azombiewrites: (Psych)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: Tea for Three ... Plus One
Rating: PG
Fandom: Psych
Genre: It started out as an attempt at humor but soon turned to a little bit of H/C. Actually more H than C.
Summary: Sixty seven year old women who attempt to grope younger men, should not be trusted.
Main Characters: Detective’s Lassiter and O'Hara plus a couple of OC's.
Disclaimers: All things Psych owned by Steve Franks and the USA network.
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] strangevisitor7 and my wonderful comma wrangling-ninja-meh monkey-whacking-spyentist virtual spouse [livejournal.com profile] winks7985
Notes: None.
Spoilers: None.
Word Count: 3,297
Status: Complete




Tea for Three ... Plus One



“Would you like a cup of tea, Carlton?” Mrs. Lowry asked.

Surprised by the question, Detective Carlton Lassiter repeated, “Tea?”

“Yes, would you like some?”

Lassiter shifted his position on the flower-patterned couch that must have been as old as the woman sitting in the chair opposite; his left butt cheek had been suffering for far too long from the broken spring in the sofa cushion. “Tea?”

“Is he deaf?” Mrs. Lowry glanced toward O’Hara before quickly turning her gaze back to Lassiter. “Yes, Dear, tea! Would - you - like - some - tea?”

“Are you talking about herbal tea, or--” Lassiter grunted when O’Hara’s right elbow dug into his side. He questioned his partner with a look, but her returning glare had him quickly conceding to Mrs. Lowry’s offer. “Of course, Mrs. Lowry,” he said, as a slight grimace – not to be mistaken for a smile – crossed his features. “I would like some ... tea.”

“I told you to call me Edith,” she smiled, leaned forward – reaching across the coffee table – and patted Lassiter’s right knee before her hand moved upward to gently squeeze his thigh.

Lassiter’s eyebrows rose up in surprise, while his upper body moved further back into the couch. He felt an immediate sense of dread and crossed his legs, forcing the old woman to remove her hand; it took all of his will power not to reach for his weapon. Lassiter could almost sense O’Hara reacting to his response with a smile and a shake of her head.

When Mrs. Lowry left, disappearing into the small kitchen that lay to the right of the living room, he turned to snap at O’Hara, “What!”

O’Hara, trying very hard not to smile, said, “I thought you liked tea.”

Lassiter quickly glanced over his right shoulder toward the kitchen before returning his gaze to his partner, “I do. I just don’t like herbal tea. It’s an acquired taste that I don’t seem to be able to ... acquire.”

“Carlton, if she brings you herbal tea, you’ll drink it,” O’Hara warned him. “If you get on her wrong side she won’t tell us anything.”

Lassiter narrowed his eyes, a sarcastic retort at the ready but before he could say anything, Mrs. Lowry called from the kitchen, her voice loud enough to wake the dead. “Would you like a biscuit with your cup of tea, Carlton?”

“She likes you,” O’Hara teased him, “so be nice.”

Lassiter – his expression indicating that he did not intend to be nice – let out a slow breath, turned and yelled, “It’s Detective Lassiter, and no, I don’t want a biscuit!”

Mrs. Lowry returned to the living room. In her hands, she held a large tray filled with three mugs of tea – tea bags indicating herbal tea, which meant he wasn’t drinking it no matter what O’Hara said – pink napkins and a plate piled high with chocolate biscuits.

O’Hara nudged Lassiter with her elbow, “Carlton, go and help her.”

“O’Hara, when this is over, we’re going to sit down and discuss the meaning of Head Detective and Junior Detective.”

As he stood up, Lassiter felt the broken spring attempt to bite him in the ass. He ignored it and stepped around the coffee table, making his way toward Mrs. Lowry, his steps hesitant.

“Let me help you with that,” his voice betrayed what he felt. He didn’t want a cup of herbal tea, or a biscuit, and he sure as hell didn’t want a sixty-seven-year-old woman hitting on him. “It looks too heavy for someone of your age and very small stature.”

He took the tray from Mrs. Lowry, her fingers brushing the back of his hands as he pulled the tray from her grasp. Lassiter swore to himself. If she touched him once more in an inappropriate manner, he would arrest her; he didn’t care how old she was. He placed the tray on the coffee table – making sure he didn’t turn his back on the woman who would no doubt take advantage of the position and pat him on the ass – and sat back down on the couch, mindful of the broken spring.

“Mrs. Lowry--”

“It’s Edith, Carlton.” Mrs. Lowry – ignoring O’Hara – pushed the tray closer to Lassiter and said, “Help yourself, dear.”

In an attempt to ignore the tea and biscuits Lassiter said, “Mrs. Lowry, do you have any idea where your son is?”

“My son? Why do you want to know where Johnny is?”

Lassiter clenched his teeth hard and when they felt as though they were about to break, he forced himself to relax.

“We’ve already been through this, Mrs. Lowry; twice. I explained to you earlier, in great detail, that we need your son to help us with our inquiries in relation to a series of break-ins that have occurred in your street over the last two weeks.”

Her smile was all sugar and spice. “Yes ... yes you did. I’m sorry, Carlton. I can be so forgetful sometimes.”

“It’s Detective Lassiter!”

“Are you feeling alright, Carlton? You look a little pale, sweetie.”

“Mrs. Lowr--”

“Call me Edith.”

“Do you have any idea where he is? And please remember that interfering with a police investigation is a criminal offense.”

“How am I interfering with an investigation, dear,” said Mrs. Lowry. “Are you sure you’re alright, Carlton? You look as though you’re about to have a stroke and a good looking single young man like yourself shouldn’t be--”

“Mrs. Lowry!” Lassiter could feel a familiar ache – the one normally caused by Shawn Spencer – begin to consume him, spreading from his tense shoulder muscles up into the back of his neck, into his skull. He took a deep breath, let it out through his nose and after taking a moment to bring himself back into focus said, “I’m sorry, for a moment I thought I was dealing with someone else.”

Feeling almost sorry for her partner, O’Hara made a futile attempt to take Mrs. Lowry’s attention away from Lassiter, repeating his question. “Mrs. Lowry, do you have any idea where your son is?”

“Johnny? Why do you want to know where Johnny is?”

Lassiter massaged his forehead with the fingers of his left hand; he kept the right free in case of a sudden need to use his weapon. “Mrs. Lowry, if you don’t have anything to tell us--”

“Drink your tea, Carlton.”

He glared at the woman.

Mrs. Lowry stared back; her gaze – as though she were watching a tennis match – began to bounce back and forth between the tray sitting on the coffee table and Lassiter’s face. Lassiter stared back, refusing to give in.

“Detective.” O’Hara removed one of the mugs from the tray and held it in front of Lassiter.

Lassiter rolled his eyes, and with an expression of disgust snatched the mug from O’Hara, spilling tea onto his trousers, just above his knee.

“Damn it all!” He put the mug down on the coffee table – spilling more of the tea – and stood up. Before he could stop her, Mrs. Lowry had gotten up and taken a napkin from the tray to wipe the spilt tea off his trousers; he knew where this was going but the woman was too quick. Before he could stop her, Mrs. Lowry evaded his protesting hands, her own hand bypassing the spilt tea, moving quickly upward, her fingers first pressing, and then rubbing against his crotch. He grabbed her thin wrist with his left hand, pushing her hand away from his body, and his right gripped the butt of his weapon; just in case. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Trying to help, dear,” her smile still glowed with sugar and spice.

“If you touch me one more time, I will arrest you for assaulting a police officer!”

“Detective...”

Lassiter felt O’Hara’s gentle grip on his forearm and realized that his own grip on Mrs. Lowry’s wrist was painfully tight. He quickly loosened his hold, pushing her back toward her chair before removing his hand; he refused to relax his grip on his weapon. In a tone that spoke loudly of a loss of patience, he asked for the last time, “Mrs. Lowry, do you know where we can find your son?”

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-


Sitting in the parked Crown Vic, Lassiter stared out through the window toward the house they had left minutes earlier. He shuddered and grimaced in disgust when his mind drifted back to what had happened. A sixty-seven-year-old woman had managed to touch him in what he considered a very inappropriate way. He felt angry, humiliated because he hadn’t been able to stop her inappropriate groping. Mrs. Lowry had been surprisingly quick for someone of her age.

He could feel O’Hara’s less than subtle glances in his direction. He knew there would be a frown on her face and an almost desperate need to speak, to say anything that would break the uncomfortable silence that had settled over them. Her body shifted in the passenger seat of the Crown Vic and Lassiter knew with a certainty that she was about to berate him for treating Mrs. Lowry in a manner unbecoming of a police officer. When O’Hara turned in her seat to face him, Lassiter turned his head away and ignored her.

“I should go back in there and arrest that woman,” he growled through gritted teeth.

“Carlton--”

There it was; the tone O’Hara only used when speaking to him.

“What?” Lassiter turned to face her, shifting his body so his left side pressed almost painfully against the door. “You don’t think I should?”

“She’s sixty seven years old,” explained O’Hara.

“And?”

“And, you can’t arrest a sixty seven year old woman.”

Lassiter turned in his seat, facing the front again and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath, let it out slowly through his nose and counted to ten; apparently, that was the best way to control his temper. Someone, he couldn't remember who, probably one of those therapists his estranged wife had forced him to see, had explained the relaxation exercise. When he reached four – counting to ten never worked – he opened his eyes, and said, “You were there, O’Hara. You saw what she did.”

O’Hara hesitated, the wrinkle between her eyebrows becoming deeper, and said, “She barely touched you.”

He couldn’t help but laugh when he saw through O’Hara’s hesitation, betrayed by a partner who wasn’t going to allow him to arrest a woman simply because of her age.

“What would you do if a sixty seven year old man groped you?”

His partner didn’t say anything for a few moments and the reluctance to speak straight away, told Lassiter that she was trying to think of the right thing to say, something that wouldn’t offend him.

“I wouldn’t arrest him,” O’Hara smiled, “but I might slap him around a bit ... make him cry like a little girl.”

A smile tugged at the corner of Lassiter’s mouth. “I can’t exactly slap Mrs. Lowry around.”

“I could slap her around for you,” O’Hara suggested.

“No,” said Lassiter, knowing that neither he nor O’Hara would ever slap a sixty-seven-year-old around; man or woman. “But ... you know ... thanks for the offer.”

O’Hara nodded. “Any time, Carlton.”

Silence filled the car once more when Lassiter went back to watching the house. It was a silence they were more familiar with, comfortable, no need for either of them to speak but O’Hara decided to ruin the moment by mentioning Shawn Spencer.

“We should ask Shawn to talk to her,” said O’Hara. “He might be able to--”

“I doubt Spencer is her type,” Lassiter growled.

“We’ve been looking for Johnny Lowry for almost two weeks, Carlton,” O’Hara had to remind him of that fact. “Admit it, we need some help.”

“We can find Lowry without Spencer’s help.”

“We haven’t been able to find him yet,” said O’Hara.

Lassiter glared at his partner. “It’s my call, O’Hara. I’m the Head Detective and the lead on this case.”

He expected O’Hara to voice a sigh of frustration and she didn’t disappoint him.

“It won’t hurt to ask, Carlton.”

“Yes, it would,” he muttered under his breath but he knew O’Hara had heard what he’d said. He could tell by the shake of her head and the disappointed slump of her shoulders. He wanted to go into lecture mode; explain to her that he was a good detective, that he was very capable of solving a case without the help of a so-called-psychic but he didn’t have the energy to try to convince her and maybe convince himself in the process.

Lassiter decided he’d had enough. He needed coffee and some time alone to think about what else he could do to locate Lowry. He was just about to turn the key in the ignition when he noticed movement in the yard next to the Lowry residence. He narrowed his eyes in an attempt to see what had caused the movement. A man stepped out from behind the trunk of a large oak tree, glancing first left and then right. Lassiter smiled, the groping incident quickly forgotten.

Johnny Lowry, in all his criminal glory, wearing tattered jeans and a black t-shirt that stretched across his large stomach, and running – slumped over, his shoulders almost level with his hips, as though the awkward position would make it harder for prying eyes to see him – toward the fence that separated the two properties.

“Would you look at that,” Lassiter pointed at Lowry, who was now struggling to climb the six-foot high fence. Johnny Lowry fell, landing on his ass. Lassiter grimaced at the sight. After hesitating for a moment, Lowry stood up, ran to the front of the property and disappeared around the side of fence. “It seems Johnny has decided to visit his dear old mother.”

Lassiter removed his weapon from its holster and feeling its comfortable weight in his right hand, he got out of the car. He ran, the Glock held up in front of his body, across the empty street to the fence that Lowry had tried to climb with little success. He stopped with his back to the fence and waited for O’Hara to reach his side. He indicated that he wanted her to go through the front door while he went around to the back of the house. O’Hara nodded and took off. Lassiter stepped up to the end of the fence, and quickly glanced around it into Mrs. Lowry’s front yard. When he saw that it was empty, he took off running toward the house, his gun once again at the ready.

He slowed down when he was no longer out in the open, moving with his left shoulder against the wall of the house, listening for any sort of noise that indicated Lowry was close. When he reached the end of the house, he stopped and took a deep breath. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest, the result of the adrenalin pumping through his system. He stepped around the corner, gun arm up ready to fire if he found his life under threat. The back yard was empty. Lowry was inside. Lassiter’s first thought was for his partner. He moved quickly to the back door and after finding it unlocked, he turned the knob and pushed it open.

Lassiter stepped into the kitchen and almost smiled at the sight of Johnny Lowry sitting alone at a small round table in the middle of the kitchen, a cup of herbal tea in front of him and a plate of chocolate biscuits to his left.

“SBPD! Put your hands up and interlock your fingers behind the back of your head.” Lassiter took a step closer. “Now!”

Lowry’s gaze quickly shifted to the right and then back to Lassiter. At first, Lassiter thought that Lowry had seen O’Hara but when Lowry smiled at him, he realized his mistake. He began to turn around but something slammed against the back of his head, not hard enough to knock him unconscious, but hard enough to cause him to stumble forward, his arms automatically reaching out to stop his fall. Another painful blow, this time hitting his left shoulder, forced him to his knees. A second hit to the side of his head caused the pain to explode inside his skull and the darkness to press against the edge of his vision.

Lassiter managed to glance over his shoulder. Mrs. Lowry – her sugar and spice smile now gone – with a frying pan in her right hand, stood over him. He heard a chair scrape against the kitchen floor and knew that Lowry had gotten up out of his chair. Lassiter held his weapon in a tighter grip and raised his arm.

Mrs. Lowry swung the frying pan; it hit Lassiter’s right wrist, knocking the gun from his fingers. He crawled away before she could strike another blow and when he thought he’d managed to get enough distance between himself and the old woman he pushed himself up onto unsteady legs and right into the path of Lowry’s right fist. His back hit the floor. Lassiter used his left leg, swiping sideways and knocked Lowry’s feet out from under him. Lowry fell and Lassiter took the opportunity to search for his gun and to wonder where the hell his partner was.

Lassiter’s eyes finally settled on his weapon; it had slid under the table. He stood up and knowing that he didn’t have a lot of time, stumbled quickly toward the table, bending down to reached for his gun.

He could sense someone coming toward him. He allowed himself to fall sideways onto his back, and raised his weapon. His wrist hurt but he knew he could pull the trigger if he needed to. Mrs. Lowry stopped, the frying pan held above her shoulder, ready for another blow.

“Carlton, dear, you wouldn’t shoot me,” said Mrs. Lowry.

“If he doesn’t, I will!”

Both Lassiter and Mrs. Lowry looked toward the door that led into the living room. O’Hara was standing in the doorway, gun raised and aiming for a kill shot. Lassiter couldn’t help but notice the small trickle of blood that ran from her hairline and down the left side of her face.

“O’Hara?”

“It’s nothing.”

Lassiter nodded. He searched for Lowry and found him still lying on his back, gasping for air. Lassiter struggled to get up. When he finally managed to get to his feet, he pulled the frying pan from Mrs. Lowry’s hand and threw it onto the table, knocking over the teacup, spilling the herbal tea over the table and onto the floor.

“Carlton, are you alright?” O’Hara asked.

Ignoring his aches and pains, Lassiter waved off her concern, moved slowly toward Lowry and said, “Roll over onto your stomach.”

When Lowry did nothing but stare back at him, Lassiter kicked the man’s thigh. “Roll over onto your stomach!” Lowry glared back but did as ordered.

“Now interlock your fingers behind the back of your head.”

It took Lowry a few seconds, but once he had his hands behind his head, Lassiter placed his gun back in its holster and removed his cuffs from the back of his belt. He read Lowry his rights as he handcuffed him, grimacing at the pain in his wrist where Mrs. Lowry had struck him with the frying pain. The thought of Mrs. Lowry brought a smile to Lassiter’s face. He stood up and walked over to Mrs. Lowry. He spoke to O’Hara while staring at the woman who stood in front of him.

“Can I arrest her now?”

O’Hara smiled. “Yes.”

“Mrs. Lowry,” said Lassiter. “You are under arrest for assaulting a police officer.”



The End





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