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Psych Fic: Jumping and Cars with Criminals 2/4

January 21st, 2010 (01:10 pm)

A/N: Thanks to those who read and reviewed :) This ended up being a bit of a jaunt of character exploration for me, trying out the many voices of Psych. So, anyway, all other notes in part one! Thanks!

 

PART TWO

Damn paramedics.

Henry glowered at the one sitting across from him. The rig was cramped and with every bump, his head hit the console above him, which was pretty stupid design or really poor driving or maybe just really poor upkeep. The gear didn’t seem properly stowed, and he was pretty sure that the way the guy behind the wheel twitched from time to time, he could only deduce that this pair of paramedics was maybe a bit sub-par. There was no way that a rig should have so much stuff littered around, and the guy upfront was either a coffee junkie in severe withdrawal or an anal retentive who had just been reprimanded for poor driving on the job.

The medic across from him met his gaze and smiled. Like a dimwitted dog greeting an angry master.

Henry looked away, as much for his sake as theirs. This was hell on his blood pressure as it was without having to run through a mental checklist of why the damn paramedics should be cited for protocol lapses.

Like, why wasn’t Shawn covered more appropriately? His kid looked cold there, and it didn’t matter if this was California or a freakin’ volcano, the kid was shot and shocky, so where the hell was the damn blanket? For that matter, the IV wasn’t even taped properly. It was in, but it looked like a shoddy job at best. Sure, Shawn was unconscious, but Henry had told them that Shawn had been coherent only moments before, so wasn’t it possible that Shawn would come to and jar it?

“Sir, do you want me to add another piece of tape?” the paramedic asked, glancing at Henry a bit uncertainly. “He’s fine as is, but if it will make you feel better--”

Henry clenched his jaw, refusing to feel sheepish. “I still say he needs a blanket.”

“The IV is warm,” the paramedic said. “Everything is exactly according to protocol.”

Henry drew his lips together and sighed.

Damn paramedics. Henry never had trusted them. All their gear and their protocol, spending all their time doing paperwork and double checking their damn i’s and t’s just to put on a pressure bandage. Their first duty should be to the patient, not their paperwork, but this kid across from him had spent more time filling out forms than monitoring Shawn.

And that didn’t even begin to touch on their lack of timeliness. They had taken fifteen minutes to get their asses to a crime scene with confirmed injuries. He knew it was out of town and that the traffic had been heavy, but that didn’t change the fact that they’d been slow. Five minutes would have been forgettable, seven would have been forgivable, but fifteen?

Henry had half a mind to take their badge numbers and report them, just for the sheer principle of the thing.

But Henry also had the rest of his mind to remind him of the fact that these yahoos were the only two things that were going to get his son someplace where he could get treatment.

In the end, Henry Spencer was a practical man, and he knew his priorities.

Take care of Shawn first.

Always take care of Shawn first.

He’d get these two fired afterwards. When Shawn was stitched up, transfused, and bitching like the little jackass that he was.

And, truthfully, Henry wasn’t just pissed at the paramedics. They had their part to play in all this, but blaming them was nothing more than juvenile deflection. Something that Shawn would be prone to.

Like father, like son. Henry hid it well, but he recognized more of himself in Shawn than either of them would admit. Detective Lassiter had been right about that much in this whole debacle.

The fact was, Henry was a little off his game. He should have picked up on the gas station the first time around. The attendant--no, the perp--had been too damn specific. The details about the hair, not having all his marbles, and the precise time and direction. It had been too good. He’d lectured Shawn countless times about that one, about not trusting the ones who gave you everything you wanted, but damn it, Henry had really wanted this one.

This was Shawn.

His kid.

His Shawn.

Scrubbing a hand over his head, Henry blew out a frustrated breath. He was getting soft in his old age. He looked over his kid and set his jaw. Soft in every way.

So this was partially his fault. Shawn, laid out on the stretcher in the back of a speeding ambulance, was his responsibility. He couldn’t have kept the idiot from taking the bullet in the first place--Shawn was too strong willed to listen about things like that--but Henry should have prevented the subsequent kidnapping, high speed chase, and the whole jumping on cars incident.

He almost had to laugh. That was typical Shawn. Never thinking things through. Doing them with flair and gusto but ultimately throwing caution to the wind and hoping for the best. Shawn’s deductive reasoning was top of the line, but cold hard facts never could get them all the way. There was always that last little leap of faith that Henry liked to back up with double-checking and a badge.

Shawn just liked to take his hunches and go with them, right on top of speeding vehicles or in front of bullets.

The bullet wound wasn’t necessarily serious. Sure, it was a gunshot wound, which automatically made it nothing to mess around with, but it wasn’t one that was intended to kill. People didn’t take pot shots at the shoulder from a close range unless they’re blind as a bat or doubting their next move. No, Shawn had been lucky in that regard, but at this point, Henry wasn’t sure how much that luck was worth.

It was an untreated wound, which made it ripe for infection. More than that, it was an aggravated wound, again, thanks to Shawn’s misplaced sense of heroics.

And Henry also knew that shoulder wounds were horribly underrated. They were the romanticized gunshot, the kind written into TV shows to add an element of peril without necessarily creating a life threatening injury. But the reality? There were numerous arteries and blood vessels in the shoulder, and if one was nicked, victims could just as easily bleed out from the shoulder as the chest. True, shoulders were less messy than the stomach, but muscle damage wasn’t anything to ignore.

And given the placement of Shawn’s wound, it could have nicked the bone. It had gone through, which was good in many ways, but the shoulder were complicated and any bone fragments could cause trouble even after the immediate injury.

Which Shawn really did know. But Shawn hadn’t cared enough to mind that kind of detail. Because the damn kid had jumped on a car and took a serious injury and made it a whole lot worse.

Henry felt his cheeks burn. He had jumped on the hood of a speeding car. Typical Shawn. Never mind the fact that if the truck had sped up or if Shawn had misjudged the gap, the kid would have been splattered on the pavement. Not to mention how hard it would be to hold on, especially with one arm impaired, which could have resulted in being run over. But Shawn had to go for the show.

Sure, Henry wasn’t stupid enough to think it was all about the show. Partially, yes. Because Shawn liked his theatrics. But that wasn’t all of it.

Shawn had been scared. He had wanted out. Even if that meant jumping on a car and reopening the bullet wound and therefore putting his life in jeopardy.

And it was in jeopardy, even if the damn paramedics wouldn’t own up to it. Henry glanced at the guy in the rig across from him. It was a kid, maybe a few years younger than Shawn. A rookie, which was why he kept double-checking all the forms. And this was probably his first gunshot wound, knowing Henry’s luck, since the damn rookie kept checking the IV and repositioning the oxygen mask in an exercise of utter futility.

Not that Henry didn’t want the kid to check up on Shawn, but he would have felt better if he was doing something more proactive. It was all proficient enough, with the IV and the oxygen mask, but there was virtually no wound management and minimal attention to Shawn’s vitals. Which could mean anything, really, and Henry was having a hard time figuring out if this kid was just taking precautionary measures on a wound he didn’t deem serious or if he was scared as hell over a high-grade trauma he didn’t know quite how to deal with.

Neither of which made Henry feel better.

Henry swallowed hard, and looked at the ground. All his deductive reasoning and observational skills and none of it could get him what he wanted.

He looked up again, and let his eyes linger on Shawn. His kid. Henry raised him to be a cop, and look where it got them. He should have seen this coming. He should have known the first time he taught Shawn how to answer all the questions that the main thing he’d find was the answers he shouldn’t know.

The answers that got him shot.

Shawn looked young--younger than he should--and suddenly it was like Shawn was eight years old again. Still a smart-ass but still looking for Henry’s approval. Even now, even with this psychic crap, it was Shawn’s way of being accepted, of finding his place.

It wasn’t what Henry had wanted for his son, but it was pretty damn close.

He gritted his teeth, and looked at the bandage on Shawn’s shoulder. He looked at the flecks of blood on his cheek. He looked the stillness of his body.

It was close enough. It had to be close enough.

The kid across from him smiled. “He’s doing great.”

Henry didn’t smile back. “Do other people believe that crap?”

The kid looked vaguely queasy. “He seems like a tough guy.”

“Tough doesn’t have anything to do with it,” Henry said, his patience thin. “Simple biology. He has a hole going through his shoulder and you don’t know what’s going on with it. You don’t know if it’s hit bone or what muscles it’s screwed up. You probably don’t even know for sure if it’s bleeding much or not anymore. And when was the last time you checked his vitals?”

The kid looked like a deer in the headlights. “His vitals are holding steady,” he said.

Henry arched his eyebrows. “Then why is his heart rate accelerating?”

Perplexed, the kid shook his head, his eyes flickering to the monitor. “Sir, please, if you’re going to ride with us, you are going to have to let us do our work.”

At that, Henry laughed, because, really, at this point, he’d had enough. He’d been dragged out of the bed in the middle of the night because his son had been shot. He’d gone along with some know-it-all detective on a hike through the woods and then he’d missed the vital clue. He’d left his son in the hands of two maniacs, and then watched his kid--his only damn kid--nearly kill himself on top of it all. Then he’d waited fifteen minutes for an ambulance while Shawn let loose some blood volume and now he was riding across from some kid who was more worried about a paperwork error than Shawn’s well being. He’d tried patience. He’d tried understanding. He’d drive this damn rig himself if he had to, but the fact was, he was just a retired cop who knew basic first aid. Shawn was possibly bleeding out from an aggravated gunshot wound, and they wanted to tell him that Shawn looked like a tough guy and he was doing fine?

If the first was true, that didn’t make the second true, because tough or not, Shawn was unconscious in an ambulance, and all Henry really wanted was someone to do their job. “I’d love to let you do your job, if you would actually start doing it instead of piddling around with the paperwork!” he yelled.

“Sir, I told you about the blanket,” the paramedic said, his brow furrowed.

“And I’m telling you, look at my kid,” he said, because Henry could see it plain as day. As much as he tried to distract himself with the paramedics and the protocol and the blame, he could still put two and two together and come up with the answer staring at him in the face.

Because something was wrong, something was very, very wrong. More than Shawn being still, more than Shawn being quiet, it was the bloodstain on the bandage, it was the gray tint of his skin, it was the shallow rise and fall of his chest.

Shawn was all about instincts. Henry was much more about proof. But he’d be a liar if he couldn’t admit that the two were actually interrelated and that a Spencer always used one to find the other. And what was his gut telling him? Henry didn’t have to be psychic to know that the growing pit in his stomach was more than a distaste for paramedic protocol gone bad.

It was something more than that, and Shawn was giving him all the proof he needed.

The heart rate was fluctuating, up and down, and up and down, and Henry knew the BP was going to plummet a second before it happened.

That was the thing with good observational skills. Sometimes they gave you answers you really didn’t want to know.

Things like your wife is leaving you.

Your son stole a car.

Your son will never be what you dreamed he would be.

Your son is hurt and you should have stopped it.

But this one took the cake: your son is dying and the paramedic is doing paperwork.

Because in all of it--in all the lectures, the fights, the disappointments, the frustrations--none of it meant jack crap in the face of the one thing that mattered. He could be gruff, he could be a hard-lined son of a bitch, he could be anything he damned well pleased, but without Shawn, what was he anyway?

A retired cop? A tough old bastard with a penchant for ugly shirts? A divorcee who didn’t really find any women more attractive than the one who had left him?

A father. A father.

And that sort of required having a son.

So this couldn’t happen.

This couldn’t happen.

He didn’t raise that kid, train that kid, find that kid, to see him go out like this. Hell, no.

A monitor blipped once, and the paramedic frowned right as the thing let out a wail.

And the worst of it was that, for all his resolve, there was nothing Henry could do.

In all his years on the force, all his years as a father, he’d never felt like this. Helpless. Completely helpless.

Just like that, Henry’s mind stopped working. He stopped paying attention to the details. He didn’t look to see what the paramedic was doing. He didn’t stop to hear what the kid was saying. He didn’t think to observe any of it--not the IV, the pressure bandage, the speed of the vehicle--just the one thing left that mattered.

Shawn.

He knew his son well. He knew every facial feature. He knew the cowlicks in his hair. He knew the scar on his right forearm from a Boy Scout camping trip gone wrong when the kid was ten. He knew the lilt of his smile. He knew the keenness of his eyes when the kid was onto something. He knew the exasperated tone of the kid’s voice when there was something he wanted but just couldn’t get.

He knew his kid was a smart ass and damn near brilliant.

He knew his kid wanted to piss him off sometimes, but more often, just wanted to make him proud.

He knew that for every time the kid pissed him off, Henry was almost always proud.

And damn it, with all the equipment, all the blood, all the trauma--there was a lesson here that Henry didn’t need astute observational skills to pick up on.

Focus on what matters. It didn’t matter how he got there, he just had to get there. That was what Shawn’s psychic crap was all about. The destination was exactly what Henry had always wanted, but Shawn had insisted on taking his own route. The flailing and show was all too much for him, but, in the end, his kid was fighting the good fight and doing it pretty damn well. Sometimes you had to stop wanting because you already had it.

Henry had spent over thirty years trying to make Shawn grow up.

There, in the back of an ambulance, Henry realized that maybe Shawn already had.

“Sir,” the paramedic was saying. “Sir.”

Henry flinched, looking up again. “What?”

“We’re at the hospital,” he said, and he sounded breathless and a little weary. “You’ll have to stand out of the way while we get him transferred.”

Henry looked at Shawn again. The kid looked worse, somehow. Still pale and still still, and the bandage looked worse and the rise and fall of his chest was almost indiscernible.

Stand out of the way, my ass.

As the ambulance came to a stop, the paramedic stood, unlocking the wheels on Shawn’s gurney. The door opened, and the other medic stood waiting as they started to maneuver the gurney out.

Without missing a beat, Henry jumped down beside them, placing a guiding hand on one side of the gurney, letting it brush against Shawn’s arm.

“Sir,” the paramedic said. “Why don’t you head over to the waiting room while we get your son checked in?”

Henry smiled a little, hard and menacing. He didn’t look up as they went through the ER doors. “Kid,” he said. “This is my son, and I just spent the last ten hours looking for him through the back country outside Santa Barbara. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the thirty-one years I’ve raised and trained this kid, even when he pissed and moaned the whole time. So if anyone is going to head over to the waiting room, it’s going to be you, because I’m staying with my son.”

If the paramedic protested, Henry didn’t hear it. Wouldn’t hear it. Not while there were more important things to do.

-o-

It was always about justice.

Figure out the crime, catch the suspects, and bring them in. Simple and straightforward, just the way Lassiter liked it.

Except where Shawn Spencer was involved.

Lassiter still wasn’t convinced Spencer was psychic, and he certainly would never suggest that the guy was anything but a pain in his ass, but he was good at what he did. Even if he did it in the most annoying and difficult and ridiculous ways possible, Shawn Spencer was a damn good detective.

Who had a habit of royally screwing up everything Lassiter did. If Lassiter thought a case was solved, Spencer pointed out otherwise. If Lassiter thought suspect X was guilty, Spencer was damn near determined to suggest that witness Y was actually the culprit. And even when they were on the same page, Lassiter had to jump through hoops and listen to a lot of yelling and babbling before the resolution ever came.

Which was why as useful as Spencer could be, Lassiter really did appreciate a Spencer-free case.

Not so much his luck.

Because if Spencer was a pain in the ass when he was working with Lassiter, he was the ultimate thorn in Lassiter’s side when Spencer was the victim.

Victim.

It made Lassiter’s stomach twinge and he cast a glare at the perp, locked nice and safe in the back of the squad car. It had taken long enough--and Lassiter would make sure that the department heard his thoughts on that, taking almost fifteen minutes to provide back up on a pursuit with injuries--it simply was not acceptable. But they’d showed up with force--a handful of squad cars, a pair of ambulances, and even a few CSIs to see what evidence they could collect.

Because yeah, it seemed like a cut-and-dry case. The perp and his downed colleague had schemed to hit an armed car. Given their records, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility and given the low pay for ex-cons, the need for cash wasn’t a stretch either. They’d practiced on Lassiter’s bemoaned ice cream truck, readied for the real thing, when Spencer, being his usual brilliant self, had found out and ended up in the right place at the wrong time.

Spencer didn’t like to think so, but bad guys did bad things, like shoot over-talkative psychics who figured out the master plan. That Spencer was still alive was actually a surprise to Lassiter. The shot at the storage yard had been from close range--it would have been an easy kill. But robbery was not the same as murder, and Carlton knew that even hardened criminals weren’t always that hard.

But that didn’t mean that they were innocent, nor did it mean that they wouldn’t resort to kidnapping for leverage.

Who had started the mess was really still in question, but Lassiter knew that the one he needed to nail to the wall was the one they had in custody. He didn’t know the status of the one at the hospital, but since this guy was the last perp standing, he was most likely the mastermind and most definitely the one Lassiter needed to make a case against. Attempted murder was probably a slam dunk since he had the gun and the slugs from the gas station, and kidnapping wouldn’t be too hard since Shawn had been tied up in the back of the guy’s pick up.

But evidence was important, because this case had to be airtight. This case was about Spencer.

Hell, it was about one of Lassiter’s own. There was no way he could let anything slip by.

Scowling, he strode around to the backside of the pickup. The CSI was doing his work, carefully combing the thing for fibers and other relevant information. Passing him by, Lassiter moved to the bed of the truck.

Inside, he could see the rope. The ends were frayed where Spencer had broken free.

Idiot could get himself out of a rope but then had the lack of mind to jump on a moving car. Lassiter’s moving car.

Moron could have killed himself and left Lassiter with even more of a mess to clean up.

Bristling a little, he turned away again, looking back toward his car. O’Hara was there, sealing up a plastic bag and handing it off to a uniformed officer. Pursing his lips, he made his way over. “You got anything?” he asked.

She swallowed a little. “Just bagging up some possible evidence,” she said. “The, uh, shammy from Shawn’s shoulder. I thought we might need to place it back at the garage to prove the link between the guy there and Shawn’s original kidnapping. Gus said that the one back at the gas station was the one who they met at the auto shop, so he may have been our original shooter.”

Which made sense. If the original perp had been the one to shoot Shawn, he would be targeted as the weak link in the partnership for not offing Spencer when he had the chance. Lassiter nodded. “Smart thinking, O’Hara,” he said.

She smiled weakly. “Yeah,” she said. “Just doing my job.”

This was hard for her, that much was obvious. And, okay, it was also obvious that she was close to Shawn. Maybe wanted to be closer. Not that Carlton had any real desire to know, but she didn’t exactly hide it well.

And okay, so maybe Spencer had that effect on people. He was damn endearing when he wanted to be, and even Lassiter couldn’t completely deny that.

Though he would try to, almost without question.

But--this was his partner. This case had been hard on all of them, and yet here O’Hara was, still doing her job when Lassiter knew without a doubt that the only thing she wanted was to be at the hospital.

Lassiter didn’t want to ask. He didn’t want to push it.

But, damn it, he had a heart in there somewhere. Enough for his ex-wife to rip it out and stomp on it, so the least he could do was offer Juliet some comfort.

He hedged a little, trying to find the words. This was not his area of expertise--not by a long shot. “You did good,” he said, wincing inwardly at how trite it sounded. “We found him.”

O’Hara smiled, a little rueful. “Thanks to his clues.”

Lassiter shrugged a little. “He’s a good part of the team,” he conceded.

She looked at him, head cocked a little, almost surprised. “He is, isn’t it?”

Lassiter nodded. “As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes we couldn’t get the job done as well without him.”

At that, she laughed.

He frowned. “What?”

She shook her head. “No, nothing,” she said, smiling tiredly. “It’s just that everyone seems to know just what they need to say today. I mean, you and Gus and Shawn’s dad and even Shawn--all know how to say what you need to say and it’s perfect and right and I can’t come up with anything.”

His frown deepened. This was why he avoided personal conversations with his peers. Especially women. He never knew what they were talking about.

She gave a dismissive wave of her hand. “Just--never mind,” she said. “I just--it’s different when it’s someone you know. Someone you care about.”

A lump lodged in Lassiter’s throat. O’Hara was talking about herself, of course, and whatever feelings she had for Spencer. But she was right. This case had been hard and not because it was difficult and not because he had to work with Henry Spencer, who turned out to be just as dogged and annoying but far less amusing than Shawn. But because this was Shawn.

He could analyze the facts, he could look coldly at a crime scene. He could look at traces of blood and remnants of rope and collected bloodstained shammies with the best of them.

But dealing with the fact that this was where Spencer had nearly been killed, that the rope had tied Shawn up, that the bloodstains were Shawn’s--was a whole other story.

She sighed, blowing out a breath. She pulled off her gloves with a snap before running a hand through her hair. “It looks like they’ve got it together,” she said, her eyes sweeping over the scene. “We’ll have to formally interview the witnesses, but I should probably catch a ride back to the station and get started on the paperwork.”

Lassiter nodded, chewing his lower lip a little. “I can do the witnesses,” he said. “I’ll have to call for a tow on Guster’s car. Where is he anyway?”

“He caught a ride with a unit to the hospital,” she said. “Seemed like the least that we could do for him.”

O’Hara was right about that as well. Guster was only marginally less annoying than Spencer, but only because he had the slightest notion of common sense, which Shawn so clearly lacked. But Spencer and Guster were a team--partners, as much as Lassiter and O’Hara were. He was never totally sure what Guster brought to the duo, but then again, he was never entirely sure what Shawn brought to it either. Somehow, they could pair nonsense and insanity and sometimes come up with brilliance.

“Well, I think we can get to him later,” Lassiter said. “Not like we could trust his story to be succinct anyway.”

O’Hara made a small face and seemed distracted. “Right,” she said. “You headed back?”

“No, I’m going to wait and take the perp in and call to see how the other guy is doing in the hospital.”

O’Hara nodded her agreement, but her heart clearly wasn’t in it. She was going through the motions, being the good cop Lassiter knew she could be, but this wasn’t where she wanted to be. This wasn’t where she should have been.

Hell, none of them were really good for this case. It was just like he told Henry early on--it wasn’t good to be personally involved. But they were all personally involved. And yeah, it bothered Carlton that there was a smudge of blood on the hood of his car, not because it devalued it, but because it was Shawn’s.

Yes, he had a heart. He did and he didn’t want to admit it, but he had to.

Just like he had to admit that O’Hara shouldn’t have to be there. Juliet needed to check on Shawn. As a friend, as something more--Lassiter didn’t care. And sure, it would be inconvenient and maybe it was somewhat against standard protocol but maybe he could respect this much about Spencer: he knew when to break the rules.

Lassiter didn’t break them often, but this was a time for it.

“O’Hara,” he called out, feeling awkward.

She turned back at him, squinting a little in the sunlight.

He cleared his throat, trying not to feel ridiculous. “Why don’t you go down to the hospital,” he suggested.

“Check on Garth Longmore?”

“No,” Carlton said. He licked his lips and resigned himself to it. “Maybe see how Spencer’s doing.”

“But the paperwork,” she said.

He waved a hand dismissively. “I can handle it,” he said.

“But the investigation--”

“Is a slam dunk,” he finished for her. “Besides, we’ll need a statement from Shawn when he wakes up, and since you’re far more likely to humor him with his process, maybe you should go.”

She paused and studied him for a long moment, with something like confusion in her eyes. Then, she smiled, a hint of gratitude on her face. “Are you sure?”

Lassiter was always sure, almost by default. The decisions he made, he made completely. He wasn’t always right, but he always had to go on like he was. Spencer wasn’t the only one with a process.

And the fact of the matter was that just as much as Guster and O’Hara deserved to stand by a fallen comrade, the person who really deserved it, more than the rest of them, was Spencer. Lassiter wasn’t a soft man by any stretch of the imagination and the plain, simple truth was that Spencer had impressed him. For figuring it out. For surviving. For helping end it. He was a victim, but he had never been powerless. That was something that Carlton could and did respect.

Shawn had proven himself in many ways over the last few years, but today he’d proven himself on a whole new level.

Lassiter smiled. “Yeah,” he said. “I’m sure.”

“Thanks,” she said. She hesitated. “I’ll just--get a unit to take me over.”

It was always gratifying to do the right thing. As much as Lassiter enjoyed guns and arresting people, the fundamental notion of justice was satisfying in and of itself. Sometimes it was nice to see someone smile because of something he did.

Yes, it was also fun to catch someone in a lie and get a confession out of them and it was really fun to see how many times he could hit the target at the shooting range and nothing quite topped the sound of a jail cell closing on a prisoner--it was like his own personal high, better than any drug or idiotic X-game sport some lame-ass teenager could come up with. It made him feel alive, it made him feel powerful, like he was the strongest man in the entire world--

But yeah, the whole making people happy thing wasn’t bad either.

“And O’Hara,” he called after her.

She paused and looked at him.

It was out of his mouth before he had a chance to stop and think about it: “Tell Spencer I’ll be by to visit him later.”

She almost looked surprised at that. “Oh,” she said.

“For questioning,” Carlton clarified quickly, feeling a slight flush rise on his cheeks. There were reasons that he didn’t like to open up to people--and not just because they were annoying about it, but because sentimentality was weakness. He might afford it to others in the right situations, but he had to buck up and take it like a man. No, like a cop. “He’s my lead witness.”

She nodded knowingly, a small smile on her face. “Of course,” she said. “I’ll let him know.”

Lassiter gave a perfunctory nod before turning back to his crime scene. He had a job to do, and he would do it. The fact that this was for Spencer--a colleague and maybe a friend--didn’t matter.

Striding forward, he moved back toward the truck, scowling at the CSI guy again. “Are you sure you swabbed it down? I want every print on this thing.”

The CSI gave him a bland look. “We got the guy on the scene, with multiple witness reports of the victim in the back. What more do we need?”

“What more do we need?” Lassiter asked, his eyebrows raising. “We need every bit of evidence we can find. I want to know everyone who touched this truck, everywhere it’s been. I want every detail possible so we can nail this guy’s ass to the wall. I want full convictions, maximum sentences, no shadow of doubt. Because if he gets off on a lesser charge? If he gets a lighter sentence for a lack of concrete evidence? I will hunt you down and hold you personally accountable for the lapse.”

“But--” the CSI said.

“But nothing,” Lassiter said. “Swab it again. Then, just to be sure, swab it one more time. And maybe--just maybe--I won’t report your laziness to the chief.”

The CSI looked a bit stricken but he pulled himself together, pulling out a fresh evidence bag.

Satisfied, Lassiter turned his attention back to his crime scene. O’Hara could wait by the bedside. Guster could crack the jokes. Henry Spencer could knock heads together. But Carlton Lassiter would show his concern with what he did best, and close this case as tight as he could.

Next

 

Comments

Posted by: ghostfour (ghostfour)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
ghostkitten

Guahahh!!! Where's the next part!?!

You're killing me here. *needs more and is willing to beg*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
shawn needs a moment

I was supposed to update this weekend but clearly am made of fail on that account. Maybe for you I will do so now :)

Though I should see what I can get out of it. I've had an utterly awful week.

2 Read Comments