundred degrees. “The point remains, Detective, that at no time should you have laid a hand on Mr. Spencer.”

A subdued but still emotionally charged silence pervaded the improvised waiting room. “Now,” the chief said, “I have to go back to the station and start doing damage control. The rest of you,” her gaze lingered on Lassiter and Henry much longer than it did on Gus and Juliet, “I will ask to control yourselves when you return to the waiting room. Detectives, I will need your statements soon, but I want you to stay here and ascertain Mr. Spencer’s condition before returning to the station. Henry, please don’t harass my detectives anymore. I think we all know that what happened could and should have been easily avoided, and if, after we get the full story from your son, you wish to pursue this, you and I will talk.” Her gaze softened the slightest bit. “Let me know as soon as you know Shawn’s condition.”

She led the group back out to the waiting room, where the receptionist eyed them warily. To her relief, the arguments did not start anew, and they four remaining people waited in relative silence.




Shawn woke up feeling like he had just been trampled by a herd of wildebeests. That would make him James Earl Jones, he thought, pleased. Which would make Lassiter Jeremy Irons. He snickered mentally as he envisioned Lassie the lion with the limp, dark, pitiful mane, while he, Shawn, ruled with his ferocious coif. Simba, I am your father, he thought, then frowned, because he thought that might be the wrong movie. Oh well. He had more important things to worry about at the moment than which version of James Earl Jones he was.

Namely, why he felt like he had been trampled in the first place, and why he had instinctively cast the blame for his situation on Detective Lassiter. He could only remember vague bits and pieces, mostly of he and Lassiter grappling around like a couple of twelve year old boys in the mud, and something about a wedding…

With a groan, Shawn cracked his eyes open, almost giving up and retreating back into darkness as the pain of the dim light of wherever he was assaulted him.

After his eyes, which felt like they’d been skewered and dipped into a molten fondue of pain, thank you very much, adjusted somewhat, he realized he was in a darkened, quiet, clinically depressing room with white walls, white sheets, thick white curtains, and an ugly, generic painting of a washed-out tulip on one wall.

So he was in a hospital.

A bit miffed that his valiant return to consciousness had not been heralded with the swarming of friends and family, Shawn fought past the intense, all-encompassing pain in his skull and the swelling tides of nausea to turn his head to the side. There were, as in most hospitals, a couple of incredibly uncomfortable chairs by the bed, where heartbroken and grief ridden loved ones were supposed to pine away, not to be consoled until the flutter of eyelashes, twitch of fingers, or moan of pain announced the grand awakening of the poor, bedridden patient.

There was only one problem: The chairs were empty.

Well, that was just great, Shawn thought. Here he was, incapacitated in the hospital, and no one, not even Gus, was here to greet him. He felt a little jaded, to be perfectly honest.

With tremendous effort, and a lot of annoying tugs from the IV line attached to his hand, Shawn managed to get his right arm into position to help lever him into a sitting position all on his own. When he tried to do the same with his left arm, however, he felt an incredible weight at the end of the appendage, like his hand had been replaced with an anvil while he’d slept.

It took a lot of maneuvering, and by the time he’d navigated the arm off of whatever it had been propped up on and had it resting in front of him, he was exhausted. His eyes widened when he saw the bandaged mass at the end of his arm, where his hand was supposed to be. “What the hell….?” he muttered, wincing at how rough his voice was.

It was then that he heard a toilet flush and a door that could only have led to his room’s bathroom opened to reveal his very haggard-looking father.

“Shawn!” Henry was by his son’s side in an instant, and Shawn felt a bit better about having been abandoned to piece together his fate on his own. This was the kind of reaction he’d been hoping for. “How are you feeling?”

Woefully, Shawn answered, voice still like the crackling of leaves underfoot, “Well, seeing as I’ve been left alone, injured and confused, for hours on end–”

“You’ve been alone for ten minutes, tops,” his dad responded gruffly, though there wasn’t nearly as much venom in his voice as Shawn would have expected. Whatever had happened mustn’t’ve been good. “And you were out like a light when Gus left to get another coffee, and then when I stepped into the restroom a few minutes later.” There was an uncomfortable pause. “Seriously, kid. How do you feel?”

Shawn considered making up some crazy analogy that would further antagonize his father, but frankly, he was much too tired to think of one right now, and to be honest, he was just happy that his dad was here right now – though he’d probably die before he’d admit it to the old man. So he just answered truthfully, “Like crap.”

His dad chuckled dryly. “I guess that’s a pretty fair assessment for someone who’s been flattened by a bunch of pots and pans and had to have a steak knife removed from your hand.”

Shawn, not normally a queasy–Quincy like Gus, felt a great surge of nausea rise in his gut at the prospect of something that sharp and pointy being stuck in his body. He could almost feel the color drain from his face, and thankfully his dad must have caught the cue as well, because there was a bin beneath his chin mere seconds before he lost his battle with his stomach.

After he’d finished hacking up his spleen and his dad helped him settle back onto the bed and take a few small sips of water, he bemoaned, “I’m turning into Gus! I’ll never work another murder scene again!”

Henry couldn’t entirely conceal the fond smile that snuck onto his face, but Shawn was so out of it at this point he most likely wouldn’t remember it later. “Kid, you’ve got a severe concussion, cracked and bruised ribs, and bone-deep bruises over most of your body. I don’t think it’s a fair judge of your stamina that you’re getting sick now.”

Shawn studied his bandaged hand again. “It doesn’t even hurt,” he observed.

“You’re on a lot of painkillers,” his dad explained, then added ominously, “Give it a couple of days and a few rounds of PT.”

Shawn groaned, settling back into his bed, and allowed his father to rearrange his shish-kebabed hand on a stack of pillows. “What happened, anyway?” he asked as his father, in a very un-Henryish manner, fussed over the blankets.

His dad sighed. “Apparently, Detective Lassiter was trying to forcibly remove you from a crime scene in an industrial kitchen, and you managed to pull down an entire rack of cast iron pots and the odd knife or two on your head.”

Shawn winced as his father’s words brought back clearer memories of the whole debacle. “Oh. Right.” A pause. “Did they find the body?”

Dad rolled his eyes. “Yes, Shawn, they found the body. Though I’m not entirely sure I want to know how you found the body in the first place.”

Shawn grinned wolfishly as he felt the pull of drugs lure him back to painless sleep. His father’s next words, however, were enough to wipe the grin off his face and instill dread that would follow him into his drugged slumber. “Don’t think this is over, kid, because you’re as much at fault in this as Lassiter. Of all the stupid, idiotic ways to land yourself in a hospital… Don’t you forget that when you’re out there, it’s my name and reputation on the line too, kid, and your antics…”

Shawn drifted off just as his father launched into full lecture mode.




Three days later landed Detective Lassiter in the chief’s office. “Detective,” Karen said, and Lassiter couldn’t gauge from her expression the type of tidings she brought. She could have been telling him to pack his bags, that he was on suspension pending a full investigation, or that he had been completely absolved of any wrongdoing and that Spencer was being shipped to Timbuktu because of his idiocy. It could have been either, truthfully. She would make a hell of a poker player.

“Chief. How’s Spencer?”

“Out of the hospital, and, according to his father, railing quite stubbornly against the strict bedrest policy. He’ll make a full recovery.”

Lassiter felt a weight in his chest lift at the words. As much as Spencer annoyed him, he certainly didn't want the man hurt, and it had been jarring, to say the least, to witness his "accident" a few days before.“Has he said anything about what happened?”

Finally a bit of emotion was granted access onto her face in the form of a slight smile. “When he gave his statement this morning, he claimed that he was in the throes of a violent psychic episode, and that you were trying to keep him from hurting himself.”

Lassiter gaped. “Chief, that’s not—”

Karen held up her hand. “He’s not interested in pressing any charges, and we are going to leave it at that, detective. However,” she gave him The Look that had cowed every officer under her charge at least once in the brief time she’d been over the department, “I cannot impress how important it is in the future for you to remember one very important thing in regards to the work you do with Shawn Spencer.”

“What’s that, Chief?” Though he had a pretty good idea.

“Keep your hands to yourself, Detective.”




It was, to Lassiter’s chagrin, the elder Spencer who opened the door when the detective knocked. The older man didn’t launch into a tirade or attack him for merely standing on his front porch, however, so the detective took it as a good sign. Instead, Henry gave Lassiter the stink eye then grunted and retreated back into the house, leaving the door open in a not-so-cordial invitation to enter.

Shawn was snoozing on the sofa in the living room when the detective made his way in, warily eyeing all the fishing paraphernalia lining the shelves and the walls. He was a little surprised that he hadn’t ended up like that whopper of a bass on the wall after making the questionable decision to visit Spencer while he was, for all intents and purposes, incarcerated in his father’s home.

Unsure if he should wait, wake Spencer up, or just leave, Lassiter was still debating when the chipper, albeit pain-ridden, voice rang out, “Lassie!”

Resigning himself to his fate, the detective made his way to an armchair near the chair and sat gingerly down. “Spencer,” he acknowledged. He tapped his lanky fingers on the arms of the chair. He looked at the ceiling and shifted awkwardly in his seat. When the awkwardness levels had risen to nearly unbearable heights – at least for Lassiter; Shawn just sat there propped up in a sea of pillows with a huge, unnerving grin on his black and blue face – Lassiter finally ventured, “You look better.”

It wasn’t a total lie. Spencer still looked like death, but now, at least, he was warmed over. The bruises had reached the height of their ugliness, and his arm with the bandaged hand was still in a sling. He did have a bit more color, though, which was something.

“Thank you, Lassie. That’s big of you to admit, but you don’t look too bad yourself,” Spencer replied wickedly, with a smile to match.

Fighting hard against the irritation threatening to overwhelm him, Lassiter ignored the good-natured barb and plowed on to the main reason he’d come here: “Look, Spencer. It’s true that you irritate me more than my ex-father-in-law, Second Amendment Protesters, and people who feed squirrels combined, but that doesn’t give me the right to treat you like I did the other day at the hotel.” When Shawn tried to interject, the detective held up a hand, a pained look on his face. “Just… let me get this over with. While it was in no way my fault that you decided to flail about like an idiot, and while it’s true that if you had just left when I told you to instead of grabbing that pan and pulling the damn ceiling down on your head… I’m still… well, you know…” Finding himself quickly losing ground, especially with that infuriating grin still plastered on the younger man’s face, he backtracked from the planned “sorry” and went with slightly more comfortable territory: “I’m glad you’re okay.”

Shawn’s grin, if possible, grew even more blinding. Lassiter stood to leave, but hesitated at the door. “It would have been so easy for you to get me into big trouble,” he finally said, and saw the jest in Shawn’s expression die down just a bit at the sudden shift of topic. “We both know what happened, but the fact is, I do hold some responsibility in what happened to you; if I hadn’t tried to drag you out and had handled it more discreetly, you more than likely wouldn’t have gotten hurt. And with your injuries and testimony, it wouldn’t have been hard for you to press charges.”

Shawn blinked, a confused expression dousing his face. “Why… would I do that?” he asked, and to Lassiter’s amazement, there was no hint of sarcasm or even joking in the words or tone.

“What I want to know is why didn’t you?” Lassiter asked, suddenly regretting this line of questioning. He should have just left after saying his piece. He shouldn’t’ve even come in the first place. But he was in too deep now, so he stood there awkwardly in Henry Spencer’s living room, one hand on the doorknob like it was a lifeline, and waited for an answer he wasn’t sure he wanted to hear.

There was silence for only a few seconds – but with Spencer, a few seconds of quiet seemed like an eternity – before Shawn spoke, his words carefully chosen and voice oddly measured. “I don’t expect you to like me,” the “psychic” said. “I barely expect you to tolerate me. But funnily enough, I don’t think the feeling’s entirely mutual. I don’t want you to lose your job.” The seriousness melted slowly into mischievousness. “After all, antagonizing you at the station is the favorite part of my day.”

Although the last sentence, snarky though it was, registered, Lassiter was still trying to comprehend the other man’s earlier words. He’d seemed serious about it, too – he didn’t mind having the detective around. He, if not liked, Lassiter, at least didn’t hate him. But he automatically assumed that Lassiter hated him, anyway. And why wouldn’t he? How many times had he snarled at Spencer, been rough with him, pushed him around?

And yet…

Well, Lassiter certainly didn’t like Spencer, but he wasn’t entirely positive he outright hated the man, either.

It seemed the head detective had a lot to mull over on the way home.




After Lassiter left, Shawn checked over his shoulder to make sure his dad was still out of the room, and then grabbed his phone and called Gus.

His best friend answered halfway through the first ring. “Shawn! Are you okay?”

“I’ll be fine, buddy,” Shawn responded, wincing as his bad hand sang with agony. What Gus didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. “The weirdest thing just happened though; Lassie came to visit me – at my dad’s house. I think he’s starting to like me!”

Gus snorted. “I think you should go back to the doctor and get your head re-examined. Maybe the concussion did more damage than they originally thought.”

“Regardless,” Shawn plowed on, knowing he had to get to his main point before his dad reappeared in all his lectury-hovery glory, “I need you to come and bust me out of here, dude.”

“Shawn, you’ve got a severe concussion, a hole in your hand, and you’re a walking bruise. Why would I do that?”

“We’ve got to get to Party City, stat!”

“…Why…?”

“Well, I just heard from Dylan. He’s still totally cool with us hosting his bachelor party since his best man is still Mia!”

“It’s M. I. A., Shawn. Missing In Action? And no way. You’re in no shape to host a party, let alone use that party to try to find our killer.”

“Aww, but who’s going to make use of the mini fridge and mini bar and big screen TV in Lassiter’s room, Gus?”

“… Did you say mini fridge and mini bar?”

Hook, line, and sinker.




Chapter End Notes:
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