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Crazy bugger...

Clichéd: "Once More, With Feeling [2/16]" & "Dead and (Not) Buried [3/16]" [Psych Fics]

So, these two didn't turn out nearly as funny [or porny] as I was hoping, but I did manage to work in lesbian French whores and zombies, [though not in the same fic, sadly,] so hopefully that'll earn me at least a C+ for effort. XD

[Also, the list of upcoming clichés, for the curious: In A Band, High School, At A Club, One Blanket, Gender Switch, Cross-Dressing, Character Death, M-Preg, Body Switch, Wedding Fic, Kid Fic, Stuck In An Elevator, and Dream Fic.]



Title: Clichéd: Once More, With Feeling [Part 2/16]
Fandom: Psych
Pairing: Shassy
Rating: PG-13
Summary: A conversation in Limbo.
Warning: AU, implied lesbianism [is that a word?,] reincarnation, a bit of angst, fluff, a smattering of French phrases that may or may not be correct, [it's been a while,] OOCness, unbetaed.
AN: Did you know that the name Spencer is French in origin? And Lassiter was the name of a Zane Grey hero? I love learning something new everyday. :D [And I don’t hate Mormons, BTW, I just figured Shawn would have something against them. He is Shawn, after all.]


The clock hung on the wall, loudly ticking off the minutes in a monotonedrone. Tinny muzak crackled over an aging sound system, thankfully devoid of insipid vocals. Behind the front desk an attendant typed furiously, pointedly ignoring any inquiries about how much longer it was going to take. The cold, molded plastic chairs offered little comfort, no matter how much one tried to shift about into a better position. Somewhere deeper in the building, the air conditioner ground to life with a low grumble.

If Carlton hadn't been there countless times before, he could have sworn the Powers That Be sent him to Hell instead of Limbo on accident.

Or maybe on purpose.

He wasn’t exactly the nicest person in his last life, but Carlton didn’t think he was that bad.

Flipping through a magazine that would be ten years too old in 1983, he tried not to fidget. Usually They were faster in handing out lives, but Colonies' revolution started a jurisdictional pissing match between the North American and European branches, slowing things up considerably; even with the birth of a new country, the gray areas of soul management blurred the lines enough for each side to take umbrage at the claims of the other. Carlton preferred to keep out of office politics, so when They rerouted him here to the North American division he accepted the transfer with little fuss.

Glancing up at the clock, Carlton noted that a decade and a half had passed since he first arrived. Doing the math, he figured Shawn should show up any moment now.

Frowning, he tried not to think of the impending reunion; their first foray into lesbianism had been odd and not entirely successful. While Shawn was the best Madame that Le Chat Humide ever saw, Carlton had to have been the worst putain. No amount of private tutelage from Mme. Spencer could change the fact that Carlton sucked at cunniligus. That, and he kind of stole all of Shawn’s money, leaving him for a British merchant and a simpler, albeit less happy, life across the Channel. Shawn got his revenge though, in the form of syphilis and the fact that, despite the disease, he still managed to out-live Carlton.

The sliding doors to the waiting room opened with a ping, alerting him to a new arrival. Praying it wasn’t Shawn just yet, Carlton peeked around his magazine and cringed. Of course it just had to be him, looking a mess and making Carlton feel worse than he already did for abandoning the guy.

Wrapped tight around Shawn's neck was a blood-drenched scarf, [the one Carlton gave him their first Christmas together, he noted with surprise,] his once-fine dress hung limp and soiled with mud, sweat, and piss, and he looked like he hadn’t eaten once since Carlton left him. Instead of heading straight for chairs, Shawn detoured to the attendant's desk and in hushed tones requested a change of clothes. The girl stared at him with a put-upon expression but still handed him a bundle of scrubs in return for the mess that was once considered clothing. He baulked, though, when she tried to take the scarf, and Carlton wished he could hear what Shawn told her. Watching him approach the seating area, Carlton begrudgingly smiled a bit at Shawn's awkward attempt at walking and putting on his pants at the same time. Gingerly, he lowered himself into the seat next to Carlton and tried to give a nod in greeting without actually moving his neck.

“Guillotine?” Carlton asked, trying to keep concern from his voice.

“A better Madame than I ever was, and that’s saying something,” Shawn quipped, rubbing gently at the concealed wound.

"Hardly. She could only turn her trick once. Your customers, on the other hand, always came back for more. You had quite the loyal following."

“That's what got me in trouble,” Shawn muttered, gently unwinding the scarf to reveal a fast-healing, but still nasty-looking, scar ringing his neck. “I shouted the loudest at every rally but at the end of the day I just wanted my damn bread. Bourgeois money spent as well as any other kind and since you took all of mine…”

He shrugged, as if to say “what’s done is done” and quietly fingered the scarf for a minute before smiling.

“You always had crappy taste,” he said, turning his grin on Carlton. “I can’t believe I left that life wearing something so gauche.”

“And you always were the hopeless romantic,” snorted Carlton, feeling the wrongs of their past life starting to ebb away. While he hated the wait in Limbo, he liked how it cleaned their slate every time; considering the pair, it always needed a good scrubbing.

“No, that was you.” Shawn smirked. “I wasn’t the one who always cried when I came.”

Coughing, Carlton looked away to try and hide his blush.

“Yeah, well, that was the only time your wagging tongue was good for something,” he grumbled.

Shawn laughed and sat back, settling as best he could in the less-than-comfortable chair. As his mirth tapered off, Shawn fiddled thoughtfully with the scarf once more, unable to meet Carlton’s eyes when he spoke again.

“You never did tell me why you left,” he said, his tone deceptively off-handed. “Not that that matters any more, but I want to know if it’s going to be a habit from here on out. Have to have a rebound babe lined up ahead of time, you know?”

“You’re right,” Carlton snapped, “it doesn’t matter. And you don’t get to play the martyr here. Remember Bath? And Oslo? And Lacoste? And…”

“I got it, I got it!” Shawn cut him off with a huff, the stained silk wrinkling in his fists. “How many times are you going to bring all that up? Jesus, it’s like you’re my wife or something.”

“Haven’t been that for the past three lives,” he pointed out.

“That doesn’t mean anything. We never even married the past three lives.”

“Still.”

“Still nothing,” Shawn sulked. “Besides, I told you before. I never stopped loving you, not once. Sure, I made some crappy decisions, but I always regretted them.”

“And I regretted leaving you every day until I died. Doesn't change what we did.”

“You could have changed it," Shawn whined, sounded like a petulant child. "If you hated England so much, why didn’t you come home?”

“Home?” Carlton choked, staring angrily at the other man. “Home?! That filthy brothel was never, ever home.”

“But I was there,” grumbled Shawn, the fight going out of him. Sighing, Carlton pinched the bridge of his nose. Neither spoke for several more beats of the clock; the muzak changed from some slow ballad to a quick, obnoxiously bright fox trot.

“We’re going to keep screwing this up, aren’t we?” he asked quietly. “I never should have checked that damn 'Soul Mates' box on the initial application.”

“Tough shit, Carly. We’re stuck with each other for the rest of eternity.”

“Or until we get it right.”

“Like I said, the rest of eternity.”

At that, Carlton laughed, honest and full. Dropping his hand, he clumsily threaded his fingers through Shawn’s and squeezed once before letting go. He opened his mouth to say something terribly mushy and guaranteed to embarrass them both, when the attendant called their names.

“Soul C-0225-09 and Soul S-0225-10? You’re new lives are ready,” she said with a bored pop of her gum, handing them their files without looking up from her computer screen.

“What the hell?” Shawn baulked after giving his dossier the once-over. “I’m a Mormon? And a chick again! How fucked up is that? What about you, Carly?”

“I’m a vigilante gunslinger with a tragic past,” he said with a smirk.

“Why do you always get to be the cool one?” Shawn bitched as they headed towards exit. “Damsels in distress are so lame.”

“Maybe in the next life, Shawn.”

"You always say that, but it never happens. One of these days I'm going to be the big, super-cool hero and you'll see what it's like being the side-kick. Or the chick."

The doors slid shut behind them, cutting off any more complaints. The clock’s arms continued along their endless circle, the muzak skipped a couple times before settling once more into a sweet symphony about spring, and life went on.


fin.




Title: Clichéd: Dead and (Not) Buried [Part 3/16]
Fandom: Psych
Pairing: Shassy
Rating: PG-13
Warning: AU, major character death, man-kissin', a bit more angst than I expected, pseudo-necrophilia, OOCness, unbetaed.
Summary: The only certainties in life are death and taxes. Unless you’re a zombie, and then neither really apply.
AN: A zombie-lover’s UST-busting take on the death fic.


It was dark.

Very dark.

And he couldn’t move very well, the confines of wherever he lay barely longer and deeper than his own body.

Tentatively, Carlton ran his fingers across the ceiling of his close quarters, feeling padded satin whisper and give under his touch. Baby powder barely masked a distinct smell of formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol, as well as a few other solvents he couldn’t name, and as he turned his investigative touch to his body, Carlton noted he wore his dress uniform, stiff and perfectly pressed. Thick, itchy make-up covered his face and he tried to scratch it away, but only managed to get the mess stuck under his fingernails. As panic began to set in, Carlton tried to speak, to say something to break the unbearable silence, but he realized someone had sewn his mouth shut.

It didn’t stop him from screaming, but it did muffle it a bit.

After freaking out for what could have easily been a few minutes or a few hours, [it was so hard to tell time when you were six feet under ground,] Carlton settled down as best he could and began to think. He was a detective, damn it. He could figure this out.

The last thing Lassiter remembered was being wheeled into the hospital, the tiled ceiling flying past as he stared at it through slowly clouding eyes. O’Hara and Spencer ran along side the gurney and the ER doctors, shouting things at him he couldn't hear over the ringing in his ears. Blood had gotten all over O’Hara’s nice, new suit, [she boasted just that morning of what a steal it had been,] turning the crisp charcoal fabric a wet, murky black. Spencer hadn’t been spared the spray either, smears of it covering his face where he must have touched himself with soiled hands. They looked so scared, so incredibly young. As he slipped under, figuring they must have given him some drugs to take away the sting of the three bullet wounds in his gut, Carlton regretted for the first time ever that he became a cop.

His very, last thought was that Spencer better not be named a pall bearer; the idiot would drop him for sure.

And now here he was, stuff to the gills with preservatives and lying in his final resting place. He snorted; not very restful, now was it?

Okay, Lassiter pondered to himself, idly picking at the stitches in his lips, I’m dead. Or I should be. They wouldn’t go to the trouble of embalming someone if they weren’t 100% sure, right? So if I’m dead, but not really, that means I’m a… A zombie?

Lassiter couldn't help but smile, just a bit.

And what do zombie do better than rise from the grave?

- - -

It had been one week since they buried Carlton Lassiter, and Shawn still couldn’t get the sound of bagpipes out of his head. He hated “Amazing Grace,” the song reminding him of standing at his father’s side as a child, learning about death through the burial of Henry Spencer’s co-workers. Yet here he was, absentmindedly humming it as he waited for the interim chief to get out of a meeting. Gus glared at him but said nothing about it. Since the day Gus came to pick Shawn up at the hospital, finding his friend sitting on the curb outside, pale and bloody and far too quiet for comfort, his complaints were slower in coming.

Shawn hated it.

He hated it so much, this absence of normality. No matter how much he tried to goad Gus into an argument just for argument’s sake, his friend remained calm. The pity in his eyes rankled Shawn, making him all twitchy and angry. It wasn’t like Lassy had been his friend or anything. Maybe he wanted them to be, or maybe, just maybe, he wanted them to be something a little more than friends, but it wasn’t like he told anyone that dirty little secret. No, there was no reason why he deserved this guilty sympathy; if anyone needed it, poor Juliet did. She hardly laughed or smiled anymore, and Shawn thought it was a real shame. She had a great laugh and an even better smile.

Vick shut the door behind her, all business as she settled herself behind her desk. At least someone acted as they should these days.

“I’ve got a new case for you, boys,” Vick said, tossing the file on the desk in front of her; a few autopsy photos slid out and Shawn winced when he saw them. “Well, not a new case so much as one that needs to be taken care of post-haste. Considering your lineage, Spencer, I’m sure you know the stance the SBPD takes on cop killers.”

Shawn swallowed and nodded, not trusting himself to speak at the moment. Gus’s face had gone completely blank and he nodded as well.

“How someone could gun down an officer in broad daylight, on a busy street, without at least one person seeing something is inexcusable,” Vick snapped, her voice full of emotions Shawn didn’t even know she possessed. “I need you to do your thing and find us some witnesses. Or better yet, the bastard that did this.”

Shawn felt a lump forming in his throat. He had been just around the corner when Lassiter was shot, helping Juliet pick up their dinner from Wok and Roll. He should have been there, should have seen something, but by the time they got back, Lassiter was alone and bleeding out all over the sidewalk.

Vick must have noticed his expression, because her own softened.

“You may be psychic, but you’re still human, Spencer,” she said quietly. “You feel guilty? Channel that useless emotion into something constructive. Help us close this case.”

Gathering the errant photos and stuffing them back in the file, Shawn stood, giving her a mock salute and a click of his heels.

“Don’t you worry about a thing, Chief,” Shawn answered in his best “cadet” voice, sounding far surer of himself than he felt. “No bad guy can hide from my third eye for long!”

“For your sake and ours,” sighed Vick, “I hope you’re right.”

- - -

Getting out of the coffin was the hardest part of Lassiter’s resurrection. Once he managed that, the dirt on top of it easily shifted away from Carlton’s clawing hands, making the last six feet a breeze in comparison.

Good. That meant he hadn’t been down there for all that long.

Lassiter brushed himself off and headed towards the cemetery gate, thankful that he emerged in the middle of the night with no witnesses in sight. Taking stock as he went, it pleased Carlton that he didn’t seem to be lurching, [although he understandably felt a little stiff,] and that eating brains remained a wholly unsavory thought. Aside from the chemically smell, Lassiter didn’t seem to be rotting just yet, and he made a mental note to send a thank you to the embalmer for doing such fine work.

As he hopped the fence, Carlton wondered where he should go next. They probably already put his house on the market and he didn’t exactly have a close friend he could drop in on, [although, for a very brief moment he considered Spencer, if only to see the look on the young man's face,] and there was no way in hell he would try to take a bus to his mother’s. Carlton knew he looked liked Death warmed over, [literally,] and he didn’t really want to sit through the lecture he knew his mother would have for him. You up and died on me, he imagined her saying, and then you don’t have the decency to stay dead like a normal person?! I didn’t raise my son to hurt his poor mother like this!

That left the station. While he worried about frightening the night desk officer, Carlton’s options were limited. While he didn’t think he needed sleep or food, he couldn’t just hang out on the streets; besides, he needed to talk to the interim chief about getting his job back, so he might as well wait for her there until tomorrow morning. He had to do something to fill his time, now that he had an indefinite amount of it.

Avoiding the main roads, Carlton headed towards the only home he had left.

- - -

Bleary-eyed, Shawn gratefully accepted the cup of coffee Juliet handed him. A huge yawn popped his jaw and he tried to rub as much weariness out of his eyes that he could as they walked up the steps to the station.

“You look awful,” Juliet said sympathetically. "Did you get any sleep last night?”

“A few hours,” Shawn shrugged. “I spent most of the time trying to coax some information from the spirit realm, but no dice.”

Juliet glanced and the case in his hands and winced. Shawn really hoped she didn’t say anything about it; it was too early in the morning for this crap. Thankfully, as he pushed open the door, whatever she intended to tell him turned into a shocked squeak. Looking up to see what surprised the detective so, Shawn dropped the file, sending papers and photos scattering across the floor; he would have dropped his drink too, but that would have just been a waste of good coffee.

Shawn never did believe in ghost, but he found his opinion quickly changing. Judging the reactions of everyone else in the room, he wasn’t the only one re-evaluating his stance on the afterlife.

“Do you see him too?” Juliet whispered fiercely, grabbing his arm in a rather admirable death-grip. “I’m not crazy, right?”

“No,” Shawn whispered back, “I definitely see Lassy-face sitting at his desk. I know the man never had a life before, but this is just sad.”

Juliet let go to punch him lightly in the arm, but her gaze never left the figure of their dead comrade, hunched over a pile of paperwork and dressed in what looked to be a standard-issue beat-cop uniform. Even from that distance Shawn could tell it was fresh out of the package and a couple sizes too small for the man. Just when he thought he’d never move from that spot ever again, Vick came up behind them, clearing her throat. The pair jumped in unison.

“Spencer. O’Hara. My office, now,” she ordered quietly. They followed behind, trying their best not to stare at Lassiter

“Since this is your area of expertise, Spencer,” Vick nodded towards Shawn once they were safe behind closed doors and drawn blinds, “I want you to tell me everything you can about zombies.”

“What’s there to tell?” Shawn shrugged, more than a bit dazed and at a loss for what to say. “They lumber around, eat brains, and make bitchin' symbols for social and political commentary.”

“Considering the fact that Detective Lassiter is doing none of these things – he is, in fact, going over this week’s case reports - would you care to try again?”

The glare that Vicks gave Shawn made him shrink back a bit; that woman could be scary at times. Then again, so was Zombie Lassiter, and he’d take an angry Vick over what sat outside any day.

“Usually if someone has unfinished business,” Juliet cut in, trying to be helpful, “they just come back as ghosts. Right, Shawn?”

“Yeah, but you know Lassy-face,” he laughed humorlessly. “The man always has to do everything the hard way.”

“I tried to talk to him this morning,” Vick frowned, “but he was less than forthcoming with an explanation. You talk to the dead every day, Spencer. I want you to figure out what Detective Lassiter wants and then get him to go back to wherever he belongs; he’s scaring the rookies.”

He’s scaring me, Shawn wanted to whine, but the glare Vick gave him brooked no argument.

“I’ll see what I can do,” he sighed.

- - -

No one even tried to approached him all morning, so the sound of tennis shoes squeaking his way drew Lassiter’s attention away from his work.

The last expression he saw Spencer wearing, panic and pain so horribly out of place on the idiot's face, bothered Lassiter in a way that surprised him. As much as that hurt to see, it wasn't nearly as bad as the look Spencer gave him at the moment.

Fear.

Shawn Spencer was never afraid of him, not even when Lassiter shoved him against the closest hard surface and threatened his life. Lassiter didn’t like it, but he never really knew how to at set a person at ease. He scowled instead, pretending to be annoyed by Spencer's intrusion.

“Can I help you, Spencer?”

“I should be asking you that,” the young man answered with a weak chuckle. Lassiter’s frown deepened when Shawn tentatively sat down on his desk, mussing up his carefully organized reports.

“You see, Lassy,” Spencer continued, seeming to gain confidence as he went, “part of my job as a conduit for the spirit world is to help restless spirits pass on.”

“Do I look like a spirit to you?”

“Not so much, but you’re certainly restless. Although, might I add you look rather well-preserved, and that uniform is quite fetching on you-“

“You better have a point and you better make it quick. I’m dead one week and already things are a complete mess. It’s going to take me another week to make heads or tales of McNab’s reports alone.”

“No it won’t.”

“Yes, it will.”

No,” Spencer stressed, “it won’t. Lassy, you’re dead!”

“But not buried,” he snapped back. “What else am I supposed to do? Sit around and rot? Considering the whiz-bang job the mortician did, I don’t think that will ever happen.”

“Whiz-bang? What are you, a Fifties sitcom?” asked Spencer, raising an eyebrow at Lassiter’s choice of words before waving them away. “Whatever. What I mean is, why don’t you take your death bennies and go on a trip? Backpack through Europe or take a cruise or something. Take a vacation for once in your life. Death. Life after death?”

“Death benefits are for next-of-kin, Spencer.”

“You’re your own kin, aren’t you? So why go the the next one when they've got you? I’m sure Vick will sign off on it if you ask nicely enough.”

For the first time since he rose from the grave, Lassiter wanted to gnaw on some brains. Specifically Spencer’s, but really only the bits that control his ability to speak. Maybe if he just threatened to, the young man would shut up and leave him alone. Why he ever worried about Spencer was a complete mystery.

Rising from his seat, Lassiter headed towards the restroom; he didn’t need to use it, but it seemed as good a place as any to avoid Spencer. Obviously the guy had no respect for the dead and trailed after him anyways. He even tried to follow Lassiter into the stall but Carlton wasn’t having any of it.

“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” he growled, grabbing a fist full of Spencer’s shirt and shoving him back against the bank of sinks.

“Because if I do, you’ll disappear on me again,” Spencer shot back and then snapped his mouth shut. He dropped his eyes, avoiding Lassiter’s confused stare.

“I didn’t think you cared,” Lassiter answered cautiously after an awkward beat.

“I didn’t either, but then you died and it fucked with my status quo,” Spencer mumbled. Lassiter let go and stepped back, disgusted.

“I’m so sorry my dying caused you any inconvenience. You know, it’s not always about you, Spencer.”

“That’s the funny thing about death,” Spencer said, his words breaking against the anger evident in his voice. “It’s always about everyone except the deceased. We’re the ones left behind to clean up the mess and hate ourselves for not doing or saying everything we should have when we had the chance.”

“Well,” Lassiter said, crossing his arms tight against his chest in an attempt not to punch the other man in the face, “here’s your chance to change that.”

“You’re right,” he answered firmly, “it is.”

And then Spencer kissed him.

Oh… Okay, Lassiter thought, stupid from the shock. That works, I guess.

“Screw with my status quo, and I screw with yours,” Spencer murmured against his lips.

Lassiter could have done any number of things, yelling, hitting, or just plain walking out at the top of the list, but instead he closed the small gap between them and kissed Spencer back. In life he ignored whatever this… thing was between them, but he already ignored the laws of nature, so why couldn’t he pass over social mores as well? The happy hum that melted into a moan as his tongue invaded Spencer's mouth was more than worth it.

“So,” Spencer panted, grinning foolishly when they pulled apart, “I hear they have these all-gay cruises…”

“I think I’d rather tour Europe, thanks,” he answered. “I always want to see the Tower of London.”

“You can tour my tower any time,” quipped Spencer with a smarmy look, and Lassiter snorted.

“We’ll see, Spencer. We’ll see.”

- - -

The postcards arrived one every few days, bright photos of exotic places splashed across their fronts and rambling tales of exciting adventures scrawled across their backs. Gus always shared them with O’Hara and Vick when they came, although everyone pointedly ignoring the romantic implications written in between the lines. While it wasn’t exactly necrophilia, the mechanics of Shawn and Lassiter’s budding relationship were best left alone.

Still, it was nice to see Lassiter taking full advantage of his life after death.

After all, it wouldn’t kill him to do so.


fin.




Previously Posted Clichés:
1. Once Bitten, Twice Horny [Vampires]

Comments

Why aren't you writing me House fiction, eh? I DEMAND YOU MAKE WITH THE HOUSE LOVIN! XD XD XD

That or I really need to sit down and find time to watch Psych. XD
Lolz, sorry hon. I seem to be the type of girl that can only write one fandom at a time. Although, for you, I will certainly try to knock out some House/Wilson Smut-Butt-Love. [Unless there's something else you like better. As little Tritter as possible, though. I hate that guy, and his not-so-little arc, too.]

And you do need to watch "Psych!" I have all of Season 1 from ITunes; I'll see if I can't burn it for you. You also need to watch "The Storyteller" and I need to watch "The Cat Came Back." Sigh, so much to watch, so little time...
I just stumbled over your series which was recced to a friend of mine, as was wondering if you ever got around to writing/posting the other parts of this interesting looking series, because I'd love to read them. :-)
I read all three. I loved all of them. I laughed at the end of the second one. *smiles*