Story Title: Coward
Character/Relationships: Lassiter, Lassiter/Shawn, Shawn/Jules
Summary: Carlton Lassiter had never thought of himself as a coward. Not until now. Spoilers for season 5 finale. Shassie and Shules.
AN: This was written for challenge 1 of round 1 of tvnetwork1_las over at livejournal, for the prompt: "Sometimes even to live is an act of courage." - Seneca
Carlton Lassiter had never really considered himself a coward before. Not properly. There'd been the odd self-recrimination – he should have gone faster after than subject, should have asked out that woman, should have, could have – but he'd never looked at his life and thought 'This is the life of a coward' before.
He knew that people wouldn't think of being a police officer as a cowardly profession, but it had been for him. With his mother insisting he should have a proper profession, not like his big sister the artist or his brother the professional beach bum, it had been the easy choice. 'Let me have one child I can be proud of,' she'd said. And it wasn't like he'd have ever had a chance as an actor anyway. Not a real one. And he did enjoy his work, tackling the challenges and the odd bit of undercover work probably made far more difference than acting would. Plus he got to use a gun. It wasn't like he was unsatisfied with being a police officer, but there was always a part of him that knew he had settled, that he had been too afraid to try.
It was mostly in terms of his personal life that the cowardice showed itself. It was so much easier to push Juliet away, to insult her perkiness and irritate her family so that she left him alone outside work. So much easier to sit in silence when Lucinda asked him if there was any reason she shouldn't leave, to chase after his wife instead of making a try with someone else. Even signing the divorce papers, one of the hardest decisions he had ever made, had been motivated by fear. Fear that he would spend the rest of his life chasing this woman around as she lost more and more respect for him, and returned the opening of his heart with that pitying expression.
But all of that had been background noise, the things he could ignore than itched at his conscience occasionally when he was alone at night. Until now as he looks through the one-way mirror to see what he could have had disappearing before his eyes.
However much Spencer might scream at the sight of corpses or run at the first sign of trouble, he never seemed to let any kind of fear stop him living the life he wanted – at least as far as Carlton had ever seen. He'd gone his own way with his career, refusing to let his dad dictate his life. He was proud of things most people would hide away, would enjoy things that most people would pretend not to. And, most obviously, he went after things and people he wanted relentlessly. Carlton should know. After all, when Psych had first been set up, it had been him who had been flirted with, and chased and, eventually, been given an outright offer. Shawn hadn't been too afraid to acknowledge the tension sizzling between them.
He'd taken the refusal quite well, all things considered. Gone after Juliet, although there'd still be the occasional slap on the arse or flirtatious remark, just to show Carlton he knew what was really holding him back. The fear of being different, of being … (the guy who'd sat in front of him in 8th grade Social Studies, his college roommate's brother, Nick Conforth, he hadn't wanted them really, had he?).
But clearly Carlton had been complacent in thinking that Juliet was too professional to allow her relationship with Shawn to go any further. After all, they were kissing on the other side of the glass.
He'd wasted his chance. His chance at being happy. He was such a coward.
But even with this sudden self-awareness, he knew that he was going to pretend to be happy for them. He wasn't going to claim what he wanted, because who knew if Spencer would still want him? And would his life with Shawn really be worth all the problems he would have to face because of it? Was it really worth the risk?
- Current Mood: determined