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26 December 2010 @ 09:16 pm
Psych Fic: A Peculiar State of Affairs  
Written for Sweet Charity
Posted to psychfiction


Title: A Peculiar State of Affairs
Pairing/Characters: Gus, Shawn, Carlton, Juliet, Henry, Karen, Lars, Buzz, OCs
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: 1x01 - 2x03
Summary: Shawn's used to waking up half-naked in strange places but Carlton not so much
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


Shawn Spencer was a man with vast experience in the area of waking up in strange places in various states of undress, so he shouldn't have been surprised to find himself coming to wearing only swim trunks in the middle of the desert.

It's just that Carlton Lassiter was there too.

Also clad in only swim trunks.

This, indeed, was going on Shawn's top ten list.

Or his bottom ten. Too soon to tell...

!

"How did this happen!"

Gus could flail with the best of them, world class really, and he probably would have if Juliet hadn't been driving fast enough to plaster him to the passenger door of Gus's little blue car.

"Apparently the frat boys having the pool party on the other side of the pool from us have a rival frat house that does this every year - kidnap a few of their pledges and drop them off in the desert with no money or anything."

"Are they nuts or something?" Gus braced himself for another turn, white knuckling his hold on the door while his other hand went to check to make sure his seat belt was secure for the fifteenth time.

"It's some idiotic tradition," Juliet scoffed. "It's supposed to be a way to prove themselves, you know, find their way home with no money and all."

"I can see them taking Shawn, but Lassiter?" Gus wrinkled his nose. "He hardly looks like a college kid."

Juliet merged onto the highway, waving impatiently at the cars blaring horns as she cut them off. "They probably just saw two guys from the back and figured it they were in swim trunks they had to be part of the frat boy's pool party. Their M.O. is to put bags over their heads with chloroform so they probably didn't have any idea until they dropped them off that they'd gotten someone old enough to be their dad." She looked at Gus, suddenly mortified. "Oh my god, you so can't tell him I said that."

!

"Wakey wakey eggs and bakey!"

Carlton Lassiter opened his eyes to find Shawn hovering over him.

"I'm dead. And this must be Hell," he intoned.

"Now come on, Lassie! Would Hell look like Las Vegas? Sure, the strip part of it, but not the barren desert!" He waved his arm around as if to display the empty desert around them. "I mean, there would at least be lakes of fire and a volcano or two. The Devil's had millennia to decorate so I'm pretty sure Hell looks way more interesting than this." He paused for a second, musing. "And it would be hotter. Definitely hotter."

Carlton sat up, blinking, and looked down at himself, discovering he was wearing only swim trunks. "Oh, this just gets worse and worse..."

"Tell me about it," Shawn said. "I so don't have enough suntan lotion on for this."

Carlton glanced up at the sun glaring down on them from mid-sky and grimaced.

"I don't have any on," Carlton seethed, muttering. "O'Hara, when I get my hands on you..."

"No suntan lotion? Oh boy," Shawn said, mocking meekness before starting to sing the song 'Rock Lobster' under his breath.

!

"Why don't you have GPS? Everybody has GPS!" Juliet railed as she sped down the highway.

"Not everybody!" Gus protested, struggling to manage the large unruly map in his hands. "I'll have you know I'm an excellent navigator. I learned how to read the stars to find positions as a kid."

"Stars not so helpful in the middle of the day, Gus," Juliet complained. "So why aren't we on the 14 yet?"

"There!" Gus pointed to a sign. "There's the exit for the 14."

Juliet cut across three lanes of traffic and a cavalcade of horns followed.

"Yeah, yeah," she said, waving them off.

"You sure don't care who you piss off when you drive, do you?" Gus said nervously.

"Side benefit of a badge and a gun," she explained, taking the exit. "That plus no speeding tickets! Who knew that was a perk of being a cop?"

"You probably had to become a cop otherwise you'd be broke paying speeding tickets," Gus retorted, bracing himself for another too fast turn.

Juliet just shrugged and merged onto the 14.

"Probably."

!

"Stop! Police!"

Carlton yelled as another car passed by them swerving into the other lane to avoid him as he stepped out into the desolate highway to try to get them to stop.

"You know, flashing your badge only works when you have a badge to flash," Shawn mock reminded him. "No one's going to stop for a guy in a bathing suit." He gave Carlton a look up and down. "Especially that bathing suit."

Carlton just growled at him as they kept walking the noise of their sandals flip-flopping on the hot asphalt the only sound until another car came up: a minivan.

"Stop!" Carlton called out again.

"This time let's try flashing my ID," Shawn smirked. He waited until the car was coming up on them, turned away from it and dropped his swim trunks, mooning the soccer mom and her kids inside.

"What the hell are you doing?" Carlton yelled as the woman drove off, tires screeching.

"Trying to get her to call the police to report a pervert by the side of the road."

Carlton opened his mouth to protest, but halted when no words came out.

"You know," he mused, "that might just work."

!

"Who is it who's lost again?"

"I said, Detective Carlton Lassiter!" Juliet let out a huff as the desk sergeant at the Palmdale Police department tried to write down the name. "He's out there in the desert with Shawn Spencer..."

"A well-respected police consultant," Gus interjected.

"I don't know if I'd go that far," Juliet told Gus before turning back to the desk sergeant. "They're out in just swim trunks. They were abducted from a pool party."

"Abducted from a pool party?" The sergeant stopped writing to look up at her, raising an eyebrow. "Is this some sort of hazing thing? Because when I was a rookie..."

"Detective Lassiter is the senior detective in the squad!" Juliet said, appalled. "He's no rookie!"

"It was a frat boy prank," Gus threw in. "Mistaken identity. The idiots didn't know they got the wrong guys."

"So you want us to be on the look out for two men in swim trunks?"

"Yes!" Juliet nodded her head so vigorously her ponytail bobbed up and down. "And send out a search party. Everyone you've got."

The sergeant took in her bathing suit top, shorts and sandals.

"Yeah, I think I'd like to see your badge again."

!

"Sarge, I just got a call: indecent exposure on the highway? Some guy mooned a mom and her kids. Should I send someone out there?"

The desk sergeant popped a sunflower seed in his mouth.

"We got anyone free?"

The officer shrugged. "I'm not doing anything."

"Then yeah, sure. Why not? If anything you can bring 'em a bottle of water and some suntan lotion and tell 'em to go home and flash in LA County where they belong. Stupid college kids."

The officer put on his hat and headed out to the motor pool to get a car.

"You heading out, Jim?" the motor pool manager asked.

"Yeah, indecent exposure of all things!"

"Suppose it's too much to ask that it's the Girls Gone Wild women," he chortled.

"Nah, drunk frat boys more like it. And who moons anyone these days?"

"In my day," the manager mused, "we used to streak."

"Did they have police in your day, or were you still knocking women on the head with clubs?" Jim snorted. He gave a salute as he got into the police car marked Lancaster Police Department.

!

"You will tell me where you dropped Detective Lassiter and Mr. Spencer off or I will charge you with not just kidnapping but assaulting an officer." Police Chief Karen Vick stared down the two college boys who looked more bored than afraid.

"Look, we don't know nothing about what you're talking about," the older one drawled. He had red hair, freckles and a heinous sunburn.

"Yeah and our dad's lawyers will get us off, so we're not afraid," the younger, shorter boy said in a snotty tone. He had dark hair, buzzed short, and while his sunburn wasn't as bad, it was clear his scalp had been burned pink between his hair follicles.

The door opened and Henry Spencer filled the doorway.

"Chief Vick."

"Henry."

They exchanged respectful nods.

"I understand these are the boys who kidnapped my son? Who know where he is?"

"They are."

Henry looked at them, eyes reduced to evil slits. "I'd like a word with them."

Karen saw the fear blaze up in the boys' eyes as Henry loomed over them.

"Be my guest," she said, closing the door on their protests.

Five minutes later Henry came out and the boys were meek little mice huddled in the room behind him.

"Shawn and Detective Lassiter are in Lancaster off the Old Desert Highway."

!

"Halleluiah!" Shawn threw up his hands at the sight of the police car heading for them, doing his best impression of a Southern televangelist. "We are saved!"

"About time," Carlton growled, scanning his reddening skin. "I feel like I've been deep fried out here."

Shaw waved his arms at the car as it came to a halt.

"Thank you, thank you! You saved us!" he mock cried. "Another twenty minutes with this guy and I was going to either shoot him or myself!"

The officer drew his gun, eyeing them. "Put your hands up!"

"What the?"

"Officer, I'm a policeman..." Carlton started to say only to get cut off.

"Put them up! Hands on your head now!"

Grumbling, Carlton put his hands on his head and Shawn just stared at the man.

"Dude, is this a Twilight Zone episode or something? Did we land in Bizzaro world, because we're the stranded travelers full of woe and you're supposed to be the big hero come to save us from dehydration, exposure and like killer bees or something."

"Hands. On. Your. Head."

With a long sigh, Shawn complied, turning slightly to Carlton. "You know the service in Santa Barbara is so much better. I'll never take our police force for granted again. Remind me to leave a big tip next time I get taken into custody back home."

The officer marched them over to the car.

"Hand on the roof."

"Are you crazy?" Shawn said, trying to turn back, only to have the officer shove him forward. "It's like a thousand degrees out here and you want me to touch black metal!"

"Suck it up, Spencer," Carlton scowled. "Be a man." Carlton put his hands on the roof only to draw them back, biting his lip to choke back an expletive at the pain. He put his hands back, fingernails down to keep his skin off the searing metal.

"I prefer to be a man with hands," Shawn scoffed. "I find them useful." A second later the officer finished frisking them and pulled Shawn's hands behind them, handcuffing them. "Not so much at the moment."

!

"We're at the wrong station!" Juliet closed her cell phone and grabbed Gus by the arm, dragging him out to the car. "They're in Lancaster, not Palmdale!"

"We got a lead?" Gus asked.

"Yeah, Chief Vick interrogated the frat boys caught on the traffic camera near my apartment and found out where they dumped Shawn and Lassiter."

"They just told her like that? I'm surprised," Gus said.

"Yeah, well apparently Shawn's dad is the one who got them to confess."

Gus got in to the passenger side as Juliet got behind the wheel.

"I know Shawn's dad. I remember him getting me to confess to stuff as a kid I didn't even do!"

Juliet started the car and peeled out of the parking lot, causing another car to slam on its brakes to avoid hitting her as she swerved into traffic lanes.

"Learn to drive!" she yelled out the window.

"You know as scary as he was back then?" Gus said, quickly snapping his seat belt on and holding on tight. "He's got nothing on you! You? You scare the bejezes out of me!"

!

"I am a detective with the Santa Barbara Police Department!"

Carlton's protest was met with deaf ears as Jim ushered Shawn and him into the Lancaster Police Station.

"Yeah, and your buddy here is a psychic," Jim drawled, disbelieving. "I could almost picture you as a cop and I might have believed you if you'd left out the psychic bit."

"It's not a bit," Carlton snapped. "And he's not my buddy. Feel free to disregard anything he tells you. Listen," he tried to calm his voice, "just run my name through the DMV computer system. It will confirm my identity and show that I'm Law Enforcement."

"It does that?" Shawn marveled. "That's so cool. I am so asking Chief Vick to put that on my DMV record. Hey, does it keep you from getting parking tickets? Because my motorcycle..."

The desk sergeant greeted Jim with a nod, barely pausing in eating the bag of cookies in front of him to speak.

"Phones are down again. No computer network until the geek shows up to to fix it."

"Again?" Jim complained. "I think those guys screw it up on purpose so we have to pay them to come back again."

The other man shrugged and brushed crumbs off his uniform shirt.

"They said they'd be here in about an hour. For now 911 has us on walkie-talkies in case of emergency. Fire department's still got phones at least. It's just our office that's screwed."

Jim led Shawn and Lassiter over to a large holding cell that already had a handful of men in it.

"Sorry, boys. Looks like you're going to have to cool your heels for a while until we get this all figured out." He unlocked their handcuffs and gestured them into the cell.

"I'm a police officer!" Carlton exclaimed in protest. "You can't just drop me into a cell with common criminals."

"These men are all innocent until proven guilty just like you are." Jim leaned in, a half smile on his face. "And I didn't tell them you were a cop - you just did."

The door clanged shut, locking them in, and Jim walked away leaving Shawn and Carlton to face the five rough looking men rising and closing in on them with grim expressions on their faces. One cracked his knuckles. Another cracked his neck.

"Uh, hi guys," Shawn said with a smarmy wave. "Anyone up for Yahtzee?"

!

"Ugh, the phones are still down in Lancaster!" Juliet glared at the phone, grumbling, before turning her attention back to the parking lot of traffic stalling the drive from Palmdale to Lancaster. "What I wouldn't give for sirens and lights about now."

"It's got to be like a hundred and twenty degrees out there," Gus worried. "With all the stop and go traffic and the temperature the way it is, I'm afraid the car's going to overheat. We should turn off the air conditioning."

He reached over to turn it off only to have his hand smacked away by Juliet.

"No way you're turning the A/C off! It's the only thing keeping us melting to death!"

"It's my radiator that's going to be melting if the car boils over."

"Forget it," she said, her tone warning. "If you think I'm an annoyed driver now just wait to see how bad I drive when my hair's plastered to my face and I'm all sweaty."

"It's my car," Gus whined.

"I have a gun," Juliet countered. "And the car keys which means in the whole possession is nine-tenths of the law thing I get to keep driving." She paused for a second before throwing out her final barb. "So there."

She growled at the traffic ahead as Gus sulked in the passenger seat.

Juliet screwed up her face then brightened, putting on her turn signal to pull out of traffic to drive on the shoulder.

"What are you doing?" Gus cried.

Juliet just started driving off the pavement.

"This thing can go off road, right?"

!

"No, no, it's all in the wrist!" Shawn had the rapt attention of four of the five jail inmates as he demonstrated his technique for throwing winning dice every time.

The fifth inmate was standing in Carlton's personal space which at the moment was incredibly tiny given that the man's unwanted attention - and body odor - had forced Carlton to wedge himself into a corner of the cell.

The man just stared at him from between stringy strands of unwashed hair, tilting his head as if Carlton was some sort of anomaly he couldn't suss out. Or as if he had a wasp's nest on his head and didn't know it.

The desk sergeant was reviewing two police sketches that Jim had pulled out to show him.

"I know they're kind of old, but..."

"No, you're right. The kid could be this sketch..." He put down that one and focused on the second. "But the older guy? He well could be the Lancaster Looter that's been robbing all these houses lately. He matches the sketch that witness gave us..."

"Dark hair, mean eyes, slightly protruding jawline? Oh yeah. It could well be him."

"Officer?" Carlton called out only to be ignored as the two cops reviewed the sketches.

"Phones still down?" the motor pool manager asked, walking in.

"Yep," the desk sergeant answered lazily. "Geek should be here soon though."

"Sergeant?" Carlton called out, his tone more desperate as the man staring him down licked his lips.

"You sure do have a pretty mouth," he told Carlton.

Carlton screwed up his face and bellowed. "Spencer!"

!

"My car... My poor car..."

Gus looked shell-shocked as his little blue car - now more brown than blue since it was coated with desert sand colored dirt - hobbled back up on the pavement.

"Relax," Juliet scoffed, "it's under warranty isn't it?"

"Warranty doesn't cover acts of crazy police officers!" Gus all but shouted out. "It's for manufacturing defects, not defective drivers!"

"I got us here, didn't I?" Juliet waved her hand over at the map on Gus' lap. "Find me directions to the police station, Mr. Boy Wonder Eagle Scout. We have to get to Detective Lassiter before he does something he'll lose his badge over."

"You don't think he'd..." Gus halted, uncertain, " I mean he's not Shawn's biggest fan, but do you think he'd really..."

"Throttle him for getting him kidnapped at the pool party he only came to because he lost a bet about Shawn closing the Connor case? He might."

"Wait, he only came because he lost a bet?"

"Two bets," she clarified. "One got him to show up. The big bet, well..." She smirked at the memory. "That's the one that forced him to show up in swim trunks."

Gus scowled at the memory of that visual. Some people should not be seen in swimwear. Even at home. In their bathrooms. In a mirror. Even to themselves.

"Turn left at the signal up there." He pointed it out to her in time to brace himself for another wild turn. "And in the future? Just do us all a favor and let him win."

!

Shawn was midway through pretending to have a vision of Jim's dead aunt - Jim, the desk sergeant and the motor pool manager gaping in wonder at him as his audience - when Gus and Juliet burst into the Lancaster Police Station.

"Shawn! Oh, thank god you're okay!" She flashed her badge at the officers. "Detective Juliet O'Hara from the Santa Barbara Police Department! I've been trying to call you looking for Detective Lassiter and our consultant Shawn here."

"So that guy really is a cop then?" Jim sounded disappointed. He got to his feet slowly and accepted the jail keys from the desk sergeant. "I was sure he was putting me on."

"Wait, so you believed Shawn and not Detective Lassiter?" Gus asked, stunned.

"Oh ye of little faith!" Shawn said to Gus, mocking offense.

"Well, in truth we didn't, but when he got one of his visions while we were talking about the Quick-E-Stop robbery and solved it for us? We knew he was the real deal."

As Jim let a twitchy Carlton out of the holding cell, the desk sergeant shook Shawn's hand.

"Any time you want to come down to Lancaster, we'd be happy to have your help."

"Well, thank you,' Shawn said gregariously. "And good luck finding my doppelganger. It's disturbing to know someone who looks like me could be out there starting riots! It's really shameful!"

"We'll find him," the desk sergeant assured. "We don't want anyone to go about ruining your good name."

Shawn clapped his hand on the man's shoulder in mock formality. 'You're good people. Don't ever change." In the next breath he turned to away to face Gus, mouthing the words "Get me out of here!"

!

The four of them headed out of the police station and Shawn burst out with a loud "Shotgun!" when Gus' car came into sight.

Carlton just stared at the tiny car.

"Oh, you've got to be kidding."

"I am not riding in back in my own car," Gus said, his tone gruff.

"Dude, I called shotgun first. It's the rules! Besides, you know how Jules drives. Do you really want to watch the carnage from the front row?"

Gus just huffed out a grumble under his breath and got in the back.

"Lassie! You're up!" Shawn held the door open so Carlton could squeeze into the back seat.

"I thought I was in Hell and then I thought I was rescued." He paused to stare up at the heavens before getting in, letting out a long breath. "But I'm still in Hell."

"Wouldn't Hell look more like the Las Vegas strip than the desert?" Juliet mused. "And it'd be hotter."

Carlton let his head fall against the top of the car in resigned disgust only to jerk it back again, the redness of a slight burn from the searing hot metal car roof on his forehead over his already pinked sunburned skin.

Shawn winced as he watched Carlton strain, trying hard not to lose his temper.

"Yeah," Shawn agreed. "Definitely hotter."

!

"And I really don't like to toot my own horn, if you will, but the record I set that day still stands in the Treasury department and not even the FBI has matched it since. Yes, people think it's not as exciting as the CIA, but mark my words: Treasury Department agents see more than their share of action in the world."

Lars took off his super dark sunglasses for extra emphasis on that last line, whipping them off in dramatic fashion.

His expression turned quizzical as he looked around him. The water lapped quietly in the pool, the grill was abandoned and the only person around was Buzz who was snoring in the next chaise.

"Where did everybody go?"

!!!
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 27th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
Confession
This was written for byrons_brain's winning bid at Sweet Charity. It's horribly late, but she's such a sweetheart she never made me feel awful for taking so long. /hugs/

I actually finished this quite a while back and sent it to her, but I haven't gotten around to actually publishing it. I wanted to do it today as a bit of a nod to her birthday (Happy Birthday! /throws naked body shaped confetti/) and because I swore to myself I'd have it up before year end.

Her original bunny was so hilarious (she has great story ideas - I wish she'd write them!) that I wasn't sure I could do it justice, but I did like how much fun this turned out to be. I don't normally do silly/goofy type stuff, but I tried to keep in tone with the feel of the show and that helped keep it snarky good fun, just like in canon.

BTW, yes Lancaster and Palmdale exist out by the 14 in Southern California and are neighboring cities. They used to be a whole lot of nothing and then the housing crunch filled a lot of the empty space with tract housing. Still, plenty of nothing still out there - I think. (It's been a while.) LOL I can't remember if the Old Desert Highway is made up or not, to be honest.

The line "You sure do have a pretty mouth" came to me from Esthero's 'Breath From Another', but I'm pretty sure they sampled it from the movie 'Deliverance.'

So thanks for your patience, Karen! I appreciate you being so great about me being made of fail for so long.

Very special thanks to First Readers bewize, t_vo0810 and melissima for their assistance with this fic.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 27th, 2010 10:18 am (UTC)
:-) I love it when you write Psych fic. You had every voice down perfect. I particularly loved Juliet's driving.
Karen: psych lovebyrons_brain on December 27th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
::snuggles tight:: Definitely worth the wait, I just love this fic....
Margaret Robinsonthe_moogie on December 27th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
I freakin' love your Juliet.
MoonGoddessShadowshadow_artemis on December 28th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Good lord, this should be an episode.