Shawn sits on the edge of head detective's desk, swinging his legs and trying to look out the large French windows. "Yes," he exclaims, "But that's why we need cake, especially pineapple upside-down cake!"
Lassiter's broad shoulders are largely blocking Shawn's view of the dunes, but he's still glad they moved the police station to the beach. It's way cooler here. He doesn't know why Lassie is frowning like that. It all seems so obvious.
"Spencer," Lassiter says, "you are so focused on cake that you're missing the big picture here. We need to find all the rabbit workers. I know they're behind the theft of Chief Vick's office ceiling. They must have taken it when they reassembled the station here."
Shawn slides off and onto his feet, standing almost nose to nose with the older man. "But if there isn't pineapple," he asks him seriously, "why would I want to live?"
Lassiter looks at him for a moment in silence before asking, "You don't know?" Shawn shakes his head. "I'll have to show you then," he tells Shawn.
Lassiter cups Shawn's face with his hands, tilting his face up, and kisses him softly on the lips. Shawn feels warmth and contentment flood through his whole body, and settle in his abdomen, and in that moment everything is perfect.
Shawn drifted awake, savouring the feeling of a Sunday morning with nowhere in particular to go. He rolled over, feeling the space in the bed beside him. Funny, he thought there'd been someone there. He ran though his memories of the previous evening: drinking with Gus after wrapping up the Simmons case, and striking out with the waitress. Definitely no someone there, he thought, must have been a dream, weird. He flopped over onto his back, trying to remember it.
Then he sat up, eyes wide, suddenly fully awake. "Gah!" he said, and meant every word of it.
He managed to completely avoid Lassiter, the police station and the beach for a good week by taking a string of is-my-significant-other-cheating-on-me cases. He ended up giving up avoidance as it caused Gus to threaten to end their partnership, and Shawn to wonder if it was possible to actually die of boredom, and Interim-Chief Vick to call and ask if he was still alive.
That plan having failed utterly, he went for the most logical next step: a completely opposite approach. He cornered Lassiter in the quiet little coffee shop by the beach, the one that he knew the detective escaped to when he needed to brood by himself. It looked like it hadn't been a great week for him, either.
"I think we need to stop this," Shawn said, dropping into the cushioned sea-grass chair beside him.
Lassiter deliberately set his bowl of expensive and doubtless horrendously over-sweetened coffee onto the table before meeting Shawn's eyes. "I assume," he said, "that by 'this' you mean our habit of engaging in ill-judged sexual escapades while under the influence."
Despite the fact that Shawn was determinedly trying to kill any romance before it had hope of starting, he just had to say, "Oh, Lassie, you make us sound so cheep and sordid," and pretend to pout.
The other man's eye twitched, but he didn't rise. "Which is exactly what it is: two men fucking each other to get off, knowing that it will stay hidden for the sake of both their reputations." He sat a little straighter in his chair, leaning back away from Shawn. "Even you don't have the imagination to turn that into love poems and candle-lit dinners."
Shawn tilted his head to one side and squinted one eye closed in an attempt to picture it. After a moment, he gave up and said, "Nope, you're right, can't see it."
"Exactly, so what's the problem?"
Lassie sounded far too smug, but the problem was that Shawn didn't know what the problem was, and he wasn't about to admit to that. Instead, he said, "Nothing, I'm just tired of this."
He watched Lassiter carefully, and but the only shift in expression he saw was the corner of his mouth turning down slightly. "Fine," the detective said, "But next time you get an itch that you can't scratch on your own, don't come knocking on my door."
Shawn really hadn't expected Lassie to give up that easily. He was ninety percent sure that he was the man's only source of sex at the moment, and he sure as hell would have tried to bargain for that one. Actually, considering his luck of late, he probably should be.
"You're still here," Lassiter noted, still staring at him like a sphinx. "Was breaking up all you wanted this morning, or is there something else?"
"Nope, we're done." Shawn hopped off the chair, sneakers thudding on the plank flooring.
"We certainly are," Lassiter said and calmly turned his attention back to his coffee.
Shawn turned and started to walk away. Before he got to the door, he heard the tremor of china against the glass table top as Lassiter picked up his bowl with a shaking hand. He hesitated at the threshold, but didn't turn back.
Lassiter sits in an pineapple-shaped inflatable dinghy in the middle of a vast swimming pool. Shawn, standing on the cement at the edge, yells at him to paddle in. He doesn't know why, but somehow it's urgent to talk to him. "Lassie, come home," he shouts.
Lassiter doesn't answer but starts rowing. He moves steadily away, out into the pool, looking back at Shawn, but not acknowledging him. As he fades into the distance, Shawn realises that the pool is just the entrance to a bay, and the detective is rowing out into the open ocean.
"But why is all the pineapple gone?" Shawn asks in despair...
...and woke up feeling hollow. This time he didn't need to reorientate himself, knowing immediately that he was alone in his own bed. "Dear Subconscious," he said, "You suck. Go away and leave me alone. Love, Shawn."
The clock read quarter to five, but he knew he wouldn't sleep again, and lying here staring at the ceiling would only make things worse. Deciding that he was clearly doomed on a number of levels, and his misery would love some company, he rolled out of bed, got dressed and hit the road.
He hadn't darkened Lassiter's doorway since before that first dream, even though he'd had several itches that he couldn't scratch. He had ridden by his house a couple times, even though it wasn't on the way to or from anywhere he ever wanted to go, but he hadn't stopped, and so felt that it didn't count.
The detective was up already, though still in his robe, and answered with his usual cheer.
It took Shawn threatening to sit on his front step and sing sea shanties loudly and off key to get Lassie to open the door again. "What do you want?" he asked, which was probably the nicest thing he'd said to Shawn in the last month.
Shawn stepped forward, into his space, and Lassiter backed up so fast that he didn't realise that he was letting Shawn into the house until it was too late. Sighing, the detective closed the door behind them and leaned wearily against the wall.
"You, mostly," Shawn said.
Lassiter snorted. "You clearly didn't hear me when I told you not to come back."
"But..." Shawn started but the older man cut him off.
"The more I think about it, the happier I am to to have you as far out of my life as I can get you. For starters, I freed up all that time and energy that I was spending trying to mentally justify that twisted disaster of a sexual liaison. And then..."
"Okay, stop," Shawn yelled. "I get it." Surprisingly, Lassiter actually did pause, at least long enough for Shawn to get in, "It was horribly, horribly wrong, and we shouldn't have done it." He stopped, took a breath, noticed that he'd actually got Lassie's attention probably by telling him he'd been right about something, and said, "I don't want to go back to cheep and sordid. I want... I want... gah. I don't know."
The other man was looking at him incredulously. "You want candlelit dinners and love poetry," he said.
Shawn nodded. "Yeah that. Only without the candlelight, or poetry of any kind, unless it's Doctor Seuss, because he's awesome."
Lassiter was shaking his head. "No, no, no, no. Meaningless sex was bad enough. You want me to have a... a... a... relationship? With you?"
"Get out of my house."
"Wait, Lassie, I..."
"Out! Now!" Lassiter roared, yanking open the door.
"Okay, okay," Shawn said, and made his escape. Lassiter slammed the door behind him, again. "Fuck," he said with feeling. "Dear Subconscious, I am never, ever doing anything you tell me to ever again. No love at all, Shawn."
The request apparently worked, as Shawn didn't have any bizarrely symbolic Lassiter-related dreams over the next week. He had decided, over the course of a long motorcycle ride in the early morning light, that a courtship might be in order.
The head detective had taken that as well as anyone not Shawn might have predicted, and he'd had to go underground.
He figured that if he could get Lassie to see past his knee-jerk dislike of him and realise that he was honestly trying, the man might come around. He and Gus backed off cases when Lassiter told him to, or worked harder to let him think they had and fed the info to Juliet instead. He toned down his psychic episodes, not much mind, but took out the elements that made Lassie cringe the most. He started dressing more professionally, well, he didn't wear a tie or anything, but he did let Gus pick out some nicer shirts and even tucked them in occasionally. He made sure the detective got his coffee the way he liked it, and brought Lassiter's favourite sandwiches and doughnuts as often as he could manage. He stopped openly flirting with Juliet, the chief, the secretary, and Officers Jane Fisher and Buzz McNabb, though of course covertly flirting was another matter. He smiled a lot.
On day three, he'd just finished planting a plate off cookies on Lassiter's desk, when the detective caught him in the hallway. "What are you doing?" he asked in a low voice, glancing around to make sure no one could hear them.
"Walking through the police station," Shawn said, also whispering, then quickly rephrased, "Or I was. Now I'm standing in the police station talking to you in a covert way."
Lassiter sighed impatiently. "Right, whatever. I mean all this pod person crap. Do you think that I'm easy?"
Ha, like this has been anything at all like easy, Shawn thought. "I'm just trying to be nice."
Lassie grimaced. "Well stop it. It's creepy," he said and turned to walk back down the hall. Shawn almost didn't hear him add, "I liked you better when you were annoying; I knew what to expect."
"I'm going to hold you to that!" Shawn yelled after him and grinned, and in that moment everything was perfect.