Chapter 1: "Coming Down With Something"
Juliet O’Hara closes her eyes and pinches the bridge of her nose, willing her headache to go away. She should be reading through the file in front of her- they’re in the middle of a complicated case and need all hands on deck- but she’s having trouble focusing on anything right now. The coffee in front of her might cut through the chainsaw buzzing in her skull, but she doubts it would help the inexplicable nausea roiling in her stomach. Okay, so she’s probably coming down with something, but this is a high-stakes investigation. She’ll pick up some tamiflu and take a sick day after they catch the murderer.
A few minutes later, when Juliet has resorted to taking deep breaths to calm the pounding in her head, her boyfriend comes sweeping into the bullpen. “Jules!” He greets brightly.
She smiles, trying to act like everything’s okay. “Hi Shawn,” she says. “Got something for us?”
“Maybe,” he replies. “Need to check something with my dad first. How you feeling?”
“Fine!” She answers too quickly. “Totally fine. Why do you ask?” She tucks a stray piece of hair behind her ear.
Shawn raises an eyebrow. “Well, this morning you slept through your alarm and I had to wake you up, which never happens, the coffee mug in front of you is full of cold, untouched coffee, which also never happens, and although I’ve been mildly concerned all day I’m definitely worried now, because you’re a horrible liar and there’s obviously something you’re not telling me.”
Juliet forces a smile again. “I’m fine, Shawn. I think I’m coming down with something, is all. I’m good to finish this case.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to go home and get some rest?”
God, yes. “No, Shawn, I said I’m fine.”
“You did say that,” he shoots back.
Juliet reminds herself that he’s legitimately concerned about her and has no way of knowing that his voice is making her head spin even more. She closes her eyes and takes another deep breath, trying not to vomit. “Shawn, I appreciate the concern, but I’m alright. I swear.”
“Okay, you’re fine, sorry, I’m just worried-”
“I know you’re worried!” Juliet snaps, standing up and stalking away from him. Well, her intention is to stalk away. In reality, she barely makes it around her desk before the spinning gets worse and she begins to sway. She’s vaguely aware of her knees buckling before the world fades to black.
Lassiter is rounding the corner with a new file on a potential suspect when he sees Spencer and O’Hara arguing over something. O’Hara stands and begins to walk away, but then goes stabbing-victim pale and sways on the spot. The papers in his hand flutter to the ground as he lunges, grabbing her just before she hits the floor. She’s dead weight in his arms, totally unconscious, so he carries her to a nearby bench. She’s incredibly light. “McNab! He hollers to the passing officer. “Get her some water!” McNab hurries to comply.
Spencer had tried and failed to vault O’Hara’s desk and nearly knocked himself unconscious, but the psychic eventually manages to pick himself up off the ground and hurry to his girlfriend’s side. Lassiter turns a harsh eye on him, not blaming, just angry in general. “What the hell happened?”
“I don’t know. I could tell she wasn’t a hundred percent this morning, but you know Jules. No way she’d take a day off in the middle of a case,” responds the psychic. “Clearly she’s gotten worse.”
“Clearly,” grunts Lassiter. As McNab returns with a plastic cup of water, O’Hara stirs.
“Wha…” she slurs, blinking in confusion. She takes the water that’s offered and sips. “What happened?” She looks at Spencer. “Did I pass out?” Her nose wrinkles. “Carlton, how much cologne are you wearing?”
“Huh? Not that much,” he responds defensively, caught off guard by the question. “And yes, you did pass out.”
“You would’ve taken a nasty fall if Lassie hadn’t caught you,” Spencer adds, twining his fingers through hers.
The commotion has gotten the chief’s attention, and she strides toward them, her disapproving frown not totally masking the worry in her eyes. “Detective O’Hara,” she chides, “I appreciate your dedication to this case, but I can’t have my officers working themselves to the bone. Go get some rest.”
“But-” O’Hara protests, sitting up more.
“Detective, go home. That’s an order,” Karen commands. She looks towards Spencer. “See that she does.”
Spencer nods once, then offers O’Hara an arm, which she takes, albeit with a scowl. They head off. Lassiter watches them for a few seconds before turning to the chief for orders.
“Back to work.”
Several hours of sleeping and half a ginger ale later, Juliet feels much better but not entirely rejuvenated. Shawn had gone to follow a lead, according to the note on the fridge, and he really wanted her to stay home and continue resting. Despite her stubbornness earlier that day, Juliet now has no desire to go back to work. Instead, she lies in bed, sitting up only enough to sip at her soda as she runs through her symptoms in her head. Yes, there are several issues with self-diagnosis, but it’s at least a place to start. Headaches, dizziness, fainting… all possibly from dehydration, but her ginger ale and the water she’d had should have fixed her up straight away. With the nausea, sensitivity to smells, and lack of appetite that bordered on food aversion, it’s likely something else. Juliet’s nose wrinkles as she mulls over the possibilities. When was the last time she’d had her period? It had been longer than usual…
She recalls the way a single sip of coffee had made her stomach flip and how strongly she’d reacted to her partner’s cologne. The longer she thinks about it, the more obvious the answer seems, but that couldn’t be it. You and Shawn are always careful, insists the voice in her head. They are, Juliet knows, but not so much so that this option is totally outside the realm of possibility…
The detective finishes her soda and rolls out of bed, grabbing her wallet from the dresser. “Only one way to find out,” she mutters to herself.
Having finished the necessary work, Gus is on his way out of a local pharmacy on his route, his mind in a dozen different places at once. He’s still got a bit of actual work to do, and then there’s the case, and if that weren’t enough, Shawn had mentioned something about Juliet being under the weather. He’s so distracted that he doesn’t notice the woman in front of him until they literally collide, Gus stumbling into a shelf and the blonde dropping her purchase. He bends to pick it up for her, spewing apologies. It’s a pregnancy test, he can’t help but notice.
“I’m sorry,” he apologizes for the hundredth time, handing her the box. He finally looks up at her and nearly trips again in shock as his gaze lands on a familiar face. “Juliet!?”
“Gus,” she responds, looking panicked. “What are you doing here?”
“It’s on my route,” he replies. “Are you- are you pregnant?”
Juliet startles at the word. “I think I might be,” she answers. “Don’t tell Shawn?”
“Juliet,” Gus sighs, “The man is a human lie detector. The second he gets within a hundred feet of me he’s going to know something’s up.”
“No, yeah, you’re right,” she agrees. “Um. Well. I have no idea what to do.”
“Neither do I,” Gus says. “We could go to the Psych office for popsicles.”
“Because if we’re both at the same place, it minimizes the chances of me accidentally telling Shawn before you do. And popsicles fix everything.”
Juliet nods, her head tilting as she considers it. “I wish that made a little less sense,” she agrees.
Shawn knows something is up the minute he steps into the Psych office. Gus catches sight of him, squeaks, and attempts to hide behind the coffee maker. Juliet, whom he’d left at their apartment with explicit instructions to stay there, is spinning distractedly in his desk chair. She looks up at him and freezes like a deer in headlights.
“Okay,” Shawn begins slowly, “what’s going on?”
“I know nothing!” Gus yelps, emerging from behind the coffee maker.
“What don’t you know, Gus?”
“I’m not telling you!”
“What aren’t you telling me?”
“Nuh-uh! I won’t say it!” They stare at each other for a few more seconds. “How are you so good at this?”
“Dude, I’m not even trying,” Shawn scoffs.
“I’m pregnant!” Blurts Juliet. Gus sighs in relief. Shawn turns slowly to face her.
“Run that by me again?”
“I’m pregnant,” Juliet repeats, softly this time. She holds up a stick with a blue plus sign. “The test is positive.”
Shawn’s heart skips several beats. He should say something, anything, because Jules is chewing on her lip and staring at him with worry in her eyes and he’s just gaping like a dumbass, but his brain has stopped working. He swallows and manages to form words again. “We’re having a baby?” He asks with a grin.
Juliet smiles too, laughing a little. “Yeah. Yeah, I guess we are.”
Shawn laughs joyfully. “Jules! We’re having a baby!” He bounds across the office and sweeps her into his arms, pulling her in for a kiss. “I can’t believe it,” he whispers.
“Neither can I,” Juliet replies, kissing him again.
“I’m gonna… go…” Gus says,standing awkwardly a bit away. “Let you guys… talk and stuff. Bye.” Neither Shawn nor Juliet pay him any attention as he slips out the back door.
“We’re gonna have a baby,” Shawn says for the third time.
“Uh-huh,” Juliet agrees.
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” he proclaims.
She laughs loudly and her arms go around his neck. “I love you,” she says.
“I love you too,” Shawn replies. He tilts her chin up and captures her mouth in a kiss again. A few minutes later, they’re both very glad Gus had left.
Chapter 2: Heartbeat
Shawn and Lassie catch a killer. Juliet takes a few more sick days. Doctors' appointments are made.
I'm having so much fun with this story Shawn and Jules are so softttt :')
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet wakes to the music of her alarm (Such a Night, Elvis Presley) and then the clatter of her charging dock-slash-speaker falling to the floor. She pushes up on her elbows, raising an eyebrow at her boyfriend. Shawn gives her a sheepish smile. “I was hoping I could turn it off before you woke up,” he explains.
She snorts. “Why? I am going to work today.”
He groans. “Jules, c’mon, can we not do this?”
“Now we know I’m not sick, there’s no reason for me to stay home. There’s still a murderer on the loose,” she reminds him.
“You may not have the flu or anything, but you did pass out yesterday, and not just for a few seconds, either. You need to take at least another day off to make sure you’re getting the rest you need,” he says.
Juliet groans, her good mood rapidly disappearing. And of course, the nausea from the day before is back, because it’s not just nausea, it’s morning sickness. She flops back onto her pillows, a hand going to her stomach. “Shawn, I need to do my damn job,” she whines. “I’m going to work.”
Shawn leans over her, his hand covering hers. “You and our baby need some rest,” he murmurs. Juliet groans again, but it’s clearly a losing battle. “Don’t make me resort to distracting you,” Shawn purrs, his lips moving over her jaw line.
Ordinarily Juliet would play along, but her stomach turns and she pushes him gently away. “I’m not really in the mood,” she says, before another wave of nausea sweeps over her. “Ugh. Be right back.”
Shawn figures holding Juliet’s hair back is the least he can do. He also hands her a damp washcloth to wipe her mouth off, and then runs his fingers soothingly through her hair once they’re back in bed together. She smiles up at him. “If I’m not going to work then you definitely have to go,” she tells him.
“I will,” Shawn assures her, kissing her forehead. “But I don’t have to leave yet. Your alarm goes off ridiculously early.”
“I’m glad you’re happy about this,” Juliet says softly, curling into him.
“Did you think I wouldn’t be?”
“I didn’t have a clue,” she replies. “I mean, we haven’t really discussed it before, and you yourself told me a while ago that you enjoyed freedom and a lack of responsibility...”
“And what did I tell you right after that?” He asks, his hazel eyes boring into her blue ones.
“That you’d give it all up for me,” she whispers hoarsely. “I just- I don’t want you to have any regrets. I can’t do this without you, Shawn.”
“Juliet,” he says, in a serious tone she hasn’t heard in a long time, “I promise I will never leave you. I love you, and nothing can change that. I could never regret anything about us,” he swears. “Except for maybe how long we circled around each other before you actually kissed me.”
“Mmmmn, that did take a while, didn’t it?” Juliet teases with a smile.
“Much longer than I would have liked,” Shawn confirms.
Juliet tugs him down by his nightshirt until their lips meet. “Well, I’d say we’ve done a good job making up for lost time,” she decides.
Shawn chuckles and pushes up her t-shirt, which actually belongs to him, so he can press a kiss to her belly. “Maybe too good of a job,” he says with a smirk.
Juliet swats him playfully. “Go get ready for work, Spencer.”
Lassiter finds Shawn annoying on a good day, and today is not one of those. Not only are they one person short on a tricky case, Spencer is being oddly evasive as to what exactly is wrong with O’Hara. He insists she’s fine and Lassiter doesn’t need to worry, but he won’t elaborate beyond that. At least we might finally be getting somewhere, he thinks, pulling up to the suspect’s house. He follows Spencer up the path, then motions for the psychic to stay behind him.
“Lassie,” protests Spencer, “I need to go first, so I can follow the energy and lead you to the killer!”
“Spencer, he’s either in here or he’s not. If I let you go in front of me that increases the chances of you getting shot, stabbed, or otherwise mauled. Now shut up and stay back,” he demands.
“Aw, Lassie,” beams the psychic. “You do care.”
“I care about keeping all of my bones intact, which will not happen if you get hurt and your girlfriend finds out I didn’t stop it.” Without waiting for the next verbal jab, Lassiter kicks open the door and moves inside, gun held aloft.
An hour later, Shawn is spinning cheerfully in his father’s desk chair, waiting for someone to kick him out, or for Gus to come back with their paycheck. Lassiter is grilling the murderer now, and since Shawn had gotten him to inadvertently admit to the crime back at his house, the psychic’s work here is done. He sends a quick text to Juliet.
How you feeling?
The reply comes in seconds. Bored. Irritated. Slightly nauseous. But I did make a doctor’s appt for this weekend :)
How’s the case?
Did I not tell you? We caught the guy!
No, you didn’t tell me! When!?
Like, an hour ago. I swear I texted you.
You really didn’t.
Shawn can practically see Juliet shaking her head, probably with that half-smile on her face that she gets when she’s trying not to be amused by him. As he continues spinning in lazy circles, the chair’s owner approaches. “Shawn get out of my chair.”
“Is it really your chair? Or is it the department’s?”
Henry is unamused. “Get out of my chair before I force you out of it.”
“You’re no fun, dad, you know that?” Shawn complains.
“Yeah, yeah. The chief wants to see you.”
Shawn reluctantly removes himself from the chair and heads to the chief's office. “Chief! You wanted to see me?”
“Yes, I did, Mr. Spencer. How is Detective O’Hara doing?”
“I was just talking to her, actually. She’s feeling much better and was glad to know we solved the case.” Shawn thinks for a moment. “She says she’s bored.”
“I thought she might be,” Karen says with a wry smile. She hands Shawn a file full of papers. It’s not huge, as far as police files go, but it’s nowhere near empty, either. “Tell her if she feels up to it, these are the reports I need from her by the end of next week.”
Shawn grins. “Thanks, Chief. You have really helped my argument for taking tomorrow and Friday off as well.”
“Glad I could assist,” replies Karen. “Enjoy the rest of your week.”
“Sure thing, Chief!”
By Saturday morning, Juliet feels much better. She’d gotten the paperwork Shawn had brought her done, and he and Gus had supplied her with plenty of popsicles (Gus) and pineapple smoothies (Shawn). Gus had also recommended an anti-nausea medication that she could get a prescription for at her appointment today.
“That smells good, Shawn,” she says as she walks into the kitchen. Her boyfriend grins as he takes in her appearance: messy hair, bare legs, petite form swamped in his Flock of Seagulls shirt.
“It’s cinnamon toast,” he replies. “I didn’t know if you’d feel like eating, but this is something light, if you want it.”
Juliet beams and gives him a quick peck. “I am a bit hungry,” she says, snagging a piece of toast. For the first time that week, she actually savors the taste of food as the sweet, buttery toast melts in her mouth. At least, she savors it for the first few bites. Less than halfway through the bread, her body remembers it’s supposed to be rebelling every time she tries to eat something, and she rushes for the bathroom.
“It was nice while it lasted,” the detective sighs around her toothbrush, a few minutes later. “I can’t wait for those anti-nausea meds Gus mentioned.”
Shawn smiles at her in the mirror, his hands still combing through her curls. He’s always been oddly captivated by her hair, and now that he’s so often holding it back for her, he plays with it even more. “Hey, are you gonna get an ultrasound today?”
Juliet nods. “Yeah, I think so. And we’ll find out more stuff about how the baby’s doing and how far along I am.”
“How far along do you think?” Shawn asks.
“I’m not really sure,” she replies, her nose wrinkling. “A bit over a month? If you think about it, there are quite a few times this might have happened…” Juliet trails off with a smirk.
“Mmmm, that’s true,” Shawn murmurs, nuzzling into her neck. She laughs.
“Not the time, Shawn,” she chides. “We’ve got to leave in, like, half an hour. I need to get dressed.”
“I don’t know,” Shawn replies. “I think you should just go like that.”
“Of course you do,” Juliet says, pushing past him to squeeze through the doorway. “C’mon, get changed. You need a shirt.”
“It’s your fault I don’t have one on now!” He calls after her.
Shawn is actively focusing on not letting his knee bounce when the nurse enters the waiting room. “Juliet O’Hara?” she calls.
Juliet rises, turning to smile at Shawn. She’s nervous; she’s trying to hide it, but he can tell. Shawn gives her hand a reassuring squeeze as they move down the hall. Twenty minutes later, Juliet is lying on the exam table, the gown opened enough for the technician to apply the ultrasound wand.
“You’re about eight weeks along,” says the tech. “We should be able to find a heartbeat today. You blood work indicates that the fetus is healthy and developing well.”
“That’s good,” Juliet responds. “That’s really good.”
Shawn grins. Thinking about the technician’s words, a memory floats into his mind. He snaps his fingers. “Eight weeks,” he says. “Hey, Jules, wasn’t that around the time of the SBPD’s Charity Gala?”
He sees her blush as she realizes what he’s getting at. “Shawn, not here,” she mutters.
“I really liked that dress,” Shawn muses, still reminiscing.
Juliet gives him a look. “I’m aware,” she says drily, gesturing to her midriff.
The technician is politely ignoring this exchange in favor of preparing the ultrasound. “Alright,” she announces. “Looks like we’re ready.” Shawn moves closer to Jules, taking her hand as the gel is applied. They wait in silence, barely remembering to breathe as the tech moves the wand over Juliet’s stomach. At last, a blurry shape appears on the screen. “There’s your baby,” says the tech. “If you give me a few more seconds, I bet we can find a heartbeat.”
So a few more seconds they wait, and then another minute, and then, finally, they hear something. It’s a quiet sound, a steady woosh almost drowned out by Juliet’s own heartbeat. But it’s there.
Juliet pulls Shawn closer, grinning even as her eyes sparkle with tears. “Shawn, look at that,” she whispers. “That’s out baby.”
Shawn presses a kiss to her head, managing to wrap an arm around her shoulders without letting go of her hand. “Hell yeah it is,” he says softly. “We’re gonna have a kid.”
Thanks for all the feedback I've gotten on this!
Chapter 3: Tacos & Justice
Tacos + Justice = Happiness
I did no schoolwork at school today. In my defense, that was not entirely my fault. At any rate, here. Have a thing.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet is sitting in the passenger seat of Lassiter’s Crown Vic when her partner returns, two coffees in hand. “Two creams, one sugar,” he grunts.
“Thanks,” she replies, taking it. She goes to take a sip, then hesitates. “Is this decaf?”
Carlton stares at her as if she’d asked him if it was poisoned. Actually, knowing him, he’d probably be less surprised if she’d asked that. “O’Hara,” he states, “We’re cops. We don’t drink decaf.”
“Um…” Juliet tries to think of a convincing excuse, but her mind is blank. It’s not that she doesn’t want to share the news with her partner, but she’s got somewhere around a month left in her first trimester, and she and Shawn have decided to err on the side of caution when it comes to telling people. Nevertheless, she’s backed herself into a corner now. “I… can’t have caffeine,” she mutters. “At least, not for the next seven months or so.”
Lassiter stares at her in confusion. There are times when he’s remarkably obtuse.
“I’m pregnant, Carlton,” she tells him. He was going to find out eventually, anyway.
He blinks. His brow furrows. “With Spencer’s kid?”
“He is my boyfriend.”
“Right. I, uh, didn’t mean it like that.”
“Um… congrats, I guess?”
Juliet smiles. Honestly, she hates keeping secrets, so she’s relieved that he knows. “Thank you, Carlton.”
Gus sits at his desk, happily munching on a taco from the stand down the street. Next to him, Shawn is enjoying his own with his feet on his desk, and Juliet sits across the room, folded into an armchair.
“And then he just gave me a super weird look, like I’d grown a second head, or something,” she says in between mouthfuls. “So, I panicked, of course, because I can’t lie to save my life, and I ended up telling him.”
Gus chortles, somehow managing to not choke on his food. Shawn shrugs, clearly nonplussed. “He was going to find out eventually,” he points out.
Juliet nods, still chewing. “Thas wha’ I thaw,” she says around her taco.
Gus has been losing the ‘table manners’ battle since he and Shawn were in elementary school, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. “Juliet,” he sighs, “could you please swallow before you talk?”
Obligingly, Juliet swallows before answering him. “It’s his fault,” she says, pointing at Shawn.
“Hah sho?” This time Shawn is the one talking with his mouth full. Gus sighs in despair.
“Your kid is starving,” Juliet informs him. “I never get refried beans on my tacos, and yet here we are.”
Shawn concedes this with a tilt of his head. “Fair enough.”
“When do you guys find out the gender?” Gus asks. “Are you going to find out, or leave it a surprise?”
Juliet laughs. “Oh, we’ve had plenty of surprises,” she tells him. “We’re definitely finding out as soon as we can. Which should be in about two months or so.”
Shawn grins, showing a mouthful of lettuce, but at least he doesn’t say anything.
“Yes, we know,” Juliet says, amusement coloring her tone. “You’re very proud of yourself.”
Juliet wrinkles her nose as she stares at the bloody mess of rotting flesh on the concrete. “Well, this smells unpleasant,” she sighs.
Lassiter looks at her funny. “It’s no worse than any of the dozens of other murder scenes we’ve been at,” he says.
Shawn appears at Juliet’s side with a bottle of water and an anti-nausea pill. “Thank you,” she tells him.
The detective can almost see the light bulb over her partner’s head. “Oh, I get it,” he says with a nod. “Is that also why you told me I was wearing too much cologne the other day?”
“The other day? That was a good two weeks ago!”
“Lassie’s very good at holding grudges,” Shawn proclaims.
“Shut up, Spencer. I still haven’t forgiven you for knocking all of my paperwork off my desk during your ‘vision’ last week.” He pronounces the word with an air of skepticism.
Juliet sighs again. “Carlton, you’re proving his point.” She bends down, indicating a hole in a scapula with her pen. “Does this look like a bullet hole to you?”
As the pair of detectives are examining the body, Gus shows up, but stands several yards away. He looks reluctant; it’s not entirely impossible that Shawn had dragged him there against his will. After making sure the forensic tech beside her is using the correct label for the evidence he’s bagging, Juliet turns to Gus.
“I have a new appreciation for the amount of time you spend near dead bodies with the super sniffer,” she tells him.
“I have an appreciation for the amount of time you spend near dead bodies, period,” Gus shoots back. “They’re so horrible to look at, and they smell, and they’re a demonstration of the worst things the human race is capable of. I don’t understand how you could possibly become desensitized to them.”
“Justice,” Juliet replies.
“Every time I see something like this- a body in a morgue, a victim in a hospital, a sobbing parent or best friend or significant other, I remember that I can do something about it,” Juliet explains in a quiet but forceful voice. “And that feeling, that feeling of being able to help, to make someone hurt a little less, that’s the best feeling in the world.”
Gus is nodding. “I think I understand,” he says. “Is that why you became a cop?”
Juliet shoots him a finger gun- Shawn is rubbing off on her- and grins. “Exactly.”
As Chief of Police, Karen Vick has to keep track of a lot of moving parts. Not only that, but the moving parts all think, act, react, and work differently. For every piece of information in a personnel file, she knows five more. Stone takes a bus line to work that is consistently six minutes late. Rodriguez isn’t entirely fluent in English. O’Hara shouldn’t be positioned above the second floor unless absolutely necessary. Of course, she doesn’t learn all of this by burying herself in paperwork every day. No, a large part of the chief’s job is to observe, and she does. Between finishing packets of papers, she watches. When she retrieves something from the file room, she listens. On trips to the break room for coffee or a snack, she engages in small talk. The point is, Karen knows a lot more about her officers than they think she does.
That being said, something is up with O’Hara.
The blonde detective is leaving her desk more often, though not enough to be a problem. Shawn Spencer is appearing in the bullpen with increasing frequency, often not even stopping to poke the bear that is Carlton Lassiter before seeking out some form of physical contact with his girlfriend. Whenever Lassiter takes a stretch break or goes to get more coffee, he also grabs an energy bar or an apple from the snack table and places it silently on his partner’s desk. Yes, something is off, but Karen can’t quite figure out what it is.
This will require more observation.
Angst next chapter... prepare yourself o.O
Chapter 4: Potential Energy
To quote a text I sent user myglassesaredirty (who loosely inspired this chapter): bomb threat bomb threat bomb threat bomb threat b o m b t h r e a t
Hold on to something. This chapter's a roller coaster. *evil laugh*
Juliet woke before Shawn did, and took a minute to admire the form of her sleeping boyfriend. He was wrapped protectively around her, his face in her hair and one arm around her waist in such a way that his hand splayed over her stomach. The detective smiled. They’d gone to her twelve-week appointment the day before, and it was safe to say that both of them were now even more excited to be parents.
Shawn stirred and then slowly woke, giving her a smile and a gentle kiss. “Morning, beautiful,” he murmured. “Whatcha thinking about?”
Juliet stretched, twisting in his arms so she could face him completely. “You’re going to be an amazing father,” she said.
Shawn grinned. “And you’re going to be a spectacular mother.”
“I can’t wait to share the news,” she said. “When are you planning on telling your dad?”
“I don’t know,” replied Shawn, shurgging. “He wants us to come over for dinner this weekend, so I guess we could tell him then.”
“That sounds good,” Juliet agreed. She made a face as she looked at the clock. “I guess I should get ready to go.”
“Or,” Shawn countered, “You could stay here. We could stay in bed all day.”
Juliet laughed. “Oh, really? Sounds kinda boring… What would we do all day?”
“I can think of a few things,” Shawn growled. Juliet let him press kisses to her neck for a few minutes, but when he got a little too enthusiastic, she pushed him off.
“Easy, Spencer. You’re going to leave a mark,” she warned.
Shawn gave a disappointed groan, but relented. “You’re gonna wish we’d stayed in bed,” he teased as Juliet buttoned her shirt and pulled on a pair of slacks.
“You’ll make it up to me,” she shot back, blowing him a kiss and donning a blazer. “I love you.”
“Love you too!” He replied.
Those two words echo through Juliet’s skull as she mindlessly boots up her computer, chewing on her lip all the while. We’ll be okay, she thinks determinedly. We’re all trained to deal with this. Chief Vick is making sure everyone is as safe as possible.
“O’Hara,” Lassiter says, snapping her out of her worried haze, “O’Hara, no one would blame you if you went home. If you talked to the chief, she’d let you go.” He keeps his voice low, but Juliet can tell he’s legitimately concerned.
“I know,” she tells him. “But if anything happened… I’d blame myself.”
He nods and doesn’t press the issue. “Alright. Anything on the security cameras?”
“Not so far,” Juliet replies. She clicks over to a different view, but before they can examine it, Shawn appears.
“Jules,” he says, a little louder than necessary, “Jules, can I talk to you for a sec?” He’s nearly vibrating with energy as he crosses the bullpen towards her, and there’s a look of panic in his eyes.
Juliet bites her lip as she glances at her computer, but she knows Shawn won’t rest until he’s said what he wants to say. “Okay, but not here,” she decides.
Shawn grabs her arm and steers them down the hall to the filing area. Safely away from prying ears, he sighs and runs a hand through his hair. “Juliet, please get out of here,” he says. She presses her lips together and shakes her head, but he’s not done. “I know you want to stay and do your job, but if anything happened to you, if anything happened to our baby… god, I don’t even want to think about it. This is a really weird situation; I don’t have to tell you that it’s rare for anyone to be able to leave a building under a bomb threat. Please, Jules, tell the chief. She’ll let you leave,” he murmurs.
“You’re right,” Juliet answers. Shawn appears not to hear her.
“I’m not saying you can’t do this, but I’m asking you not to- wait, what? I’m right?”
“Shawn, if this goes south, if something bad happens, we could lose each other,” she says, “but if I leave and then this goes south, if I lose you, well, I’ve already said I can’t do this without you. And it’s not just us, either. I have other responsibilities. If you think about it-”
“I’m really trying not to-”
“If you think about it, if this station explodes, it’s not just gonna be us who get hurt. It might be the entire block, it might be half the city. Shawn, I love you, but I can’t walk away,” she says, tears in her eyes.
Shawn leans his forehead against hers, his hand resting on her stomach. “To protect and to serve,” he murmurs in a hollow voice.
“To protect and to serve,” she repeats.
Karen is trying to be in about a dozen places at once. The bomb squad is prepping but won’t be able to help until someone finds the damn bomb. For some reason there’s a hostage negotiator on the phone, who won’t be of any use because this isn’t a hostage situation but somebody has decided she needs to talk to him anyway. Her officers are trying not to panic, but they’re all in that strange state of knowing something is wrong but not being able to do anything about it. So yes, her day is going wonderfully.
Rounding a corner, the chief notices O’Hara and Spencer off to the side, twined together and speaking quietly. She contemplates reprimanding them- it’s really not the time for this- but something about their position strikes her as odd. Spencer has a hand on O’Hara’s stomach, with the detective’s own hand covering his. Thinking about the discrepancies she’d seen in their behavior over the past few weeks, it paints a very clear picture. Karen shakes her head and swears quietly.
Shawn and Gus are sitting on a bench by the vending machine when Henry finds them. “Boys, what the hell are you still doing here?” He demands. “Go home!”
“No way. If Shawn’s staying, I’m staying,” Gus says firmly.
“Shawn, get out of here!” Henry exclaims. Yes, he’s yelling, but he’s just trying to make a point. He can’t stomach the thought of what might happen if Shawn- or Gus, for that matter- is still here if and when the bomb goes off.
“Can’t do that, Dad,” Shawn responds flatly. Henry gapes.
“Shawn, this is not the time for your heroics! Do you know how crazy it is that you even have the option to leave? Let the cops do their jobs, son.”
“Dad, there are so many reasons I can’t just leave. There are people I care about here! You, Jules, god, I’d do anything to keep my kid safe. This isn’t just about me anymore,” Shawn insists.
Henry freezes, sure he’s misheard. “Did you say ‘kid’?”
Shawn runs a hand through his hair, sighing in frustration. “Yup. Jules is pregnant. If we get out of here alive, you’re going to be a grandfather.” He meets his father’s gaze, his eyes full of emotions Henry can’t quite decipher. “Surprise,” he deadpans.
Henry steps forward and wraps his arms around his son. “Oh, we’re hugging?” Shawn says. “Now? Here? Okay, hugging it is.” Henry doesn’t let go of his son, holding him tightly as he processes the revelation. “Dad, are you crying?” Shawn asks incredulously.
“No,” Henry lies. “I have… allergies.”
“Dad, we’re literally inside a building.”
“Son, you’re ruining the moment.”
“This isn’t a moment, Dad.”
“It looks like a moment to me,” Gus interjects.
“See? Gus agrees with me.”
“Gus, who’s side are you on?”
“I’m not on a side, I’m just stating the facts!”
“Spencer! Guster! Spencer!” Lassiter sweeps past, taking his anger out on whomever is closest. Unfortunately, this is Henry, Shawn, and Gus. “Don’t you three stooges have something useful to be doing?”
“Don’t lump me in with them!” Henry protests.
“Wow, thanks,” mutters Gus.
“I’m going to meditate,” announces Shawn.
“It helps focus the spirits, Lassie!” Shawn calls, already walking away.
Juliet appears at Lassiter’s side and hands her partner a file. “He does know we’re aware he’s not psychic?”
“Oh, he’s having way too much fun to stop now,” Henry replies, laughing mirthlessly.
Lassiter growls in frustration and slams yet another useless file down on his desk. He and O’Hara have spent over an hour going over the files of every single bomb-related case in the history of Santa Barbara. Okay, maybe not all of them, but it feels like that. According the the mechanized voice on the phone, they have until noon to find him and (or?) defuse the bomb before the station explodes. It’s now eighteen minutes past eleven.
“I’m going to pull files on this guy’s siblings,” O’Hara announces. “It looks like they’ve got records, too. They might be involved.”
“You want me to get it?” Lassiter asks.
“No, I do not,” she responds with a cold edge in her voice.
“I was just offering, I mean, I could use the chance to stretch my legs-”
“Drop it, Carlton,” O’Hara says, standing up. “I’m going to get the file.”
Shaking his head, Lassiter sighs and picks up the next set of papers.
The energy of a person or object or substance that hasn’t done anything yet- but it will.
A bomb, timer ticking slowly down, waits in a metal cabinet, out of sight.
A detective, long since bored of the papers in front of him, sits motionless, as still as a statue. Outwardly, one cannot see his despair. That doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent.
A consultant, crunching on his third bag of ‘Tropical Adventure Trail Mix’. He eats when he’s worried, and the pineapple flavor is strangely comforting.
Countless officers, no longer sure what they’re protecting or who they serve. They do not know what to do, but this does not stop them from doing things. A yell from an irritated detective, however, does.
A man of many titles- once a detective, currently a liaison, always a father. He’d rip the perpetrator of this crime limb from limb, if only someone would tell him who it is.
The chief. She gives orders and listens to reports and directs the bomb squad and does her best to keep everyone safe. The worst days are the days when her best is not enough.
A psychic, or the closest existing equivalent, sits in a chair with his eyes closed, breathing deeply. True to his word, he is meditating. Everything he can recall of the past hour and a half flashes through his brain, but he focuses on the details, searching for small clues that others may have missed. Faulty databases, decrepit fans, flickering lights.
His eyes open.
“Lassie! I got it!” Shawn nearly falls out of his chair in his haste- half an hour of sitting cross-legged has numbed his legs.
“What? How?” Lassiter asks.
“At nine forty-eight this morning, the lights flickered, yes?”
“Maybe? I don’t know, I was focused on bigger problems!”
“No you weren’t, Lassie, because the call didn’t come until ten am on the dot. At nine forty-eight, the lights flickered. At nine fifty-one, the computer system glitched. At nine fifty-seven, the fans died for three minutes. Think about it! It’s wired through the electrical system, which you can only do from the circuit room!”
Lassiter’s brow furrows. “The circuit room?”
“Yeah, I’ve said that twice now.”
The older detective leaps from his chair and paces through the bullpen, drawing his weapon. “Shit.”
“Wait, where are you going?” Shawn asks, hurrying to keep up. “What do you know that I don’t? What or who are you going to shoot?”
“What or whom, Shawn,” Gus corrects.
“The circuit room’s right next to the file room,” Lassiter states. “O’Hara went to pull a file on another possible suspect.”
As soon as Lassie says Juliet’s name, a bolt of fear shoots through Shawn, electrifying him. “Shit! Let’s go!” The three of them rushing through the station attracts attention, and by the time they reach the stairs to the file room, Henry and Karen have joined them.
“What is going on?” Demands the chief.
“Get the bomb squad into the circuit room,” Shawn instructs, even as he pushes open the door to the file room. “Jules!”
Henry and Karen go to check that Shawn’s right about the location of the bomb, and Gus, Shawn, and Lassiter spread through the dark stacks of the file room. “Jules!” Shawn calls again.
“O’Hara!” Yells Lassiter.
“We’ve got nine minutes until noon,” Gus informs them. Somewhere to Shawn’s left, Lassiter curses.
“Guys, I’m right here,” comes Juliet’s voice. Shawn sighs heavily in relief. “Is something wrong?”
“Oh, nothing, just the fact that we’ve got maybe eight minutes until this place goes up in flames,” Shawn retorts, faux-casual. “No big deal.”
“O’Hara, where are you?” Lassiter asks. It’s dark, and though they can shout back and forth, it seems as though all of them are in separate corners of the room.
“I’m in the H-K section,” Juliet replies.
“Oh, is this alphabetical?” Shawn muses. “I was looking for those numbers they use at the library. What’s that called, Gus?”
“The Dewey Decimal System,” Gus informs him. “But it’s used in libraries and nowhere else. Definitely not police stations.”
“Eh, I’ve heard it both ways,” Shawn deflects. Rounding a corner, he finally catches sight of Juliet. “Jules, there you are!”
She takes his hand and squeezes it reassuringly.. They wander for a minute or so before Gus joins them, and then Lassiter. “Guster, how much time?” asks the head detective.
Gus checks his glow-in-the-dark watch. “Five minutes,” he breathes shakily.
“Five minutes!?” Juliet exclaims.
“Let’s move,” Lassiter growls. “I am not dying down here with you idiots. Not you, O’Hara. You’re tolerable.”
“Thank you, Carlton,” scoffs Juliet. Shawn and Gus make noises of mock outrage. After a few more twists and turns, Lassiter is the first of them to reach the door.
“Ladies first,” he mutters. Juliet moves through the door, staring anxiously at the members of the bomb squad filling the circuit room. The four of them head for the stairs.
“Four minutes,” Gus says.
Juliet’s hands are steady as she disassembles her gun, then puts it back together. Shawn is behind her, gently massaging her shoulders. To her right, Gus is fidgeting with a Rubik’s cube that had probably been his in the first place- she’d nabbed it from the Psych office months ago. The detective looks up, meeting her partner’s eyes across their desks. “How much longer?’
Lassiter’s face is grim as he looks at his watch, but then, it almost always is. “Two minutes.”
Shawn’s hands press into her shoulders. The Rubik’s cube rattles, plastic on plastic. Juliet takes apart her gun, then reassembles it.
The chief appears, standing in the middle of the bullpen, almost exactly centered on the SBPD logo. “May I have everyone’s attention?” Dozens of faces turn to her, expectant and afraid. “The bomb squad has diffused the bomb,” she announces. “The threat has been neutralized. All of you can take the rest of the day off.” Sighs of relief breeze through the crowd.
“Shouldn’t we try to find the culprit?” Lassiter inquires.
“That can wait, detective,” Karen assures him. “Go home. Relax.”
Juliet leans further back into Shawn, until he offers her a hand and she rises. As they leave the station, she looks up at him. “You were right,” she says.
“This morning. I do wish we’d stayed home.”
Chapter 5: Disbelief
Inability to accept that something is true or real.
This chapter is so SOFT I cried tears of happiness while writing it
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn and Juliet are sitting on the couch together when the phone rings. Shawn is alternating between watching Top Gun and watching Jules, who has her nose buried in a novel he doesn’t recognize. At the sound of the phone, he pauses the movie. “Oh, it’s my mom,” he says, slightly surprised.
Juliet looks up. “Are you going to tell her?”
“I don’t see why not. She’ll probably want to talk to you, you up for that?” Juliet nods, and he answers the phone. “Hey, Mom, what’s up?”
”Hi, Goose. Your dad mentioned there was a bomb scare down at the station last week, and I just wanted to check on you and Juliet.”
Shawn blinks. “You’re talking to Dad?”
”Yes. Just because we’re not married anymore doesn’t mean we no longer get along. I just happened to call him earlier today,” Maddie confirms.
Shawn thinks about mentioning how they really hadn’t gotten along that well during his teenage years, but that’s not where he wants the conversation to go. “Well, Jules and I are doing great. The bomb thing wasn’t much fun but we’re all good now. Actually, we’ve got some news.”
”Are you two finally getting married?”
“What? ‘Finally’? Why do you say it like that?” Shawn shakes himself. “No, Mom, we’re not getting married.” Across the couch, Juliet chokes on her glass of water. “Uh, what I was going to say is, Juliet’s pregnant. Six months from now, we’re gonna have a kid.” He’s sure Maddie can hear his grin. He still can’t quite believe it, but every time he says it aloud, it hits him all over again. They’re going to have a kid.
”Are you serious!?”
”Shawn! I’m going to be a grandmother!”
”Oh my god! I can’t believe it! Put Juliet on the phone!”
“Sure thing, Mom,” Shawn replies, handing the phone across the couch. Juliet takes it, then proceeds to hold it a few inches away from her ear. Maddie’s delighted screaming is audible even from where he’s sitting. Juliet laughs, then launches into a conversation that Shawn can’t make heads nor tails of. He shrugs and goes to procure a pineapple.
”Juliet, I’m so happy for you!” comes Maddie’s voice through the speaker, now at a more reasonable volume.
“Thanks,” Juliet responds, laughing a little. She doesn’t see Maddie often, but over the years of holidays and birthdays and Santa Barbara-adjacent Psychological Conferences, they’ve formed a friendship.
”I’m guessing it was quite a surprise when you found out.”
“It definitely was. And then, get this, before I could even tell Shawn, I ran into Gus while I was buying the test. We both spent a good fifteen minutes freaking out. But I didn’t need to worry; Shawn’s been nothing but supportive. He’s going to be an amazing father.”
”I’m glad you two are happy. How have the doctor’s visits been? When do you find out the gender?”
“The doctor’s visits are amazing. The baby is healthy, and with the ultrasound, I get to see the tiny person growing inside me! I almost can’t believe it. We think we get to find out the gender in a little over a month.”
“Wow, that’s soon! Do you have a guess?”
“Maybe it’s because I grew up with brothers, but I’ve always kind of wanted a daughter. I’ll be happy either way, though. And a little boy would be so cute, running around with Shawn’s eyes…” she trails off, smiling as she imagines her future child. Her hand rests unconsciously on her slightly swollen stomach.
”Well, careful what you wish for,” laughs Maddie. ”Shawn was a handful when he was younger. When he was a toddler we’d be at the beach and he’d get all sandy, so he’d want to rinse off in the water. But instead of going in and shaking out his swimsuit while it was still on, he just stripped, right there. We didn’t go to public beaches for a while.”
Juliet laughs loudly. “Oh, that must have been an experience. I’m just crossing my fingers that years of keeping Shawn from self-destructing has prepared me at least a bit.”
”Well, you can never be fully prepared. But I’m glad you and Shawn have each other. Juliet, I have seen Shawn change so much since he met you… a few years ago, I would never have expected him to be so happy to have a child. I know Henry spent the first few months of your relationship waiting for Shawn to mess something up- I think Shawn did, too, but you two fit so well together. It makes me so happy to see you two so in love. I’m proud that my grandchild will have such wonderful parents.”
Smiling ridiculously wide, Juliet wipes at her eyes. “Oh my god. You’re going to make me cry.”
”That’s hormones for you.”
“Well, Maddie, it’s great to hear from you. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the baby’s condition.”
”I’d love to see the ultrasound, if you could send a picture!”
“Will do. Bye!”
Juliet hangs up and goes in search of her boyfriend. She hugs him from behind, and he twists in her arms to return it. “Hi,” he says, kissing the top of her head. “The talk with my mom went well, then?”
“Very well,” she confirms, tilting her head up and resting her chin on his sternum. “I can’t believe how lucky I am to have you.”
“Funny,” he replies, “I was just thinking the same thing.”
The week passes by in a blur of forgettable cases and repetitive perps, a welcome change from the intensity of their earlier investigation. The search for the bomber continues but does not bear fruit. Friday morning, Shawn is making coffee and eggs when Juliet calls to him from their bedroom.
“Shawn, come here!”
He turns off the stove and enters the room. “What’s up?”
Juliet is standing half-dressed in front of the mirror, her shirt unbuttoned and a hand on her stomach. “Is it just me, or am I getting a baby bump?”
Shawn can see the rounding of her belly, but he isn’t sure he should say that. “Uh… is this a trap?”
Juliet laughs, and when she turns to him, she’s smiling. “Can you believe we made a human?”
He exhales in relief; this is a good thing. I can work with that. “It’s a little bit crazy,” he answers.
“Yeah it is.” She looks down to where her hand rests on the bump. “So crazy.”
Shawn crouches in front of her. “Can the baby hear me yet?” Juliet shrugs. He places his hand on top of hers, moving his thumb in a slow circle. “Hey, kiddo,” he says. “It’s your dad here. Wow, I’m gonna be a dad. To an actual person. I’m still wrapping my head around that.” He chuckles to himself. “Well, I love you a whole lot. I love your mom too; she’s the light of my life. You’re really important to both of us, so we’re gonna make sure you’re safe and loved. Just so you know.”
Jules grins down at him. He stands, cocking his head. “What?” Instead of answering, she pulls him in for a kiss.
That Saturday, Juliet finds herself in the waiting room of her OB/GYN’s office once more. By the fourth visit, it’s become much more routine, and she’s nowhere near as nervous as she’d been the first time. When the nurse calls her back, she twines her fingers through Shawn’s and goes through the usual motions to end up lying on the ultrasound table in a medical gown. The technician enters, flipping through papers on a clipboard.
“Alright, we’ll get the ultrasound started in just a second. I’m just gonna go through a general health check, Juliet. Are you on a prenatal vitamin yet?”
“Good. Are you getting a good amount of sleep most nights? That is, at least as much as you would before your pregnancy?”
“Eating three substantial meals a day?”
“Avoiding stressful situations as much as possible?”
The tech looks up. “Are you sure?”
“Well...” Juliet pushes a strand of hair out of her eyes. “I’m a detective, so I’m under stress more often than I’d like. It’s just a hazard of the job,” she explains.
The technician nods, frowning. “What’s the maternity leave policy?”
“It’s good, it’s very flexible. I’m hoping to work normally for the next few months, and then stay on desk duty for the last two months until my due date.”
“Well, your vitals and the baby’s still look good, so I’ll okay that for now. You’re still rather early on, though. Be careful and listen to your body; don’t push yourself.”
Juliet nods, satisfied, but Shawn apparently isn’t. “Hang on,” he says, “I thought by four months she was past the risk of, uh, miscarriage.”
“After three months the risk decreases by a huge amount,” the tech assures, “but there still is a chance. Especially with first-time pregnancies and higher-stress environments, we like to be more careful than we need to until at least twenty-four to twenty-eight weeks.”
Shawn nods. “Good to know.” Juliet looks up at him, chewing her lip, and he squeezes her hand, offering a reassuring smile.
The technician prepares the ultrasound wand, and Shawn and Juliet get another look at their unborn child. “Wow,” whispers Shawn. “This amazes me every time.”
Juliet nods, leaning on him. “Look what we made.”
Shawn reaches out to touch the shape on the monitor. “That looks like a face.”
“It is,” confirms the tech.
Juliet grins. “Wow. We can see the face. And there’s an arm, and a leg…”
Shawn laughs; she can tell he’s still having a hard time believing it. “That’s a tiny person.”
“Our tiny person.”
“That’s crazy. Good crazy.”
“Yeah,” she agrees. “Yeah.”
They stare at the screen for a long time, taking in the wonder of the life Juliet is growing. She looks from her boyfriend to her child. Very good crazy.
That night, lying in bed, Shawn is almost asleep when Juliet says his name. He rolls over, not sure if she’s sleep talking or actually addressing him, but she’s awake. “Shawn, I’m worried about this baby,” she says.
His brow furrows. “How come? Do you feel bad, or…”
“No, I feel fine, and the doctor said the baby was healthy, but…” she huffs a sigh. “Shawn, in our line of work, we’re in danger a lot. I mean, you and I have both been kidnapped. And even if, by some miracle, everything goes smoothly for the rest of the pregnancy, we’re gonna be responsible for this kid for the rest of its life. What are we supposed to do, hope we keep getting lucky and the bullets keep missing us? How are we supposed to raise a child?”
Shawn reaches out, soothing Juliet with a gentle touch as he tries to find words to comfort her. “Jules. Hey. We’re gonna be fine,” he says softly. “For one thing, you’re right, we are extremely lucky, and yes, luck is a game of chance, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Juliet laughs, so he’s doing something right. “For another, you’re the woman I love, the woman I’ve loved for so long it seems impossible. I know you; I know you’re going to do everything you can to keep our baby safe and healthy. And remember, it’s not just gonna be us,” he reminds her. “We’ve got Gus, and Lassie, and my dad, and my mom, and the chief. This kid is gonna be the most loved on the planet,” he says seriously.
Juliet smiles and takes his hand in hers. “What’s that saying? It takes a village to raise a child?”
“I think that’s it.”
She squirms around a bit, wiggling closer to him until her head rests on his chest. “I love you, Shawn.”
“I love you too,” he whispers. He wraps an arm around her, letting his hand rest on the rounded rise of her belly. “And you,” he adds, to the baby. Juliet laughs and twists her head to kiss him.
“Night, beautiful. Sleep well.”
Shules shules shules shules SHULES
Chapter 6: Lovestruck
Henry hosts a weekend barbeque. At the end of the night, he has something for Shawn.
Shawn bounds up the stairs into Henry’s house. Ever since childhood, his energy levels have always correlated to his mood. When he’s sulking or pissed off, he’ll become lethargic and lay somewhere for long periods of time. Alternatively, if he’s excited about his unborn child and pleased with the sunny spring day and very in love with his girlfriend, he just about bounces off the walls. “Hey Dad!” He calls as he enters the living room, dropping his jacket on a chair out of habit.
Henry emerges from the kitchen as Jules appears. “Hey guys,” he says. “Juliet, you’re glowing.”
She beams and thanks him, or something; Shawn isn’t listening. He’s too busy staring at Jules, who really does look radiant. He loves her in suits, yeah, but he sees her in suits all the time. Today she’s got on a flowy sundress that all but hides her baby bump unless she rests her hand on it, like she’s doing now. Her hair is loose around her shoulders and her blue eyes are sparkling, and she looks happy and beautiful and he’s so very in love-
“Pineapples go through a unique form of photosynthesis known as CAM processing to prevent the loss of water through evaporation,” Shawn answers instantly. He has no idea what his dad had asked him, but it’s an answer to something.
“What?” Asks Jules.
“I asked you when Gus was getting here, and if you invited Lassiter. Did you hear a word I said?” Henry questions.
“Nope,” Shawn replies, popping the ‘p’. “But Gus should be here soon, and we did invite Lassie, but I don’t know if he’s coming…
“He said he’d be here by five-thirty, and it’s a quarter to five now,” Juliet confirms. “Henry, are you making barbeque?”
“Of course. Oh, and I made lemonade, since you can’t have a beer or anything. I’ll get it out of the fridge.”
Juliet follows him into the kitchen, leaving Shawn standing confused by the couch. “Dad, you made lemonade!?”
“Yeah,” Henry calls back. “It’s not that hard; your mom used to do it all the time.”
“I know that,” Shawn retorts, pacing into the kitchen. “But seriously, you made lemonade?”
“Shawn, stop repeating yourself, you sound like an idiot. Juliet, dinner’s gonna be in two hours or so; if you’re hungry there’s apples and stuff.” He gestures to a bowl that is indeed full of fruit.
“Thank you, Henry.” Juliet begins to peel a banana.
Shawn gapes, looking from the fruit to his girlfriend to his father. He points an accusing finger at Henry. “You like her more than you like me.”
“Shawn, don’t be ridiculous. I didn’t buy fruit when it was just you and me because the only fruit you’ll eat is pineapple.”
“That’s still true,” adds Jules.
“Whose side are you on?” Shawn asks incredulously.
“Hey, I’ve got lemonade and fresh fruit and there’s gonna be delicious barbeque in a few hours. It’s looking pretty good from where I’m standing,” she points out with a smirk.
Shawn hears the front door open and watches through the doorway to see Gus enter. “Gus! They’re ganging up on me!”
“Did you do something to provoke them?”
“Gus, don’t be a sweet potato that I thought was a normal potato and mashed up with three normal potatoes, of course I- hey, you brought pineapple!”
Gus fist-bumps him. “You know that’s right.”
Shawn and Gus slice up the pineapple as Henry heads to the grill to check on the barbeque, Jules trailing curiously behind him. They open a kitchen window to talk, and then joke around for the next few minutes. Shawn’s grin gets wider every time Juliet laughs. I love her laugh. He and Gus are arranging the pineapple on a platter, or at least, Shawn is handing Gus the rings of pineapple to arrange, when Lassie arrives. It’s a bit weird to see the head detective out of a suit, even when Henry throws this kind of barbeque at least once a month. Regardless, Shawn waves Lassie down and hands him a beer, which he’s found decreases the automatic animosity for at least ten minutes. Tonight, it even gets him a half-smile and a nod.
Henry looks around the table, smiling at the scene before him. Gus and Shawn are sword fighting with picked-clean ribs as Juliet refills her plate and Lassiter takes a swig of beer.
“O’Hara, what is that, your second plate?” The head detective asks.
Juliet smiles smugly, as much as it is possible to do so with a mouth full of barbeque. “Third.”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full,” Gus and Henry say simultaneously. Shawn sighs; Juliet makes a rude gesture at Gus under the table.
“Wow, Jules, even Gus and I don’t usually make it past two,” Shawn comments, sounding impressed.
“I’m hungry, Shawn.”
“I know! I’m not saying it’s a bad thing! I’m impressed!” Everyone laughs at Shawn’s rapid backpedaling. The conversation continues, but Henry notices Shawn is hardly paying attention, instead staring at Juliet with a grin that can only be described as lovestruck. He pushes his chair back, tossing his napkin on the table.
“Shawn, come inside with me for a second.”
“What do you want, Dad?”
“There’s dessert you need to help me serve,” Henry lies. “C’mon.”
“Yeah, sure. Whatever.”
Henry leads Shawn through the house. “Shawn, you’ve been staring at Juliet all night.”
“Uh, yeah. Because I’m, y’know, in love with her.” They enter Henry’s bedroom, and he starts rummaging through the drawer.
“I know, you tell that to anyone and everyone who’ll listen. The question is,” Henry pauses for effect as he finds what he’s looking for. “What are you going to do about it?”
He watches as Shawn catches the small box by reflex, then waits for him to figure out what’s inside it. “Dad, what-”
“It’s your grandmother’s ring,” Henry explains, “but I think it’s at least a few generations old.”
“So why are you giving it to me?”
Henry doesn’t dignify that question with a response.
“Okay, but really, Dad, you’ve had this ring for how long now? And you’re just now mentioning it, I mean, give me some warning at least-”
“Shawn, if you’re freaking out this much about an engagement ring, you’ve got some serious thinking to do.”
“No, Dad- I mean, if we’re being honest, I’ve kinda been thinking about this for a while. I just… wasn’t expecting this right now. But I’m good.”
Henry narrows his eyes as he stares into Shawn’s, trying to gauge how serious his son is about this. Shawn stares back resolutely; Henry knows that expression. He’s not backing down. He pulls Shawn in for a hug. “Don’t lose it,” he warns.
“‘Course I won’t.”
Chapter 7: Nomenclature
After a long day at work, Juliet's very happy to be home with her boyfriend. He's just as happy to see her.
Warning: The fluff in this chapter may rot your teeth out.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet strides into Chief Vick’s office with files in her arms and a smile on her face. She’s been working all day, which is a bit mind-numbing in a day full of paperwork and not much else, but after this meeting, she knows she has dinner with Shawn to look forward to. “Chief, is this a good time?”
The chief turns away from her computer and nods. “Are you about to clock out? You’ve been busy all day.”
“Yep, but I’ve just got this paperwork to hand in. Uh, Meyers case update, final report for the Malek case, like fifty pages of trivial inventory… oh, and a maternity leave request.” She couldn’t keep the grin off her face if she wanted to.
Karen motions for most of the files to go in the half-full wire tray on the desk, then takes the leave request with a smile of her own. “I thought I might see one of these from you.”
Juliet’s hand drifts to her bump. With her blazer, it’s not obvious, but then again, the chief has a way of knowing things. “Yeah, I’m about four and a half months along. I figured it was time to stop procrastinating.”
“Alright, well, if you don’t mind taking a few extra minutes, I’d like to go through this with you.” Karen gestures to a chair as she begins leafing through the papers. “You want to keep working until your due date?”
“I’d hesitate to leave you on active duty… but it looks like you’re all set for desk duty starting in-” Karen glances at the calendar. “-three and a half months.”
“That sounds right.”
“And then two months of leave after the baby is born?”
“If that’s acceptable, yes.”
“Of course. Time with family is important. Hell, you’ve got enough vacation time to never work again, if someone else tries to give you shit.”
“Thank you, Chief.”
“No problem. You’re all set.” Karen folds the papers closed with a smile. “How’s the pregnancy going, Detective?”
Juliet beams. “It’s going very well. We’re happy. We’re excited.”
“Boy or girl?”
“We’ll find out in a few weeks.”
“What do you think?”
“I think girl, but Shawn thinks boy. He wants to make a bet on it, but I vetoed that.”
Karen chuckles. “You’re going to be great parents.”
“Thank you, Chief. That means a lot.”
“Have a nice night, O’Hara.”
“Same to you.”
Shawn hears the door open just as he’s adding oregano to the pasta sauce. “Hey, Shawn!” Jules calls. He grins just at the sound of her voice. God, I’m so going to marry her.
“How was work?” He sets down the spices as she enters the kitchen, readily accepting her greeting kiss.
“Eh, same old, same old. The monotony of paperwork, broken up by keeping Carlton from murdering our coworkers. I turned in the maternity leave paperwork to the chief.”
Shawn’s hand has settled on her stomach and now hers covers his. “How’d that go?” he asks.
“Wonderfully. She says congratulations and to tell you that she thinks we’ll make great parents.”
“Hell yeah we will,” he agrees, crouching down. “You hear that, little dude? We’re gonna be the best damn parents you could ever have.”
“Watch your mouth,” Jules teases. “And how do you know it’s a dude?”
Shawn smirks and holds a hand up to his temple. She smacks him lightly. “Your pasta’s boiling, psychic. Sense that.”
He begins to serve the pasta as Jules strips off her blazer and sits at the table, kicking off her heels. “God, wearing heels when you’re pregnant fucking sucks.”
Shawn makes a sympathetic noise. “Here, have some pasta.” He gives her a bowl and sits down across from her. For a few minutes, they both devour the dish in companionable silence. “So,” he says after a bit, “is it good, or are we just all really hungry?”
“I’ll tell you who’s hungry,” Jules says, motioning to her stomach. “I think we could literally eat a horse at the moment.”
“Well, I can always be purposefully obtuse and take it as a compliment to my cooking.”
Jules laughs, which broadens Shawn’s grin. “Your cooking is great, honey.”
Shawn holds up a fork with spaghetti on it. “Lady and the Tramp?”
Her laughter echoes through the entire apartment.
Juliet lies in bed with Shawn, her head on his chest, her eyes closed. She can feel the rise and fall of his breathing and the soft patterns his fingers are drawing on her belly. She’s almost asleep, but she knows he isn’t. Some nights he just has too much energy. Mostly he’s good about letting her sleep, but tonight he shifts a bit under her. “Jules?”
“Is it too early to start thinking about baby names?”
Suddenly, she doesn’t mind being woken up. “Oh, definitely not.” She rolls over and grins at him, except she can’t exactly lie on her stomach, so she ends up on her side. “What are you thinking?”
“Well, if it’s a boy, I think we should name him after Gus. Only, I’m not gonna be responsible for another person on this planet dealing with the first name Burton, so maybe Burton for the middle name.”
“I like that,” she agrees. “Uh, maybe Jack for a first name?”
“Eh, that’s the same as my disreputable uncle.”
“Oh, shit, forgot about him.”
“What about Jason?”
“Mmmn, I like it, but it doesn’t have a spark, y’know?”
“Uh-huh.” A beat. “Joseph.”
“I’ve never met anyone named Jackson who wasn’t a criminal at some point in his life.”
Wait a minute.She squints at him suspiciously. “You’re just listing ‘J’ names.”
She goes to tell him off again, then thinks for a second. Jake. “...Jake Burton Spencer. I like it.” She tilts her head up for a kiss, and Shawn obliges. “And for a girl…”
She elbows him.
“No, seriously. Juliet Spencer. I like the sound of that.”
Juliet sucks in a deep breath, her fingers running idly over the fabric of his t-shirt. “Well, let’s compromise.” She looks up at Shawn, meeting his eyes through the dark. “We use Lauren for a girl, and you do something with that ring you’ve got in your dresser.”
She almosts laughs at the look of shock on his face. “You know about that?”
“I found it when I was looking for another shirt to steal.”
“Okay, okay. Alright.” Shawn scrambles out of bed and takes half the blankets with him, nearly falling on his face. Juliet giggles, honest-to-god giggles, as he curses to himself. If asked, she’ll deny it, or blame it on lack of sleep and hormones, but for now she’s content to kneel on the bed, swamped in Shawn’s shirt, and watch him hunt. Finally, he finds it, and pulls it out with a flourish, dropping to one knee.
Juliet hadn’t expected to tear up- she’d practically initiated the proposal, after all. But Shawn is kneeling there, grinning up at her with the box open in his hand, and the moonlight is hitting the ring perfectly, and all of a sudden, it hits her. It’s the middle of the night, she’s in pajamas on her bed, and the love of her life and father of her child is kneeling in front of her with a ring. This is what her life is. This is what she’d like her life to be for the foreseeable future.
Shawn smiles up at her. “Juliet O’Hara, will you marry me?”
Her ‘yes’ turns into a sob at the end, but he gets the message.
Fun Fact: I originally planned for the proposal to be a few chapters from now, but then I wrote the baby names scene. I got to the line, "Juliet Spencer. I like the sound of that." and I was like, wait. What did I just do. It was too good an opportunity to pass up!
Chapter 8: It's A Boy
Shawn and Juliet find out the gender of their baby. Shawn has a few minor freak-outs. The gang closes in on the bomb threat.
I bet y'all thought we'd be done with the bomb plot after chapter 4... (side note: as of 4/25/19, 8 chapters is the longest of any of my fics so far! I think! Feel free to correct me on this!)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet laughs in delight as she and Shawn exit the hospital into the sunny afternoon. “I can’t believe we’re having a boy!”
Shawn is grinning just as wide as she is, and he pulls her in for a quick kiss. They both burst into laughter when he bumps into her belly in his enthusiasm. He rests a hand on her belly. “I knew it.”
“You did,” she agrees, nuzzling her face into his neck. “Jake Burton Spencer.”
“I’m not even gonna tell Gus we’re naming the kid after him,” Shawn chuckles. “He’s gonna lose it when he sees the birth certificate.”
Juliet laughs and pulls away, taking his hand to drag him down the sidewalk and over to the pier. “We’ve got the rest of the day to do whatever we want,” she reminds him. This pleases her more than it should, but she hasn’t had a day off in a while.
“So you want to spend it on a pier that smells like fish?”
Juliet wrinkles her nose. “Good point. Let’s get potstickers from the place across the street.”
“Sounds good to me.”
They get their potstickers and sit at the counter by the large open window. Juliet munches happily (she’s been craving salty things) and admires the glimmer of her engagement ring in the sunlight. She’s had weeks to get used to the feel of it on her finger, but she doesn’t think she ever will- she doesn’t think she ever wants to. Shawn notices her smiling at it.
“So, you like it?”
“I love it, Shawn.” She gives him a smile. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” he tells her. “I’m glad you like the ring. I was totally ready to go to Jared’s or someplace and pick one out, but them my dad gave me that. It was my grandmother’s, apparently.”
Juliet blinks. “This was your grandmother’s ring?”
“Yeah, according to my dad. He says it’s been in the family for a while…” Shawn trails off as he notices the tears she can feel rolling down her cheeks. “Hey, you’re crying. Why are you crying?”
“Hormones,” she offers, wiping her eyes. Shawn’s hand rises to her cheek and he, too, brushes away the tears.
“As long as you’re not sad,” he says softly. She smiles; she knows he hates to see her sad. He told her once that for as long as he’s known her, he’s always wanted to make sure she was smiling.
“I’m not sad,” she assures him. “I’m very, very happy. We’re gonna have our own little family.”
Shawn rests a hand on her stomach. “A son. In like, four months, we’re gonna have a son.” For a minute, the smile disappears from his face. “I’m not sure I’m ready to be a dad.”
Juliet lays her hand over his. “Shawn, you’re going to be an amazing father.”
“But what if I screw it up? Jules…” his brow furrows with worry. “Jules, my relationship with my dad wasn’t that great for a long time. I’m worried… we get along now, and I love him, but I don’t want to go through that with our son.”
“Shawn.” She takes both of his hands in hers and turns in her seat so she can look directly at him. “You are going to be a spectacular dad. Yes, you have had problems with your father in the past, but it’s exactly that- in the past. I have total confidence that you can and will learn from his mistakes and help me raise a wonderful child.” She kisses his knuckles. “Plus, it’s not like you’ll be doing it alone. You have me.”
To her relief, Shawn smiles and leans forward to kiss her cheek. “I know. You’re right, we’ll figure it out. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Shawn can’t sleep. He knows Jules and the baby need rest, but his mind is moving a mile a minute and sometimes he just needs to talk. “Jules? Are you awake?”
He hears the blankets shift as she rolls over to face him. “I am now.”
“Sorry,” he apologizes. “I just…” the problem with ADD is that he can have a hundred perfectly coherent thoughts in his head without being able to explain a single one. “I think we should buy a house,” he blurts. Well, that wasn’t where he’d wanted to start, but it’s better than nothing.
“We’ve been living in this apartment for years, and it’s great for the two of us, but I just don’t see us being able to raise a baby here,” he explains. “I feel like we’ll want some place more permanent, someplace we can buy instead of renting, with big rooms and lots of windows and a nursery we can decorate together…”
“I see your point, but houses in Santa Barbara are expensive. We’d probably want one reasonably close to the station and the Psych office, and maybe your dad’s place, which puts us pretty damn near to the beach. And babies aren’t cheap, either...”
“Well, I think I can help out there.” He sees Jules prop herself up on her elbow, giving him a skeptical look. “Seriously. Uh, my family isn’t rich, by any means, but the Spencers have been in Santa Barbara for a long time. There’s some sort of legal contract or something- I mean, c’mon, you think my dad could afford that beach house on a beat cop’s salary while my mom was in grad school?” Juliet nods in understanding, and he continues. “Anyway, I was supposed to get access to some portion of the family accounts when I turned eighteen, but I left instead, and when I came back, I just never bothered to do the paperwork. If I can get that done, I think we’ve got a pretty good nest egg.”
His fiancee hits him with a pillow, and he yelps. “What was that for?”
“Why are you just mentioning this now!?”
“I didn’t think it was important?”
“Oh my god. Did you even take a basic finance class in high school?”
“Actually, no. They added it to the required curriculum the year after I graduated.”
Juliet sighs. “What am I going to do with you?”
Shawn smiles and kisses her softly on the forehead. “You’re gonna marry me, soon.”
“You know that’s right.” Jules rests her head on his chest, cuddling into him. Shawn buries his face in her hair and rubs a hand over her belly, but he’s still too wired to sleep.
Once he’s sure Juliet is asleep, she slowly removes himself from her grasp and paces into the living room.
Henry groans aloud as he picks up his ringing phone. “Shawn, do you know what time it is!?”
“I couldn’t sleep.”
“I was sleeping just fine.”
“Dad, I’m scared,” Shawn says, and Henry suddenly doesn’t mind the early hour. As he hears the waver in his son’s quiet voice, he wants nothing more than to wrap Shawn in his arms like he had when he was little and tell him it will all be okay.
“About the kid?” Henry guesses.
“Yeah.” A beat. “Dad, I’m terrified that I’m going to do something wrong.”
“Welcome to fatherhood, son,” Henry sighs. “It’s the strangest, most euphoric blend of joy and love and terror that you’ll ever experience.”
“God, if I’m like this now, what’s it gonna be like when he’s actually here?”
“Yeah. We found out this morning.”
“Shawn, when you meet your son, you’re gonna feel like the world has stopped spinning. You’re gonna look down at that baby and it’s gonna seem like he’s too ridiculously tiny to ever grow into a person. You’re gonna hold him and you might even stop breathing, because it seems like one wrong move could break him. But it won’t. You won’t.” Henry pauses for a minute. “But Shawn, for the love of god, don’t make the same mistakes I did.”
“I won’t,” Shawn promises.
“Where are you?”
“In the living room. I didn’t wanna wake Jules.”
“Shawn, go to sleep. Go hold your fiancee and your child in your arms and keep in mind that you’re not gonna have to do this alone. Get some rest, and don’t worry so much. You can do this.”
“Alright, Dad. Goodnight.”
Lassiter is driving himself and O’Hara to the suspect’s house, which he’s been complaining about for the past ten minutes- it’s a long drive. At her request, he’s now silent, trying to think of a different conversation topic. He glances sideways at his partner. “I can’t believe you’re marrying Spencer,” he starts.
She snorts. “Carlton, we’ve been together for years, you can’t say you didn’t see this coming.”
He shrugs. “I still have no idea what you see in him.”
“And I still have no idea why you act as though he’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you- oh!”
Carlton notices with concern that her hand is suddenly at her stomach. “Are you alright?”
“Fine,” she assures him, and he exhales in relief. “I think he’s moving around… I haven’t felt him move before.”
Lassiter gives her another sideways look. “You’re having a boy?”
“Yeah, we found out earlier this week.” Juliet smiles and rubs gently at her belly. After a minute or two of silence, he notices she’s staring at him.
“Carlton…” he hears her take a breath. “Would you like to be the godfather?”
Lassiter damn near rear-ends the car in front of them. “What?”
“The godfather. To my son.”
“Uh, sure? If- if you want that.” He tries to watch her expression and drive at the same time and almost sends them through a guard rail.
O’Hara laughs. “I didn’t mean to just drop that on you, sorry.”
“No, no, it’s fine. I’m honored. I guess that’s an honor? I don’t make it to church as often as I’d like.”
“We’ve decided to baptize him Catholic, so, in religious terms, I guess it is.” She pushes her hair out of her face. “My godparents lived down the street from us, and I was pretty close with them. They helped my mom a lot when my dad was gone.”
He knows she doesn’t talk about her dad much, but he’s not sure what to say now that she’s brought him up. “Oh. Cool,” he tries, wincing at his own awkwardness. “I mean, it’s not cool. Uh, I’m glad you had someone like that.”
She laughs again. “I’m sure you’ll be every bit the godparent to this little guy that they were to me. And sorry to keep changing the subject, but this feels really strange. Like, I knew I’d start to feel him move sometime this month, but I didn’t really know what that would feel like.”
Carlton shrugs. “Well, there’s a whole ‘nother person growing inside you. That in itself is a little bit weird.”
“Very true, Carlton. Very true.”
Shawn bounces out of the Blueberry and across the grass to where Lassie and Jules are pulling up. The detectives exit their own vehicle, Lassiter frowning skeptically. “Spencer, are you sure this is the place?”
“The spirits are certain, Lassie,” Shawn confirms, lifting a finger to his head. He takes a breath, hoping the paper trail he and Gus had followed would bear fruit. “The man who tried to bomb the SBPD-” he points dramatically at the house not a hundred yards away from them- “is inside that building.”
“Then let’s go get him,” Jules says decisively. Shawn turns to look at her, and so does Lassie, but she shakes her head. “Don’t even start.”
“Wait for me!” Gus calls. Shawn turns to find him kneeling on the ground, tying his shoe.
“Dude, seriously? Your shoe is untied?”
“These are new shoes, Shawn! The laces are slippery!” Shawn sighs. Finally, Gus joins them, and they start towards the house.
None of them make it more than three steps forward before it explodes.
Chapter 9: Close Call
Thankfully, the gang was just far enough away when the building exploded.
I really love this fic. It's a personal favorite of mine... I just really enjoy writing it.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn doesn’t even wait for the dust to clear before calling out. “Jules?”
“I’m alright,” she coughs. “Carlton?”
Gus makes a distressed noise from beneath Shawn, and he rolls off of his best friend and into the dirt. “Gus,” he pants, still choking on the dust in the air, “thanks for forgetting to tie your shoe.”
“Glad I could be of assistance,” Gus snarks.
Lassiter is the only one who has managed to stand up- Shawn and Gus are lying on the ground, and Jules is still crouching.
“Carlton, help me up,” she asks. Lassie offers her a hand and Shawn, not to be outdone, scrambles to do the same. They pull Jules to her feet and then stand there, surveying the burning wreckage.
Shawn sees Jules turn to Lassie, a determined spark in her gaze. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
Lassie nods. “Let’s go.” Before Shawn can ask either of them what they’re talking about, they head towards the ruins of the house.
“Woah, woah woah!” Shawn quickly scrambles to keep pace with them. How Jules can walk so fast while five months pregnant and in heels is beyond him. “Hey! Why, exactly, are we going into the burning building?”
“There’s a good chance Blevins did this to stage his death and escape,” Juliet explains.
“Even if he’s dead, we’re still losing evidence with every minute that fire burns,” adds Lassie.
“And those are very good points, but might I point out that fire and smoke inhalation can be deadly to humans!? Also, very harmful to fetal development!”
At this, Juliet stops. “He’s right, Carlton,” she says. “While that fire is still actively burning, we shouldn’t go in there.”
“Whatever,” Lassie grumbles. “I’m going to call the chief.”
With Lassie walking away and Gus still standing a reasonable distance from the fire like a normal person, Jules steps closer to Shawn, which he does not mind at all. He leans down and kisses her quickly, which she reciprocates, if only for a bit. He doesn’t let go, though, and they stand there, Shawn’s forehead pressed to hers and her belly brushing his. “He’s starting to move around,” she says, and Shawn’s heart leaps.
“Really?” he moves his hand to her stomach.
“Uh-huh. I felt him for the first time in the car on the way here.” She smiles, rubbing gentle circles over the tightly stretched material of her shirt. “I don’t think you can feel anything yet… I can’t feel him from the outside.”
Shawn’s a little disappointed at this, but with a growing child that’s half him and half Jules, he’s sure he’ll be able to feel him soon. “If he kicks half as hard as you do, I won’t have to wait long,” he jokes.
“That’s very true,” she agrees. “Also, I think we should go shopping this weekend. I’m starting to need new clothes.”
Shawn hums thoughtfully. “Yeah, I’ve noticed you’re wearing my shirts more often around the house.”
“They’re so comfy.”
“So, clothes shopping Saturday, and then maybe we can look online for houses Sunday?”
Gus joins them. “You guys are buying a house?”
Shawn grins. “Yeah!”
“Gus, that’s not your ‘nothing’ face. That’s your ‘I have something to say but instead of saying it I’m just gonna sit and judge you’ face.”
Shawn narrows his eyes. He’s gotten this look from Gus before- when he’d talked about buying a car like he’d promised Jules (he now has a bright green jeep in addition to his bike) when he’d mused about moving in with her, and more recently, when he’d brought up proposing. It seems like his best friend is still unable to believe that Shawn fully intends to settle down and raise a family with Juliet. Heaving a sigh, Shawn drags his best friend back toward the blueberry. “Dude, seriously? Of all people, you’re the one doubting my commitment to Jules?”
“I never said that.”
“You didn’t have to. I’ve known you for thirty-odd years.”
“And that entire time, you’ve only had one romantic relationship last more than a year.”
“Uh, yeah, it’s gonna last a hell of a lot longer than a year,” Shawn says, folding his arms across his chest. He’s trying not to be mad at Gus, but he can’t keep the annoyance out of his voice.
“I know you’re in love with Juliet. I know you guys are gonna be great parents,” Gus assures, “I’m just… still getting used to the concept that Shawn Spencer is honest-to-god settling down. It’s not that I don’t believe in you, it’s just…”
Several pieces fall into place and all of the sudden, Shawn feels like he’s the one being a jerk. “You thought for sure you’d be married with kids by the time I found the right woman.”
Shawn throws an arm over Gus’ shoulders. “Honestly, so did I. It’s just luck, buddy. That’s all it is.”
Gus smiles a bit, but before he can respond, the police cruisers come rolling up the hill.
Juliet groans and drops her head onto her desk. “So. Much. Paperwork.”
“Are you hungry?” Carlton asks.
“At this point, I’m always hungry. How long have we been here? Is it a reasonable hour for food consumption?”
She hears a drawer opening, and then the smack of a granola bar landing on her desk. “It’s half past eight.”
Juliet groans again, but sits up properly to unwrap the bar. “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it,” her partner mutters, flipping another page.
Juliet herself finishes with the paper she’s filling out, then picks up a previous file on the bomber and begins to read. For such intense subject matter, it’s really fucking boring. Thanks to a high level of patience and a lot of practice with this sort of thing, it takes her maybe twenty minutes. She goes to use the bathroom, then comes back and starts another report. As she’s scribbling down the standard information, she feels her little boy move, and smiles to herself. At least he’s there to brighten her day.
Speaking of men who can always make her smile…
“Jules!” Shawn is striding quickly into the bullpen. “Why are you still here? You do realize it’s nine o’clock at night?”
“I know, Shawn,” Juliet sighs, setting down her papers. “I’m just trying to finish up this last report.”
“Yeah, yeah, and then the one after that, and the one after that.” Shawn reaches her chair and begins massaging her shoulders. “C’mon, let’s go home.”
“I can get these done tonight…”
“Go home, O’Hara,” Carlton interrupts. “You’re the most efficient one here, anyway. If all else fails, I can help you pick up the slack.”
Juliet narrows her eyes at him. “Carlton Lassiter, volunteering for extra paperwork? Who are you, and what have you done with my partner?”
He waves a dismissing hand. “You need rest, and all that- besides, it’s not like you won’t be doing some of mine once you’re on desk duty.”
Juliet whacks him with a file. “You’re damn right I won’t.” She stands, stretching out as best she can. It seems like her back is perpetually sore.
She finishes stacking her papers neatly on her desk, then picks up her heels, not bothering to put them on. “Alright, then. Goodnight, Carlton.”
With that, she takes Shawn’s hand and they head out to the jeep.
Thanks for reading! Next chapter: s h o p p i n g
Chapter 10: Hugs. Lots of Hugs.
and softness. lots of that too.
I am trying to *drumroll please* finish this fic! It's gonna be an endeavor and I very much doubt I'll be able to focus on it without sidetracking to other things every now and then, but because I'm trying to finish up fics that I know have endings, this one is next on my list.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn has no clue what’s so exciting about maternity stores that there are so many of them in Santa Barbara. This is their third store in as many hours, and Jules shows no signs of stopping.
“Shawn, look! This onesie has turtles on it!”
He blinks. “So it does.”
“Jules, I thought we were shopping for you, not the baby.”
Her nose wrinkles, which Shawn finds delightful. “True.” She pouts a bit as she hangs the onesie back on the rack, and Shawn sighs.
“Never too early to start prepping, though.” He tosses the onesie into the cart. Jules beams and kisses his cheek.
“Okay, I need clothes for work, so let’s head to the formal section.”
Shawn glances, confused, at the clothes her already has in his arms. “Then what are all these?”
“Do you know how many shirts I go through in a month? The fact that I have to wear white while routinely dealing with blood is ridiculous.”
“Fair point.” Shawn follows her through the racks of clothing. Juliet picks out several shirts and two or three suits, and then heads for the fitting room.
“What do you think?”
Shawn thinks that he cannot possibly be more in love. It’s ridiculous that seeing her standing there in a simple suit, her engagement ring glittering as she rests her hand on her belly, makes him this happy. And yet.
“You look beautiful, baby,” he says softly.
She blushes. “Seriously, is the fit flattering?”
“Everything’s flattering on you.”
She rolls her eyes. “Not when I’m five months pregnant.”
“Of course you do.”
“Jules, you’re the most attractive woman I’ve ever met.”
She laughs and shakes her head. “Smooth talker.”
“You love it.”
“I love you.”
Shawn smiles and kisses her temple. “Love you too.”
Juliet blinks sleepily, lifting her arm to look at her watch. She’s slept for almost two hours, and now it’s four in the afternoon. Sure, she’s probably messing up her sleep schedule, but it’s not as if the little one inside her is letting her get much sleep at night, anyway.
She hears shifting on the bed next to her and notices Shawn, wrapped around a pillow, smiling at her. “I’m glad I wasn’t the only one worn out after all that shopping,” he says.
“I’m growing another human,” Juliet teases. “What’s your excuse?”
“I had to carry all of the things for you and our little human,” Shawn offers.
“I’ll accept that,” she jokes. “Now c’mere, I wanna cuddle.”
“Absolutely.” Juliet smiles as she feels his arms around her and he pulls her into him, his hand on her belly. She loves it when he holds her. He’s warm and she feels safe and loved in his arms. They don’t set aside enough time to just cuddle, but when they do, it makes her so happy.
“I love you, Shawn,” she says softly.
He kisses her softly. “I love you too.”
They lie there for a while without saying anything. Shawn is rubbing gentle circles on her belly. Juliet places her hand on top of his, and they both feel it happen. Their son kicks.
Juliet gasps. “Shawn, did you-”
She can hear the grin in his voice. “Yeah, I did! He kicked!”
Juliet twists a bit to smile at him, not speaking as the tears begin to fall. Shawn kisses them gently away. “I love you,” he says. “I love you both so much.”
Of course, this makes her cry harder. “Oh, Shawn.”
He rubs a hand soothingly up and down her arm. “Hormones, huh?”
She laughs and lays back down until he’s once again spooning her. “As always.” Her son must like the way Shawn rubs gently over her belly, because he kicks again, right where their hands are.
“Wow, he’s excited today,” Shawn whispers. Juliet smiles even wider at the look of amazement on his face.
Juliet snuggles into him. “I think we all are.”
“Hell yeah. Only a few more months until we get to meet him!”
She squeezes his hand that’s resting on her bump. “Don’t wish time away…”
Shawn presses a kiss to her temple. “I would never.”
Lassiter raises an eyebrow at his partner when he catches sight of her computer screen. “That’s not police work.”
“No, but that is,” she retorts, gesturing to the stack of finished paperwork next to her.
“Are you looking at houses?”
“Oh, yeah, Shawn and I started looking this weekend. We’re planning on moving soon.”
Carlton decides this conversation is more interesting than his own, unfinished paperwork. “How come? Your place right now is pretty nice.”
“Yeah, it’s good for a couple, but we’re still paying rent and it would be hard to make the office into a nursery. We want to find someplace more permanent.”
“That makes sense. How soon are you thinking of moving? I mean…” he casts a glance at her abdomen. “It’ll probably be a difficult process if you wait much longer.”
O’Hara snorts. “It’ll be a difficult process now. But we want to move within the next month or so, so we’ll have time to move ourselves in and decorate the nursery.”
“Well, let me know if you need help when it comes time to actually move.” With that, Carlton picks up a file and goes back to work. O’Hara takes her finished stack to give to the chief.
When she returns, more paperwork in hand, they both work silently for a few minutes. Then, Carlton lays down his papers and cocks his head, watching her.
He does this from time to time, when he’s trying to figure out person, friend or foe. Spencer had taught him, explaining that sometimes just watching someone could teach you a lot about them without any interaction necessary.
Only, sometimes the person you’re watching catches you, and interaction becomes necessary.
“Do you need something, Carlton?”
He fiddles with his pen. “O’Hara, you know a lot of cops either wait on promotions until after they have kids, or retire when they do.”
She raises an eyebrow. “Are you trying to get rid of me?”
He shakes his head vehemently. “No. I don’t think I could stand being partners with anyone but you. And besides, if you were going to retire, you would have done it before.”
“I’m not going anywhere, Carlton. What’s your point?”
“My point is that I admire you. I think becoming a parent in our line of work takes courage. Y’know, not a week goes by when you don’t do something that reminds me you’re a better person and probably a better cop than I’ll ever be.”
When he looks at her, she’s smiling at him even though she looks as though she’s about to cry. “Carlton,” she says in a choked voice, “don’t be ridiculous.”
He supposes he should have seen the hug coming.
Next chapter: houses!
Chapter 11: Real Estate
Shawn and Juliet begin the process of buying a house.
I'm posting this in a hurry, so i apologize for typos and the like!
Shawn is sitting on the arm of the couch, which Juliet normally doesn’t allow, but she’s busy at the moment.
“Shawn, what would be the absolute highest we’d go? Like, just a number to keep to ourselves? Let’s be honest, there’s a chance we find a place outside our price range that’s just too perfect to pass up.”
He gives her a number, then turns back to his phone. “Do you wanna have a baby shower, babe? My mom’s gonna be in town for a conference in, like, a month, if that’s a good time…”
Juliet gets a considering look on her face, then nods and smiles. “I think that would be great! Ooooh, do I need a registry?” She scribbles something down on her to-do list, which is almost a page long- and her handwriting is tiny. Shawn frowns, but before he says anything, Juliet makes another connection.
“Shawn, do you think we could get a house in time to have the baby shower there?”
He gapes a bit, but nods as he thinks. “Uh… if we have help moving in, and we find a house before this week is up… we might just make it.” Still concerned about her lengthy list of responsibilities, Shawn takes Juliet’s hand, drawing her attention away from her neat stacks of paper and her laptop. “But hon, don’t worry if it doesn’t work out in time. It’s more important for you to be well rested and not stressed than it is for us to find a place quickly.” He kisses her knuckles.
Juliet smiles at him and rests a hand on her belly. “Of course, Shawn. I’m taking it easy. I mean, look around- I didn’t even bring any work home this weekend!”
Shawn laughs and can’t help but move closer to her. She tries to shove him off, saying that he’ll crumple her papers, but eventually she ends up in his arms. He presses small kisses to her face and neck, his hand resting on her stomach. To his delight, their baby kicks.
“Shawn, you realize you’re un-organizing all of the research I’ve done to prevent us getting bamboozled by realtors, yes?”
He smiles against her neck. “I can’t help it. I just love you so much.” He bends to kiss her belly. “Both of you.”
She pulls him back up to kiss his lips, and then wraps herself in his arms. “I love you too.”
Shawn is in the middle of a nonsensical dream about him and Gus becoming world-famous pineapple thieves when Juliet wakes him up. She’s pouting a bit as she shoves at his shoulder.
“Shawn, I want banana ice cream.”
Shawn looks at the clock- it’s 3:30- and then back at his wonderful, very pregnant fiancee. He sighs. “Baby, I don’t know if they make banana ice cream.”
Juliet is giving him full-on puppy dog eyes now. “It’s technically your fault I’m craving it.”
“Alright. Uh… what’s open at three in the morning? Ben & Jerry’s?”
She shrugs. Shawn sighs and bends over to kiss her. “Okay, just put some shoes on. We’ll find someplace. Do you want my sweatshirt? I think it’s kinda chilly out…”
Juliet climbs out of bed and waddles over to the clost, stopping to give him a peck along the way. “You’re the best, babe.”
Ben and Jerry’s does indeed have a banana pudding ice cream flavor. Juliet gets a full cone of that and she and Shawn end up on a bench by the waterfront, eating their ice cream and admiring the moon on the waves. “Hey, Jules,” Shawn ventures.
“D’you think whatever little gremlin is controlling your cravings would like peppermint with that banana ice cream?”
“Shawn, the little gremlin is your son. And actually, that sounds delicious.”
Shawn grins and scoops some of his peppermint ice cream onto her banana cone. He’s not even a huge fan of the flavor; he’d just suspected Jules might like some. “What do you think?”
She makes happy noises around her ice cream. “This is the best.”
“I’m glad you got what you wanted, babe.” Shawn yawns, and Juliet’s nose wrinkles over her ice cream.
“What time is it?”
“Uh… a quarter past four.”
“Sorry I woke you up.”
Shawn wraps an arm over her shoulders. “Don’t be. Tomorrow’s Saturday. We have all day to sleep in.”
She rests her head on his shoulder, crunching on her waffle cone. “How did I end up with someone as amazing as you?”
“The question, Detective O’Hara,” Shawn corrects, “is, how did I manage to find such a perfect woman?”
They start looking at houses on Sunday. Shawn hopes it’ll be a goldilocks sort of situation- the first one is too empty, the second one is too cramped, the third is just right.
It is not.
They have a month to find a place and move in, if they’re going to make Juliet’s preferred baby shower date. They see three or four houses a day for a solid week, leaving them exhausted. By Friday, they’re almost ready to reschedule with the realtor, but she insists she’s found a place she thinks they’ll love.
Shawn picks Juliet up straight from the station, bringing sneakers for her to wear instead of flats- she hasn’t worn heels in weeks. He gets a slow kiss for his thoughtfulness.
“So where is this one?”
“Just past where the main city road connects to the one that leads to the beach. It’s about twenty minutes from the station, fifteen from the Psych office, and ten from my dad.”
Juliet blinks. “Wow. What’s the catch?”
Shawn shrugs. “Maybe it’s scheduled for demolition?”
“God,” Jules groans, her head falling back against the headrest, “don’t even joke about that.”
Despite the sublime location of their potential home, Juliet is in a bad mood when they arrive. Her legs ache, she has to pee, and she can feel the beginnings of heartburn creeping up her throat. She forgets about all of that when she sees the house. Literally- the antacids she’s about to swallow fall from her hand to the ground.
“Holy shit,” breathes Shawn.
Juliet stares at the house, wide-eyed. “What’s the catch?”
The house in front of them is much larger than their current place-two to three times the size. It’s constructed like a beach house, and indeed, is about a ten minute walk from the beach. White- or maybe just weather-bleached- wood paneling covers the outside, with a gray metal roof. It looks old, but not decrepit.
The realtor smiles. “Would you like to see the inside?”
The inside is even better than the outside. The entry hall leads to an open floor plan kitchen and living area, with high ceiling and tall windows. They can see the upper floor, and while the balcony will certainly have to be baby-proofed, it doesn’t look as though it’ll be too difficult a task.
“Rounded corners,” Juliet points out, running her hand over the edge of the island. “Nice.”
Shawn turns in a slow circle, no doubt memorizing the layout. “This is a really great place,” he agrees.
The downstairs has the kitchen and living room, a dining room off the kitchen, and a mostly empty room that could be turned into an office. It’s also got a deck through sliding doors that look out on the yard.
“Looks safe for kids,” Shawn murmurs. Juliet nods and does not question his use of the plural.
Upstairs, they both agree that the master bedroom seems absolutely spectacular. There are quite a few other bedrooms, and a larger room that could be turned into a playroom of sorts. And there’s one bedroom that they know immediately will be their son’s nursery.
“It’s right next to our room,” Shawn notices.
“And look at that view,” Juliet breathes. “I can see the ocean. We’ll have to get a comfy rocking chair and set it so that I can look out there when I’m nursing him.”
Shawn gets a goofy smile on his face, and Juliet knows that he, too, is thinking of the days when they’ll actually hold their son, when they’ll get to see his face. “The crib could go next to the door out to the deck, and we could put the changing table across from it. There’s a good outlet for a night light…”
Juliet laughs and grabs his arm, leaning into him. “God, Shawn, I think this is perfect.”
Bracing themselves, they both turn to the realtor. “What’s the price?”
The price, it turns out, is just barely in their budget… but it truly is their dream house. Just before they agree to start the final process of buying the house, Juliet pulls Shawn aside. “You’re a hundred percent sure this is the one?”
“I am. Are you?”
“Totally. I only have one concern…”
“Even if we make one bedroom a guest room, there’s still two extra bedrooms- three if we don’t do the guest room. D’you think that’ll end up being a problem? I don’t want to just, I don’t know, use those rooms to store clutter…”
Shawn looks thoughtful, then hesitant. He shifts his weight from foot to foot. Juliet narrows her eyes. “What are you thinking, Spencer?”
“Room to grow,” he says. “I mean, I know doing this again-” he gestures to her belly- “is the last thing on your mind right now, but… if we wanted another one, sometime in the future…”
Juliet beams, catching on. “This is the perfect place to raise a family, with just one kid, or a few more.” She gives him a quick kiss. “Excellent thinking, Mr. Spencer.”
He kisses her once more, and their faces stay close. “Glad I could be of service.”
Holding hands, they cross the room to face the realtor with smiles on their faces. “So… how much paperwork is there if we want to buy this place?”
Chapter 12: Moving In...
...is a rather difficult process at twenty-six weeks pregnant.
And now, twelve chapters in, I'm bringing in Marlowe! Yes, there is a reason for her late arrival- I started this fic when I was on s5, before I knew about Marlowe at all. Now, because I want this to fit with events in other fics coming later in this series, I'm bringing her in. Enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Jules, do you need help with that box?”
“Shawn, it’s a shoebox of pictures, and it may just be the heaviest thing I’ve lifted all day. I promise you I’m taking it easy.”
“Alright… let us know if you need help.”
Juliet carries the box into the kitchen and sets it on the island, and then heads out for another one. She ends up carrying in a bag of pillows, but even this leaves her tired out. She’s leaning on the couch, rubbing her belly, when Shawn appears.
“Hey, babe,” he says. “Wanna take a break?”
She gives him a halfheartedly disapproving look. “We’ll never get everything in at this rate.”
“Well, how about you relax on one of those fancy new deck chairs, and the rest of us move all the stuff? You can correct us on where to put things without moving a muscle.”
Juliet looks out to the new lounge chairs on the porch, where she can stare out at the grassy backyard and daydream about future afternoons with her family. She smiles.
“Alright, Shawn. A break wouldn’t hurt.”
Juliet is enjoying her solitude, sipping a grapefruit soda and resting a hand on her belly, using her alone time to focus on feeling her son. She thinks she feels him flip around, and sure enough, a kick hits her in the opposite side a minute or so later. She laughs.
“Are you trying to break my ribs there, bud?”
She feels him squirm a bit more as she settles back into the lounge chair. A few minutes later, one of the french doors opens.
“Hi, Juliet,” greets Marlowe. “Mind if I join you?”
“Not at all!” Juliet waves a hand toward an empty lounge chair. “Have a seat; they’re really comfy. Did Shawn send you out here?”
“He suggested it,” her friend admits. “Said something about keeping you entertained. I’m not sure how serious he was.”
Juliet laughs. “He just doesn’t want me to overexert myself. I know we both want me and our son to be safe and healthy, but sometimes, Shawn is a bit overprotective, and I have to give myself a reminder.”
Marlowe nods in agreement, a small, secretive smile on her face. “Carlton’s not too thrilled about me lifting things, either.”
Juliet snorts. “And you’re not even-”
She stops mid-sentence.
Carlton is fiercely protective of Marlowe, but she does think that’s increased recently. And now, Marlowe is refraining from heavy lifting, and her own drink is also a caffeine-free fruit soda…
Juliet squints. “Wait… are you?”
Marlowe smiles and looks away, her hair falling over her face. Her quietly giddy laugh and the hand that moves to her own stomach is all the confirmation Juliet needs.
“Marlowe! Congratulations!” Juliet rises from her chair about as quickly as she can, moving to give Marlowe a hug. Their joyful laughter increases.
“I am gonna need so much advice,” Marlowe says.
“I’ll be happy to help if I can. How far along are you?”
“About three months. I’ve just recently started showing…” Marlowe rubs a hand over her belly, and yes, there’s clearly a bump. Juliet mimics her motion as if in comparison, and they collapse into giggles again.
The door opens again, revealing Carlton. “Why is there so much squealing out here? What is happening?”
Juliet immediately wraps her partner in as tight of a hug as she can manage. “Carlton! Congratulations!”
“Oof,” he grunts. “Yeah, thanks…” he chuckles, grinning, as she releases him. “We’ve known for about a month. When you- when you asked me to be the godparent to your child, I barely restrained myself from asking the same question right back.”
Juliet blinks back tears. “Really?”
Marlowe and Carlton both nod as he wraps an arm over her shoulders. “We couldn’t think of anyone better, Juliet,” Marlowe assures her.
She laughs. “Carlton, you realize this makes Shawn your kid’s godfather?”
He smiles. “That’s a price I’m willing to pay.”
By Sunday evening, there are boxes in every room of the house… except the nursery. Luckily, the house had been painted during the week between them buying it and moving in. Juliet had obligingly stayed out for safety reasons, but today, officially, it’s safe for her to be in the house for long periods of time. They’re really not ready to live in it, so they’ll be crashing in Henry’s guest room tonight, but Juliet has one thing she wants to finish up first.
“Thanks for doing the walls, Shawn,” she murmurs, opening a can of non-toxic white paint. The walls of what will soon be the nursery start as a sandy yellow at the bottom, fading up through blues to the dusky indigo Jules is adding to. This room, hand-painted with baby-safe paint, has just dried, and now she paints constellations as high as she can reach.
Capricorn, the goat. Her son is due in January, so that will be his zodiac. Thinking of zodiacs reminds Juliet of newspaper horoscopes and Apple Jacks t-shirts. She chuckles.
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. The mama bear and her cub. Shawn had suggested that one.
The Dorado, because it’s visible in winter skies and fits with the beach theme of the nursery.
“What else?” she asks as she finishes the star of the tail.
Shawn gently massages her shoulders. “Well, you’ve got Capricorn. How about Pisces and Libra? For us?”
Juliet smiles, deciding that the romance of the notion is worth the inaccurate astronomy. “Perfect, Shawn. Let me get those two up here, and then we can head to your dad’s place.”
He kisses her hair. “Alright, babe. I’ll make sure we lock the doors and don’t leave anything here.”
With one last kiss, he leaves her to her work. Juliet smiles, happy as ever, and continues swirling the white stars onto the blue wall.
Shawn is curled in bed next to Jules, his head gently against the side of her belly. He can hear the noises of their son moving around as well as feel when he shifts against the side Shawn’s on. Above him, Jules is typing on her laptop.
“Whatcha doing, Jules?”
“Pre-registering with Santa Barbara General,” she answers. “They let you fill out the preliminary paperwork online, which means less to do when I’m actually in labor.”
“Yeah.” For a few more minutes, there’s only typing. “Oooh, Shawn, do you want to tour the maternity ward sometime this week? They have a tour Tuesday afternoon.”
“Sounds cool,” he replies. “What kinda stuff is on the tour?”
“Um…” more clicking. “Familiarization with the hospital, a look at the labor, delivery, and recovery rooms, we get to meet some nurses and doctors… it looks like a worthy investment of our time.”
Shawn shifts to kiss her belly, and then reaches for her hand and kisses that, too. “Sounds amazing, Jules. You should sign us up.”
She smiles at him. “Shawn?”
“I’m so excited to be on this adventure with you. You know that, don’t you?”
“Of course,” he whispers. “Becoming a parent is gonna change my life, and there’s nobody I would rather do it with than you.”
He feels a kick against his head, and Juliet moves her hand to that side, too. She smiles. “I love you both so much.”
Shawn repeats his pair of kisses- one to her belly, one to her hand. “Me too, Jules. Love you too.”
No, I do not know how long it takes to paint a house, or how long pregnant women should stay out of it. I also don't know if there's such a thing as baby-safe paint. Call it poetic license ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Chapter 13: No Other Worries
Shawn and Juliet make more preparations for baby Spencer.
I wrote the first scene way before Hurricane Dorian, and only because hurricanes are the only storms I know anything about. If any of you were affected by Dorian, my thoughts and prayers are with you, and I hope you and your families are safe.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet wakes with a full bladder and a growing baby doing somersaults on top of it. A glance at the clock says it’s not even seven. Groaning quietly, she slips out of Shawn’s embrace and heads for the bathroom.
Perhaps an early rising this morning is for the best. The past week in Santa Barbara had been a crazy one, with a rare pacific hurricane cancelling Juliet’s tour of the maternity ward and greatly increasing her work schedule. The tour had been rescheduled, but that had put the tour and her prenatal yoga class on the same day. After days of search-and-rescue and tracking down missing storm victims, Juliet feels she’s earned the day off.
Looking forward to a calm day where she can prepare for motherhood without any other worries, Juliet smiles and heads into the kitchen for breakfast. If her son is going to keep kicking energetically, she may as well get a head start on the day.
Shawn wakes early, well, early for him. It’s creeping up on seven-twenty, and the sheets beside him are already empty and cold. He climbs out of bed, not bothering to look for a shirt, and heads for the kitchen. Jules is always hungry, so he thinks it’s a good place to start.
His reminders about needing a good night’s sleep die on his tongue when he sees her.
“Yes, that’s a good spot for you to kick,” Juliet murmurs, a hand on her belly. “Much better than my ribs or my bladder.”
Shawn grins when he realizes she’s talking to their baby. Pausing in the arched doorway, he listens.
“Hmm, should this fruit go into a fruit salad, or should I make smoothies? Smoothies will have more protein, but I don’t want to wake up your dad with the blender…”
Shawn walks forward, intending to sneak up behind Jules and wrap her in his arms, but her cop senses are better than his stealth mode. She turns, giving him a sunny smile. “Oh, look. You’re already up.”
“So are you, and I’m not the one who needs extra rest.”
She smiles, loading the sliced fruit into the blender. “Tell that to your son. He’s been kicking around in there all morning.”
Shawn concedes the point with a hum and comes closer until he can kiss Jules’ hair and lay a hand on her belly, feeling the kicks for himself. “Wow, he’s getting strong. Does it hurt?”
“Not unless he’s aimed at my organs. I don’t mind, though. I’m getting to the stage where I should be keeping track of his activity levels…” Juliet gently removes herself from his arms and heads to the fridge for the yogurt. “Speaking of which, guess what today is!”
Juliet laughs. “I’m twenty-seven weeks almost to the day. That means next week, I’m done with the sixth month. One more week until trimester three!”
Shawn beams. “Jules, that’s amazing! Can you believe you’re basically two-thirds of the way through this?”
She shakes her head. “Seems like just yesterday I was peeing on a stick.”
He steals a slice of pineapple. “You know, I’m almost sorry I wasn’t there for that.”
Shawn can tell from Jules’ smile that she’s not taking the comment seriously. “Don’t worry. You’ve been here for all the other important parts.”
He’s not quite ready to change the subject. “Were you scared, Jules? Before you knew I was on board with this, did you want a baby?”
Juliet’s brow furrows; he knows she’s confused as to why he’s bringing this up now. “I… yes, I did, Shawn. I just didn’t know if you did. We talked about this, remember?”
Shawn smiles softly. “I remember. Jules?”
“Just so you know, I’ve wanted kids with you, at least in the back of my mind, since the first time I saw you with your nephews.”
He sees her shock, but she covers it with a laugh. “For a second there I thought you were gonna say ‘since the first time I saw you’.”
Shawn kisses her cheek. “Not quite. But I think I’ve been ready for this for a while.”
Juliet raises an eyebrow. “Neither one of us is anywhere near ready.”
He laughs. “Right as always, Jules. But we can pretend.”
Just before eleven in the morning, Shawn and Juliet arrive at Santa Barbara General for the tour of the maternity ward. The atrium area they’re directed to is full of other couples, too. Juliet counts thirteen women other than herself- eleven with various partners, and two without.
She feels Shawn’s breath on her neck as he whispers into her ear. “I have never seen so many pregnant women in one place. Is anyone else here concerned that somebody’s gonna go into labor at any moment?"
Juliet snorts and elbows him. “Don’t be ridiculous. C’mon, lets make friends.”
“Really, you’re still on the ‘adult friends’ thing? Remember what happened on our nice vacation? Jules, do you want to have to deal with another Texan dead in a wine barrel?”
Juliet sighs, but before she can reprimand her fiance, a redheaded woman who looks a little less pregnant than Juliet herself enters the conversation.
“Wow, that sounds like quite a story.”
Shawn grins. Juliet laughs a little bit, trying to think of how to respond. “Well, vacations never seem to go smoothly with the two of us.” She slides an arm around Shawn’s waist, and offers a hand to the redhead. “I’m Juliet.”
“Lucy, and this is my girlfriend Eleanor.”
Introductions are made, and then, of course, the circle back to Shawn’s mention of the dead Texan. “So,” Lucy asks, “are you guys, like, cops or something, or do you just randomly find dead bodies on your vacation?”
“I am a cop,and Shawn’s a PI, but the incident he’s talking about was definitely random. Vacations are normally used as a break from crime solving.”
“Cool,” says Eleanor. “I mean, not the dead body, but your jobs. I’m a veterinary technician, and Lucy’s a journalist. Not as exciting.”
“I don’t know, those do sound like interesting careers,” Juliet counters. And she’s not just being polite- they both do.
“And you get to hang with cute animals all day!” Shawn interjects, talking to Eleanor. “That’s awesome? Do you take care of any bunnies?”
“Well…” she tilts her head thoughtfully. “Um, we’ve had one or two come through, but it’s mostly cats and dogs.”
“Oh, I love cats,” Juliet says. “Hey, Shawn, we should get one.”
He raises an eyebrow. “Before or after we get a baby?”
The group all chuckles. “Alright, so maybe we’ll wait a while,” Juliet concedes. “But we’d better get one from someone as a wedding present.”
Shawn watches carefully throughout the entire tour, trying to soak up as much information as possible. There’s a triage period before admission to the labor rooms, to make sure you’re actually in labor. Both labor and recovery rooms have a ‘Dad Couch’, though Shawn can’t imagine he’ll want to be any more than two feet away from Jules, when the times comes. Only one extra person is allowed in the delivery room.
He’s still kind of stuck on the whole couch thing. They pass by one of the luxury birthing sweets, and everyone is given an opportunity to sit on the couch. It’s not all that comfy, and it’s still a good five feet away from the bed. Shawn frowns and looks to another dad-to-be. “Hey, man, is it just me, or do you also get the feeling that you’ll want to be close to your-” a glance at his hand, yep, there’s a ring- “wife instead of lounging on a couch?”
He laughs, but seems to take the question seriously. “Yeah, I totally get that. The thing is, after a couple of hours, she might not want you to be that close to her.”
“Ohhhhhh.” Shawn nods. “Yeah, that makes sense.”
His new friend looks at him, almost as if he’s sizing him up. “You haven’t done this before, have you?”
Shawn chuckles. “Am I that obvious?”
“The way you’re hanging onto every word kinda gives it away. But hey, that’s a good thing- you’re gonna want to be as prepared as you can for the big day. You still won’t feel at all ready, but it’ll help somewhat.”
Shawn nods, mulling over the advice. The older man laughs. “Sorry for going all ‘wise old man’ on you. I’m Ryan.”
“Shawn.” They shake hands. “So I guess this isn’t your first time around?”
“I’ve got a beautiful little girl who’s turning three this winter, and another one on the way… duh. What about you? Boy or girl?”
Shawn grins. “Boy. We’re naming him after my best friend, and Jules’ best friend gets to be the godfather. Even stevens.”
“Nice combo,” Ryan agrees. “We thought our oldest would be a boy until she was born. Not that it matters; I still love her more than anything, of course.”
Nodding slowly, Shawn turns to watch Jules, who’s listening attentively to the tour guide. “Yeah,” he finally says. “I’ll always love ‘em more than anything.”
Juliet is trying to get ready for her prenatal yoga class, but the infamous Braxton-Hicks contractions have chosen today to begin, which is slowing her down. Her belly feels tight almost to the point of discomfort, and that combined with the baby pressing against her ribs is making it hard to breathe. Moving is supposed to make her feel better, but that’s not really comfortable either. She groans, and Shawn, who had been dozing on the couch, sits up.
“You alright, babe?”
“Mostly fine,” she answers. “Braxton-Hicks contractions have finally shown up. It’s a bit uncomfortable.”
Shawn nearly falls off the couch, clearly freaking out. “What!? Is that supposed to happen? I mean, I know it is, but is it supposed to happen now? Are you okay!? Are you sure it’s not the real thing?”
“Shawn!” She doesn’t mean to snap, but he’s freaking out unnecessarily, and it’s not really helping her relax. “Shawn, I just need to stretch out for a bit. I’m not going into labor. You can calm down.”
He nods, hands held in surrender, but rises from the couch and paces toward her. Juliet sighs and grabs her water bottle to fill it.
“Do you want a back rub or anything, Jules?”
“I’m good,” she answers, shaking her head. “But there’s a list of local pediatricians on the fridge- if you get bored while I’m at yoga, finding out the basics on their doctors and offices would be helpful.”
Shawn nods eagerly, and the expression on his face makes Juliet melt a bit inside. He’s just so enthusiastic about all of this, so happy to do anything he can to help her and their baby…
She turns back to where he’s sitting at the counter, reading the names she’s written down. Setting down her water bottle, Juliet walks over to him and kisses his cheek. “I’m going to yoga, Shawn. I love you.”
He grins, giving her a peck on the lips. “I love you too.”
Shawn decides that instead of just googling the clinics Jules has suggested, he’ll check them out in person. A walk through Santa Barbara will give him something to do, and the fresh air will help him stop worrying about Jules.
The first three clinics look great, all with bright and cheery murals in their waiting rooms and helpful receptionists behind their desks. At one, he gets to talk to a doctor. By the time he makes it to office number four, Shawn’s legs are getting sore. He’d driven from the house into town, of course, but he’d bought a decent amount of time on a parking meter and set off on foot to check out the clinics- he wouldn’t be walking more than three miles total.
As soon as Shawn steps into the fourth office, his memory kicks into gear, bringing back recognition that the name and address alone hadn’t conjured. He grins at the blue walls and the info posters, running a hand nostalgically over the bright plastic chairs. A receptionist looks up at him with a smile.
“Can I help you?”
“Yeah, I’m, uh-”
Another voice interrupts. “Shawn Spencer. I can’t believe my eyes!”
Shawn grins in recognition, turning to face his old pediatrician. Dr. Martin has a few more years on her than she’d had when he was a little kid who didn’t want flu shots, but she’s clearly still going strong. “Dr. Martin, long time no see!”
“It’s been too long, Shawn! When was the last time I saw you? Your father’s retirement party?”
Shawn nods. “Yeah, that sounds right. Although, wouldn’t you know it, he’s back at work now- still with the SBPD.”
“Of course he is,” says Dr. Martin. She pauses. “So,what brings you here? You’re not exactly part of my normal clientele anymore.”
“No, no,” Shawn agrees. “But in three months or so, I might be bringing you someone who is.”
The older woman cracks a smile. “Are you telling me you’re going to be a father?”
Grinning again, Shawn nods eagerly. “Yep! Jules and I are engaged, we’ve been together for about five years- yeah, five years this month. We’re gonna have a little boy in January.”
Smiling, Dr. Martin shakes her head. “I can’t believe it. I remember when I first met you… born too early, with an underdeveloped heart and an overdeveloped attitude.”
He laughs. “Still pretty much true, until they invent an attitude surgery.”
“Well, I’d certainly be happy to care for another generation of Spencers.”
His mission complete, Shawn shakes her hand and turns to go. “I gotta talk to Jules first, but you are definitely at the top of my list.”
Juliet crawls into bed as the clock is ticking towards eleven, her eyelids already drooping. Shawn is coming in from the bathroom, and she pulls him down so she can use his chest as a pillow. He rubs her belly, pressing gently.
“Shawn, if you get him all worked up right when I’m trying to go to sleep I swear to god I’ll kill you.”
He kisses her temple. “Sorry, babe. I love you?”
Their son doesn’t appear to have been too excited by his father’s attention, only turning around a bit. Juliet can handle that.
“I love you too, honey. Now please, let me get some sleep.”
“Of course, Jules, of course.” He gives her another gentle kiss. Juliet sighs happily and lets Shawn’s steady heartbeat lull her to sleep.
The last scene was written bc it was 1am and I wanted sleep so instead of sleeping I wrote about it