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Author's Chapter Notes:
Written for PineappleHead for the 2018 SSFE!

"Dear Santa,

This Christmas... "I want rock 'n' roll." I keed. Just give me some Lassiter and I'll be happy. Although, specifically---well, if I were going to ask for something specific, I'd say either a deathfic or a superawesome crossover with one of my other favorite fandoms. MacGyver or the A-Team would be nice (read: Murdoc or the A-Team would be nice). "

Well... I couldn't give you a crossover, but I could give you a (maaaaybe?) deathfic ;)

Carlton groaned as his head continued to beat to a band of a million drums.

It was his fault that things had turned out this way.

He had no one to blame but himself. Not even Spencer could be the tiniest bit at fault this time.

So here he was, sprawled out and bleeding in some unexceptional alleyway, with no one even the slightest bit aware anything was wrong.

All he had wanted to do was just check out a simple, routine lead.

Carlton hadn’t see the point in calling O’Hara or backup when he left. They were technically off-duty but he had stayed behind at the station studying their case because there was something that just wasn’t making any sense to him. A few hours later he had noticed a discrepancy in the crime scene photos and decided to go check it out himself.

No one was supposed to be even near the crime scene.

The last thing he expected was to be ambushed by four thugs the moment he stepped into the backdoor of the restaurant. Before he could draw his own weapon, he had been pushed against the wall and, despite his struggling, all of his belongings had been stripped from him. Their thorough patting had even found his spare gun in his ankle holster.

A series of way too fast moments and a few punches to the head and stomach had Carlton dazed before he had even realized he was being assaulted.

He struggled to recall how he had gone from being held against the wall to being in the alley when a sharp pain called his attention to the wet gaping hole in his stomach.

Carlton groaned again. How could he not remember being shot? How hard had been punched? It was the last thing he could vaguely recall.

Attempting to sit up found Carlton gasping in agony as he collapsed back against the pavement.

Squinting at the seemingly brightness of the trickle of moonlight from above, pain radiated through him in a way he never knew was possible. Not even close to the time he had been beat up in school, that time he had been shot as a rookie, or when he broke his arm a few years ago. This was so agonizingly worse that he could just barely even process it all.

A frightening thought crossed Carlton’s mind as his eyes slid closed to try and find even the slightest amount of relief. Was this the end? Was this it? After all he had done in all of his years of being a detective, cop and a rookie, was he going to die alone and ungraceful in this disgusting alley?

A few tears welled on the edge of his eyes as a pressure built in his nose. If anyone ever asked, he would insist it was from the pain pulsing through his body. But to be honest with himself, Carlton was sad and afraid. Afraid of dying alone, afraid of never seeing his partner again. Afraid he wouldn’t be able to pick up Marlowe the day she was released from prison. Afraid he wouldn’t be able to spend the rest of his life with her like he often dreamed of. Afraid he would never become a father or become chief, things he had imagined doing since he was a kid himself.

Of all of the ways he had imagined and prepared for his likely demise as a police officer, this was not one he had thought about. Even his list of possible deaths while being undercover had not covered this. He was supposed to go down in a hail of bullets, or performing some other heroic act. Not because he had been foolish and gotten himself into a mess. That was what Spencer did. Not him. Not Head Detective Carlton Lassiter.

He was supposed to be smarter. Stronger. Less careless. Yet, here he was, getting weaker every moment that went by.

A nagging voice (was it O’Hara’s?) in the back of his head told him that he couldn’t have known the crime scene was occupied. Most murder scenes were pretty secure for at least a few days after an incident. The doors had been locked, and the tape usually kept most people out. He couldn’t have known.

But if he hadn’t been alone, this wouldn’t have happened.

And now he was going to be alone for the rest of his life.

Carlton could feel himself becoming weaker the longer he laid there. The unbearable pain had started to numb, leaving him shivering in the cool fall wind. All he wanted to do was close his eyes and drift away, despite his entire being screaming at him to get up and find help.

But as loud as his conscious might have yelled, his body just wasn’t listening.

More tears started to stream down his bruised face as his thoughts consumed him. He wouldn’t exactly say that his life was flashing before him, but there was a sort of peaceful review of important moments, like watching a movie. Moments like when he had graduated from the academy, when he had married Victoria, when he had become detective, and several smaller happy moments, most of which involved O’Hara and sometimes Spencer and Guster. They may not have been the most conventional friends, but as annoying as the pair had been, there had been a few times they had good moments as a group.

He smiled slightly as Marlowe started to come into his view. At least if he was going to die, he would die with happy thoughts. They hadn’t exactly had very many opportunities to form intricate memories yet but every time he saw her it was like he was a school boy with a crush and butterflies in his stomach. He hoped his death wouldn’t sadden her too much. Carlton hated the thought of her being in pain because of him.

As he started to drift further and feel weaker, the memories faded from his mind in a foggy haze.

It became harder and harder to recognize anything.

The only thing he could recognize was an image of his partner.

O’Hara’s face stood clear in front of everything else, looking at him with worry.

After all of the happy moments that had drifted in and out, it confused him slightly but he quickly let it go as everything else started to let go too.

He knew this was it.

In his fog he could almost swear he heard the image call his name, but it was not from a memory he could recall.

This was it. It was time. No one was here.

As everything finally faded to black, Carlton’s last thought was that he swore he felt hands on his numb body.

Chapter End Notes:
Wellll, there you have it! I left it open for your own interpretation. Does he live? Does he die? The world may never know!

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