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Driving home for Christmas

Fandom   - Psych / Mentalist
Pairing     - Shawn / Patrick
Rating      - R-15
Summary - Shawn and Patrick go to spend Christmas at Henry's house, where some surprising news awaits Shawn.

# 8 in the Shawn / Patrick series.


 

Driving home for Christmas



Shawn Spencer picked up the little tabby kitten that had scampered along the couch toward him and carried her into the kitchen. Her cat carrier was on the table and he put her inside and closed the mesh door at the front.

“Oh, don’t look at me like that, Minky,” he told her. “It’s just for a few hours.”

Patrick Jane came back into the kitchen, a box under one arm. “’Minky ready to go?”

“Yes. Poor little thing looks so sad in there,” Shawn told him. “I feel guilty for locking her in.”

Patrick shook his head. “No.”

“No, what?”

“You aren’t letting her loose in the car. She’ll be fine until we get to your dad’s place.”

Patrick was looking forward to this, spending Christmas at Henry’s house. He got along with Shawn’s dad pretty well- better than Shawn did at times- and it would be good to see him again. It also meant that he and Shawn had been spared the argument of who was going to cook Christmas dinner; they both loved to eat, but neither man liked to cook. If they could, they’d live on takeout.

Patrick and Shawn had both been given a week off over the festive period so that they could go back to Santa Barbara. Gus, Shawn’s best friend, would be joining them too and Patrick could see that Shawn was looking forward to it. Since moving out here to work with the CBI, he hadn’t seen much of Gus.

----------

They arrived at Henry Spencer’s house at just after two in the afternoon and went straight in, as Henry had told them to.

“Dad, we’re here.” Shawn called out as he set Minky’s pet carrier down on the kitchen counter. “Dad?”

When there was nothing but silence, Shawn frowned, going to look in the lounge. The TV was off, no sign of anyone being at home.

“That’s weird,” he commented. “He knew we were coming.”

Patrick looked around again and then went over to the answer machine. There was a little red light blinking furiously and, after a moment of should-he / shouldn’t-he, pressed the button.

‘Shawn, since I know you’re nosier than hell, I knew you’d listen to this.’ Shawn looked slightly offended at that, especially as he hadn’t been the one to listen to it. ‘There’s been an accident. It’s Gus. We’re at Santa Barbara General.’

As soon as they had listened to the rest, getting the room number, Shawn headed back out to the car. Then he paused, going back to lock the windows in the lounge and make sure that the doors were closed before he let Minky free from her carrier. The little kitten sat there and looked up at him, confused, as he left her there and closed the door.

“I’m sure Gus is alright,” Patrick told him as he drove to the hospital. “Your dad would have said if it was serious. He would have called your cell.”

Shawn nodded distractedly, fidgeting as he always did when he was nervous. He would feel better when he had seen Gus for himself, to make sure that he was OK and find out what had happened.

He need not have worried, however. By the time they got to the room, Gus was sitting up in the bed, one arm in a cast and his torso was bandaged around his ribs. He looked a little battered and bruised but other than that he was fine.

Shawn just stood in the doorway and stared, a mixture of relief that Gus was OK and horror at seeing his best friend in hospital in the first place on his face. Patrick put a reassuring hand to the small of his back and ushered him into the room, where his dad was sitting.

“So, you got my message, then?” Henry asked, sounding amused.

That snapped Shawn out of his thoughts. “Yes, and I’m not nosy. He’s the one who listened to it,” he said, indicating to Patrick. Ignoring his father, Shawn turned to Gus.

“I’m fine, Shawn,” Gus told him. “Just a broken arm and a couple of fractured ribs. I’m not dying, so get your ass over here and give me a hug.”

Shawn sighed, smiled, then did as instructed, very carefully and being mindful of Gus’s ribs. “What happened?”

“I was stupid,” Gus told him. “I got too close to the guy I was tailing and he ran my car off the road.”

“Tailing?”

Shawn knew that Gus had stayed on with the Santa Barbara police, and taking over Psych investigations after he left. Henry had taken to helping out- despite his protests, Shawn knew that his dad was actually enjoying being a detective once more.

Gus told him about the case they’d been working on, just low level surveillance as a favour for the SBPD. Or so it should have been. Luckily, Gus had been alert enough to call in as soon as the other car had hit him.

“They got to me quick enough to pick the guy up,” Gus told him. “They took him back to the station.”

Patrick was sitting talking to Gus whilst Shawn and his dad went to get coffee when the door opened and a man and a woman came in. He recognised them from the few times he had been into the SBPD. Juliet came to sit with him whilst Lassiter went to the bed.

“Hey, how are you feeling?”

Gus smiled as Lassiter leaned over to kiss his forehead before sitting down on the edge of the bed, Gus’s uninjured hand held lightly in his.

Juliet saw the curious look on Patrick’s face and smiled.

Outside the door, a cup of coffee in one hand and the other on the door handle, Shawn froze.

“When-?”

Henry smirked. “Few months.” He saw the look of disbelief on Shawn’s face and sighed. “Well, he was hardly going to wait around for you forever, was he? He’s happy.”

“What?” Shawn frowned.

“Jeez,” Henry said, rolling his eyes. “For such a bright kid you can be damned blind sometimes. Carlton Lassiter has been in love with you for years. I guess he finally moved on.”

Shawn walked back into the room and dropped silently back down into the chair beside Patrick, the cup of coffee untouched in his hand.

“Shawn, what’s the matter?” Patrick glanced up at Henry when his boyfriend didn’t answer but the older man just shook his head.

“I’m sure he’ll tell you later.”

Patrick and Shawn waited for Gus to be discharged four hours later and drove back to Henry’s house. Gus was being driven home by Lassiter, and Jules was heading home herself, all confirming to Henry that they would be there for dinner tomorrow.

“So, what’s going on?” Patrick asked later that night when they were tucked up in bed in Henry’s spare room. “You’ve been acting weird since the hospital, and it’s not just because of Gus.”

Shawn turned to Patrick. “Dad said something odd, at the hospital. He told me… He said that Lassie was in love with me.”

“And?”

“What do you mean, and?” Shawn asked.

Patrick frowned as he studied Shawn’s genuinely confused expression. “I thought you knew,” he said. “I mean, even I could see that when I first saw him with you.”

“No, I didn’t know! Why the hell didn’t he ever say anything?”

“Would it have mattered if he had?” Patrick asked quietly.

“Maybe, yes. No. I don’t know.” He looked up and saw the hurt in Patrick’s eyes and could have kicked himself. “Patrick, I don’t mean it like that. I just hate that everyone knew and I didn’t.”

“So you don’t wish-?”

He never even got to the end of the sentence before Shawn pressed a finger to his lips to silence him.

“Don’t. I have no regrets about me and you,” he assured Patrick. “None at all. I love you.”

Patrick relaxed then, a smile creeping onto his face. “Really?”

“Really,” Shawn told him. “Now, how’s about I prove it?”

----------

Christmas morning, and Shawn and Patrick were awakened by the sound of a wooden spoon clattering loudly against a saucepan right outside their bedroom door.

“What the hell?” Shawn rubbed his eyes and yawned. They’d had about four hours’ sleep so far, after their discussion last night and his subsequent convincing of Patrick that he was the one he wanted.

“Breakfast is in five minutes!”

Shawn glanced at the clock. “It’s six in the damn morning!” he yelled back. “Don’t you ever sleep?”

Patrick could almost hear the smirk in Henry’s voice when he replied, “Of course; I just sleep at night. Some of us weren’t awake until two am.”

“It’s times like these that remind me why I moved out,” Shawn muttered, snuggling back under the covers again.

Patrick tugged the covers away from him, ignoring his boyfriend’s complaints.

“We should get up; he’ll only come back again,” he said, swinging his legs out of bed. “If you move now, I’ll let you share my shower…”

Shawn was out of bed and into the bathroom, a huge grin on his face, before Patrick was even halfway there.

----------

By the time that Gus, Lassie and Jules arrived, Patrick was glad of someone to talk to who wasn’t arguing. Shawn and his dad got along great, providing they didn’t spend longer than an hour around each other at any time. Longer than that and the tiniest thing set them off. He had eventually gone to hide in the lounge and play with the kitten, leaving them to bicker.

“What was it this time?” Gus asked, sitting down.

Patrick sighed. “Cranberry sauce.”

Gus laughed, then winced as his ribs hurt. He reached out to trail a finger along the couch, watching as Minky stalked it. She crouched low and then pounced, tumbling over Gus’s hand.

“I didn’t know Henry had got a cat,” he commented.

Patrick shook his head. “He didn’t. She’s Shawn’s; her name’s Minky.” He saw the question on Gus’s lips and smiled. “I had nothing to do with the name.”

Moments late, Jules came in to join them, closely followed by Lassiter. Apparently, Lassiter’s attempts at playing referee between Shawn and his dad had failed and so they had sought sanctuary with Patrick in the lounge.

Henry announced that dinner was ready about an hour later and Patrick smiled as silence fell around the table. At least eating had sidetracked Shawn and his dad from their squabbling. The meal was good; Henry was a pretty good cook, he thought. When he said as much, Shawn pointed out,

“I made the cranberry sauce.”

Patrick looked across at Shawn and saw the proud look on his face. “It’s delicious,” he said, making Shawn grin.

Henry huffed. “I made the whole damn thing and he gets the credit,” he grumbled. “Anyone can make cranberry sauce.”

Shawn frowned at him. “Well you wouldn’t let me help with anything else.”

“That’s because I wanted it done right.”

Before he could retort, Patrick gave Shawn’s hand a squeeze. Taking the hint, Shawn shut up, resorting to a quick glare at his dad instead as they all finished their dinner.

As they got up to move to the lounge afterwards, Gus moved awkwardly and swore under his breath, a hand held to his ribs. Immediately, Lassiter was at his side, fussing and helping him get comfortable on the couch until Gus finally had to tell him to stop. Lassiter’s cheeks flushed slightly and he mumbled an apology, backing away.

“Carlton, I don’t want you to go,” Gus told him, grabbing his hand and forced him to sit down. “Just stop fussing, OK?”

The detective nodded, sitting, but still not meeting his eyes. “Sorry. I just want to make sure you’re alright.”

Gus reached up to cup his palm to Lassiter’s cheek, forcing him to look up. “I’m fine, but I like that you want to look after me.”

Jules finished off the rest of the wine in the glass she had brought in from the dinner table and cuddled Minky to her. The kitten was tired of being ignored now and had nosed her way into the room, jumping up into Jules’ lap for some attention. She watched their exchange with a little smile on her face, then it faded.

“It’s not fair,” she told Patrick. “I mean, look at them; they’re all happy and you and Shawn are practically married. You’ve even got a kitty-cat.” She paused and sighed dramatically. “I want someone.”

Ignoring the ‘married’ comment, Patrick offered her a smile, wondering just how much she’d had to drink. She was definitely tipsy. “Any man would be lucky to have you.”

Jules beamed. “You’re so sweet to say that.”

“I meant it,” Patrick informed her.

----------

When everyone else went off to get refills in their glasses and slices of Christmas cake, Gus worked up the courage to talk to Shawn. Shawn had made a tiny party hat from one of the paper ones that had come out of the crackers and was currently trying to get Minky to wear it. As soon as Gus sidetracked Shawn, the kitten made a quick getaway.

“Can we talk for a minute?” he began, looking slightly nervous. “About Carlton.”

Shawn moved across to the couch, sitting down next to his best friend. “Go on…”

“Look, Shawn, I know I should have told you before rather than surprising you like this but-” Gus stopped, glancing at Shawn.

“But what?”

“It wasn’t like I was trying to take your place or anything, I swear,” Gus said quickly. “It just sort of happened…”

Henry’s words last night came back to Shawn then and he realised why Gus looked so uneasy telling him. Did everyone assume that he knew about Lassiter’s feelings toward him?

“Dude, relax, would you? Yeah, I would have liked to think you could tell me but I’m not mad. There was never anything between me and Lassie, and besides, I’ve got Patrick.” He saw Gus’s relief at his words. “I have to admit that it was a bit of a shock at first though.”

“To me as well,” Gus murmured.

“You know, I always thought you had a thing for Jules,” Shawn teased, settling back into the easy friendship that they had shared since they were kids.

“I kinda did for a while,” Gus admitted, glancing through to the kitchen where Jules was giggling at something Patrick had just said.

Shawn saw Gus’s gaze shift to the dark haired detective, standing with his dad. “You’re happy?” Gus nodded, and Shawn added, “Good.”

----------

“Today was great,” Shawn said. “Thanks, dad, for everything. I know I don’t say it much but I appreciate it.”
They were sprawled in the lounge, watching TV and feeling the effects of eating way too much Christmas dinner. Everyone else had gone home leaving just the three of them. Henry gave his son a wary look.

“’You drunk?”

Shawn rolled his eyes. “No. Jeez, forget it; I don’t know why I bother.”

For a moment, they sat in silence and watched the movie.

“I’m glad you were here.”

Shawn stared at his dad, then a smirk spread across his face. “I didn’t catch that,” he joked. “What?”

Henry growled. “I ain’t saying it again.”

Suddenly, there was a crash as a bauble fell from the Christmas tree in the corner of the room, making them all turn to look. Henry sighed.

“Shawn, your damn cat is climbing the Christmas tree again.”

As Shawn scrambled to catch the kitten before she caused broke anything else, Patrick laughed. This Christmas had been the best he’d had in ages; it felt good to have family around him again, and they were family, even if not by blood.


-------
End.




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