Chapter 1: Close Talking
When Shawn suddenly moves into her personal space, Juliet is startled, but she doesn’t move away. Perhaps she should, but she doesn’t. “Shawn, what are you doing?” She asks quietly.
“Really, ‘cause if you’re doing what I think you’re doing, it’s gonna be one of those things we were just talking about.”
Juliet can’t really blame him for getting distracted; this level of physical proximity is making it hard for her to focus. “A mistake.”
“Maybe so,” he agrees, “but some mistakes are good mistakes.”
“And some mistakes lead to criminals escaping and lots and lots of paperwork for yours truly.”
“See? If this happens, it won’t even be the worst mistake you’ve made today.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better? And what, exactly, do you mean by ‘this’?”
Shawn gestures to the (very limited) space between them. “You. Me. Us.” He seems flustered. Juliet raises an eyebrow. Shawn Spencer, Mr. Smooth Talking Psychic, is nervous? I don’t buy it. He gets even closer, and his hand comes up as if to cup her cheek but stops short of touching her. “Look, Jules, I’d really like to kiss you,” he says hoarsely. Juliet wills her heart rate to return to normal, but it continues to thud traitorously against her ribs. “And you know, you haven’t backed away or shot me yet, so I’m sensing you’d like that as well.”
“You’re sensing that, are you?”
“Well, I could be off, whenever I’m around a beautiful woman my psychic senses tend to go haywi-” Juliet makes a snap decision and pulls him in, sealing her lips to his. Shawn is clearly startled but does not pull away; on the contrary, he deepens the kiss. One of his hands slides into her hair and the other goes to her waist, while Juliet’s arms twine around his neck, pulling him closer. Shawn is a very good kisser, and she loses herself in the sensation as he pulls her even closer. His leg gets between hers and she moans into the kiss, but he breaks away for air. Okay, maybe that’s slightly necessary.
Shawn is quick to return to his ministrations, this time sucking at her neck, and his leg is still giving her just the right amount of pressure. Those two factors combined make her gasp as he presses her backward, tugging her blazer off her shoulders. She hits her desk as his lips travel lower towards the neckline of her shirt-
Wait. They’re making out on her desk. They’re still at the station. “Shawn,” she says, trying to get his attention. He misinterprets this and continues to scrape his teeth over her skin, which feels really good. “Shawn, hold up,” she tries.
He lifts his head and meets her eyes. “Do you want me to stop?”
“No. Yes. I- we need to take this somewhere else.” Juliet sighs and tucks her hair behind her ear. She takes a few deep breaths to clear her head, but all this does is fill her lungs with the heady scent of Shawn’s cologne.
“Alright,” Shawn replies, nipping at her collarbone. “Your place or mine?” He licks at the hollow of her neck, and Juliet shivers.
“Don’t care,” she gasps.
They end up taking her car to his apartment, where they quickly remove their clothes and stumble to the bedroom. And then there are no more barriers, and mistake or not, Juliet O’Hara spends the night with Shawn Spencer.
Shawn is talented in bed, oh yes, much better and so very different than she’d expected. He is gentle and careful and a million other things she would never have associated with him as his hands and his lips travel over every inch of her skin. He makes her feel good, so good, like she’s beautiful, and sexy, and something special. With the wonderful things he does to her, the detective forgets that he’s far too flippant about everything for her to take him seriously, that for all he flirts with her he flirts equally as much with other women. She forgets, for the night, all of the reasons why they shouldn’t be doing what they are.
And then the next morning she wakes up, and she remembers all of those reasons.
Shawn finds a note on the pillow that still smells like her, but by the time he rises, Juliet is long gone.
Gus frowns at Shawn, who is spinning in his desk chair, even more distracted than usual. He’s clearly not listening to Gus, instead focusing on a slip of paper that he keeps folding and unfolding in his fingers. Gus sighs. “Shawn, have you heard anything I’ve said in the past five minutes?”
Shawn sits suddenly upright and tucks the currently folded piece of paper into his palm. “Uh… I got nothing. Sorry, bud.”
Gus folds his arms across his chest. “What is up with you today, Shawn? You were fine when we were working the bounty hunter case, and then I didn’t see you all weekend, and now you’re, like, in some sort of funk.”
His best friend lets out a heavy sigh. “Have you ever had an awesome night with a girl, and you enjoyed it, and you think- no, you know she enjoyed it too, and then she just… ditches you, and you’re totally thrown off?”
Gus narrows his eyes. “Are we talking, like, ‘kinda pricey dinner and a night on the town’ awesome, or…”
“Try ‘making out wildly in the middle of a police station’.”
Oh, no. Shawn, this had better not be about who I think it’s about. “Are you telling me that you… slept with… Juliet O’Hara?”
“Yep.” Shawn sounds damn near apathetic, which he never is. This just gets better and better.
“I don’t believe it.”
“Oh yeah? Believe this.” He flicks the piece of paper across the desk, table football style. Gus unfolds it and reads the note aloud.
Last night was physically amazing, but emotionally, it was a mistake. I’m not blaming you; both of us were enthusiastic participants. Still, it shouldn’t have happened. I’ll see you at work.
“Wow,” Gus says. “Okay, uh… good luck with that. I have no advice.”
Shawn groans. “Don’t say the word ‘advice’, you’ll summon my dad. Turns out, if you show up at Henry Spencer’s house and you’re in a mood, he’ll try for about fifteen minutes to get you to talk about it, and if you don’t he decides you need to get your mind off of whatever’s bothering you. You know what he thinks the best way to cope is? Yard work.”
Gus winces in sympathy, remembering the afternoons he’d spent with Shawn mulching the Spencer family garden. “So… what are you gonna do?”
Shawn blinks. “Dude, you think I’ve ever tried to salvage a relationship before? When things go South, I get out. I have no fucking clue what I’m gonna do!”
Gus sighs for what feels like the hundredth time. It’s only half past ten in the morning. This is going to be a long day.
Chapter 2: I Can't Say Hello to You (and Risk Another Goodbye)
Christmas Week just got a lot more interesting.
Episode tag: Gus' Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy (2x10)
That’s how long it is before Shawn sees Juliet again.
He and Gus try to find her when they sweep through the SBPD with gifts for Buzz and Lassie and others, but she’s nowhere to be found. Shawn thinks he might have seen a blonde ponytail swishing out of sight, but he’s not sure if that makes him feel better or worse.
And then, when they’re out caroling, Old Man Fuller doesn’t answer his door. This is by no means unusual, but Shawn decides it’s time to do something stupid and pointless to take his mind off things. He bounds up the front porch and knocks at the door, not expecting it to swing open under his fist. And if he wasn’t expecting that, he definitely wasn’t expecting Mr. Fuller to be dangling from the banister.
Christmas week just got a lot more interesting.
Juliet has never processed a crime scene as efficiently and thoroughly as she does while she’s trying to avoid Shawn. Yes, it’s a bit unfair of her, she knows he’s done nothing to deserve her cold shoulder treatment, but a crime scene is a really bad place for personal discussions, and this is only a suicide- a sad suicide, yes, but it’s not like they’ll be working together on a homicide case.
Almost on cue, Shawn has a ‘vision’. Just like that, they’re working together on a homicide case.
Juliet spends the rest of her time at the crime scene hiding behind tall people and nagging forensic techs as they bag evidence. Her partner looks oddly proud.
Shawn weaves through the bullpen, spotting Jules near her desk. Thankfully, Lassie is on the other side of the room. The psychic is almost bouncing on the balls of his feet as he approaches his favorite detective, the nervous energy building up and manifesting in unnecessary movement. It’s times like these when he wishes he’d listened to his dad or Gus when they told him to take his ADD meds.
“Hey Jules,” he says brightly, smiling at her. “I got your note.”
She bites her lip, but forces a smile as she turns to him. “Oh, and did you read it?”
“Uh-huh. Actually, by now I think I’ve read it several hundred times.”
“So you read the part where I told you a… personal relationship… would be a mistake.”
“Well, yeah, but, uh, like I said, some mistakes are good mistakes.”
“That line is going to get old, you know.”
“Well, let me know when it does.” Shawn follows Juliet as she turns to walk away, which is apparently not something he should do. She whirls on him, stony-faced.
“Here’s what I’ll let you know. This is an official police investigation which, regardless of any visions you may have had, you have not been hired on. You are supposed to be here to give your statement and nothing more. Right now you are back here, in what is technically a restricted area, bothering me and preventing me from doing my job. If you do not leave, right now, I will charge you with obstruction of justice and impeding a police investigation and maybe trespassing, if I can. Do I make myself clear?”
Shawn blinks, stepping back. He’s used to this kind of speech from Lassie, but never Jules. The cold hurt in her eyes makes something in his chest twist painfully. “Crystal,” he says, his voice quiet and flat. He turns and walks away.
He doesn’t make it out of the station before Gus is tugging him back towards the interrogation room, absolutely frantic and nearly yelling something about his dad getting arrested. Shawn resigns himself to a miserable, tiring day on the job.
“Alright, O’Hara, if we’re gonna arrest Winnie Guster, I’ll need you to distract Spencer and Guster.”
In the passenger seat, Juliet snaps her head around to give her partner a confused look. “What? Why?”
“You know them. If they get involved, I won’t just be arresting someone, I’ll be arresting someone while Spencer does his stupid dance and Guster will, I don’t know, have a breakdown or something.”
“You could distract them while I arrest her.”
“The goal here is for me to spend as little time with Spencer and Guster as possible.”
Juliet considers arguing, contemplates pressing her point- she could fight him enough on this that he would give in just to shut her up, but that would take energy she doesn’t have. Also, they’re pulling up outside the Gusters’ house right now- she doesn’t have time, either. With a sigh, the detective relents. “Alright,” she says, opening her door. “I’ll distract Shawn and Gus, you arrest Mrs. Guster.” With that, she climbs out of the car.
“Hey, guys,” she says casually, approaching Shawn and Gus on the sidewalk.
“Hey Jules,” Shawn says, and if he says it a little too quickly, she pretends not to notice. “Y’know, I think we should talk. Do you think we should talk? We kinda need to talk.”
Juliet really does not want to talk. “Now? Here?” She wrinkles her nose, tilting her head in Gus’ direction.
“Oh, Gus already knows. I tell Gus everything. But don’t worry, he’s a very good secret keeper.”
Gus nods sagely, making a zipper motion across his lips. Juliet isn’t quite sure what she expected. “Actually, I’m here on business,” she explains. Shawn’s face falls, just a bit, and a merciless hand clenches around her heart. No. No way. You don’t feel anything for him, O’Hara. You can’t feel anything for him.
“Oh, yeah,” Shawn is saying when she returns to reality. “The realtor, right? You’re here for her?”
“Well…” Juliet draws out the syllable. “The realtor has an alibi.”
“So what are you doing here?” Gus queries.
Juliet braces herself for the reaction to her next words; she can hear Carlton and a team of officers finishing up next door. “I’m just here to distract you.” Their replies are simultaneous.
“You’re very distracting.”
“Distract us from what?”
Before Juliet can respond to either man, Gus catches sight of the commotion going on behind her. “Hey! That’s my mom!” He stares at Juliet with an expression of betrayal. “You’re arresting my mom!”
“Fuller was blackmailing her, Gus,” Juliet explains, as gently as possible. “She was paying him hundreds of dollars. She and your dad are the best suspects.”
Gus stares at her blankly. “You’re arresting both of my parents for murder.”
Juliet sighs. This day just gets better and better.
Shawn buys two pineapple smoothies after his performance at the estate sale, and he and Gus head to the station to pick up their paycheck. Well, Gus goes to pick up the paycheck. Shawn winds his way back into the bullpen, only to find that Juliet’s desk is empty. He’s not immediately discouraged- loitering is one of his many skills. The psychic leans against a pillar and occasionally swaps the smoothies from hand to hand. He waits for almost ten minutes before Lassie comes around the corner.
“Spencer, what are you doing here? Guster has your check, and the case is finished. Scram!”
For some reason, Shawn isn’t getting a kick out of tormenting the head detective like he normally does. Instead of arguing, he sets the smoothie on Juliet’s desk with a sigh. “Yeah, okay. Bye, Lassie.” With that, he moves slowly out of the station.
Juliet hadn’t really intended to let Shawn stand there for so long, but when she’d spotted him, she’d frozen, and then proceeded to wage an intense war with herself (You’re still avoiding him, remember? But he brought a smoothie! It’s still possible he’s going to use you and then break your heart when he’s done. If he wanted to do that, he would’ve stopped trying after we slept together!). Just as she thinks that maybe she’ll go over there, her partner appears and shoos Shawn away, making the decision for her. He leaves the smoothie on her desk.
She tells herself that she doesn’t feel anything for him, that she can’t, that she won’t. It doesn’t lessen the punched-in-the-gut feeling she gets when she sees him sigh sadly and walk away.
Chapter 3: Give Me a Chance (I Need You Like I Need Air)
If there’s ever a good time to find out your best friend is secretly married and never told you, the middle of your own romantic troubles is not it.
Y'all are about to realize just how bad I am at slow burns.
(Does it count as a slow burn if they sleep together in the first chapter?)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn has not had a good week. Well, honestly, none of the three weeks since he’d kissed Juliet in the station had been particularly good ones, but if there’s ever a good time to find out your best friend is secretly married and never told you, the middle of your own romantic troubles is not it. And then there’d been the whole deal with the private investigator holding Gus at gunpoint… yeah, not a good week.
The psychic is brought out of his thoughts by an unfamiliar woman he thinks works at the winery. “Hey,” says the brunette, “I’m Emily. Are you that crazy psychic dude who’s in the papers all the time?”
“I’m not crazy,” says Shawn, turning back to the view of the vineyard. Even at night, it’s pretty cool.
“Oh, I meant, like, crazy cool,” she replies with a laugh. He’s facing away from her and not at all interested in the conversation, but this doesn’t stop her. She leans forward. “So, you seem like a pretty interesting guy,” she ventures. “Are you seeing anybody?”
Shawn tenses, trying not to glare when he turns to look at her. “Not exactly… but I’m not interested. No offense.”
She sits back with a tight smile. “None taken,” she says, but he’s already walking away.
“Spencer, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen you turn down a woman,” digs Lassie. “Have you somehow finally obtained a sense of professionalism?”
“I’ll get a sense of professionalism when you get a sense of humor, Lassie,” Shawn shoots back. “Gus, buddy, how you doing? You okay?”
“I’m fine, Shawn.”
“Alrighty then.” Shawn claps a hand on Gus’ shoulder, then turns back to Lassie, and, by extension, Jules. “Do you need us here, detectives, or can we go home?”
“Gus has already given his statement,” Juliet answers. She makes eye contact as she says this and Shawn smiles in spite of himself. “You guys are all good.”
Shawn even risks a wave as he and Gus head for the blueberry. He swears Jules smiles as she turns away.
Juliet stays late to finish paperwork for the Gaffney case one night- she and Carlton are still in a vague, unofficial competition of sorts, and she figures getting hers done first might give her an edge. A stupid reason it may be, but it’s increasing her productivity. Besides, it’s only half past six, it’s not like she’s staying here until midnight. Still, the sight of a certain psychic wandering the bullpen is enough to make her second guess her decision. If it makes her stomach flip pleasantly as well, that’s nobody’s business but her own. “Hey, Jules,” he says softly when he reaches her desk. “Late night?”
“Not really,” she murmurs. “Just thought I might as well get a head start on tomorrow’s workload.”
“Well, um, if you’re not too busy…” Shawn takes a deep breath, and she casts him a nervous look. “If you’re not too busy, I think we should talk.”
Juliet chews her lip. “Why is it that you always want to ‘talk’ when it’s just the two of us alone in the station?”
“Jules, I promise, I just want to clear the air between us. And after I’m done, if you want, we can go our separate ways, and I’ll let you be.”
She nods slowly, thinking of everything she’s seen from him over the past 24 hours. She remembers how frantic he’d been in the car, when Gus was in danger, and how relieved he’d been to find his best friend okay. She thinks about how he’d turned away the waitress who’d flirted with him at the vineyard. Juliet flips her case file closed and drops her pen in the jar. “Shawn, I don’t think I’ve been fair to you,” she admits. “I’ve been avoiding you, and that was an immature way to deal with my problems. I’m sorry.”
“I appreciate that, Jules. Um, look. I know you’re hesitant to start a romantic relationship with me, and I get it. I get that I’m not the most reliable person on the planet, I get that I’m immature, I get that you’ve seen me flirt with dozens of women and you can’t quite tell why you’re any different. I understand where you’re coming from, because if we’re being totally honest, I don’t know why you’re different either- all I know is that I feel a hell of a lot for you. So I don’t fault you for feeling that way, but… you left, not me. You pushed me away because you didn’t want to get hurt, but I won’t lie, that hurt me. More than I would have expected it to. I don’t know… I don’t know why you can light me up with a smile, I don’t know why when you walk away, it feels like something in my chest goes with you, but I do know this, Jules: if you’ll give me a chance, I’m willing to go all-in. I’ll make you feel like the best woman in the world. I’ll try not to be late to case briefings and whatnot. I won’t even look at another girl. I promise you won’t regret it if you give me a chance.” He rubs a hand over the back of his neck. “I mean, everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Leia, like, drags Han through the dirt in Empire Strikes Back, and they turn out fine.”
Juliet, with some effort, closes her mouth and leans back until she’s in a normal sitting position and not stretched halfway across her desk toward him. Play it cool, O’Hara. “Shawn,” she says quietly, “I think you’re right. We should talk.”
Despite their slow pace down the boardwalk, Shawn has a lot of adrenaline running through his system, and he’d really like it to cut that out. It’s hard enough to think already, with Jules right next to him and showing no signs of going anywhere, and the blood pounding in his ears is not helping the matter. Part of him wasn’t even expecting to get this far, and now he has no earthly clue what to say.
“Uh, I’m sorry,” he tries. “Sorry if I, er, pressured you into doing anything you didn’t want to. I didn’t mean to take advantage-”
“No, no,” Juliet interrupts. “No, I definitely- uh, I wanted to, um, sleep with you. That was- that was both of us.” She tucks her hair behind her ear, and Shawn notices she’s blushing. “I enjoyed it,” she says quietly. Shawn nearly trips over his own feet, and Jules cascades into a fit of laughter.
Shawn catches himself on a bench. “The board was uneven,” he insists. She keeps laughing. “It’s not that funny!”
“I know, I’m sorry,” she gasps, sitting on the bench to catch her breath. “I just- I laugh too much when I’m nervous.”
Shawn tentatively brushes a hand over her cheek, and when she doesn’t move away, he tilts her chin up a bit, just to make eye contact. “Don’t be nervous,” he says gently. “It’s just me.”
Jules smiles at him. “That’s the thing. It’s you.” She removes his hand from her face, but she doesn’t let go of it. “You matter more to me than I’d care to admit.” As they continue down the boardwalk, Shawn’s pretty sure he’s grinning from ear to ear.
Just as the sun is setting over Santa Barbara, the clouds roll in. Even in January, they have no chance of snow, so Shawn and Juliet have to run through the cold rain until they find an awning to duck under. It’s not a chilly drizzle, either; by the time they make it to the ice cream shop, both of them are soaked through. Juliet watches as Shawn surveys the room, looking from the sale board (twenty percent off the flavor of the month!) back to her. “Are you hungry?”
She laughs a little. “For ice cream?”
“I mean, I’ll buy you a milkshake if you’d rather.”
She’s already freezing, and the ice cream parlor is air-conditioned. Juliet quickly decides she doesn’t care about either of those facts- it’s almost eight, and she hasn’t eaten since lunch. “A milkshake sounds great, thanks.”
“Cool! What flavor? I like the strawberry, but everything here is good.” Shawn looks so happy, despite the fact that he’s soaked through and shivering. The grin on his face and the sparkle in his eyes make her want to kiss him. She resists only by turning to read the flavor menu.
“Ooooh, they have the seasonal peppermint one,” she notices. “I’ll have one of those.”
They end up in a booth, watching the rain pour down out the window. Juliet shivers as she slurps at her milkshake, and Shawn notices. “Uh, are you cold? Do you want my jacket?”
Somehow she knows, without ever having worn it, that his jacket will smell like him, that the leather will be damp on the outside but soft and warm against her skin. She does not- no, she should not want to accept, should not want to wrap herself in something that will smell and feel of him, but if she’s being honest with herself, any hope of keeping their relationship professional had gone out the window as soon as he’d stepped into her personal space, almost a month ago. This, whatever it is, is now something real. Juliet nods and tugs the jacket on when Shawn hands it across the table to her.
When she looks back up, he’s regarding her with an intense expression she can’t quite decipher. “What?”
“Jules....” he hesitates, fidgeting with the wrapper of his straw. “Jules, is this a date?”
She tilts her head, removing hair pins until her hair comes loose from the sagging bun. “No,” she says carefully, “I think this is just a talk.”
“Okay,” he continues slowly, “would you… like me to take you on a date? Maybe this weekend? We could have a nice dinner somewhere?”
“I think I would like that, Shawn,” she responds with a smile. The thought of a night with Shawn, of a real romance instead of just frantically tearing at each other’s clothes as they tumble into his bed makes her feel almost as warm as the jacket does. “I think I would like that.”
He grins at her again. “Then it’s a date, Detective O’Hara. I’ll pick you up at seven.”
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think, with a comment, or by messaging chiefkarenvick on tumblr!
Chapter 4: He Knows it's All Worthwhile
"I need to impress a girl."
Henry gives him an unimpressed look.
First date time... with a side of character development (cough, Henry and Shawn, cough)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn bursts into Henry’s house approximately three hours before his date with Juliet. “Dad, I need to borrow your truck!”
Henry looks skeptical. “What for?”
“I need to impress a girl.”
His dad scoffs. “Isn’t that what you bought your motorcycle for?”
Shawn doesn’t have time for the motorcycle argument again. “You can’t stargaze on a motorcycle, Dad. Can I please borrow the truck?”
“Shawn, do you remember the last time I let you borrow my truck?”
He’d nearly driven it off a bridge because the guard rail had given easier than he’d expected. It wasn’t like he’d been going that fast. “Dad, c’mon, I was sixteen.”
Henry gives him an unimpressed look.
“I just need it for tonight, and all I’m doing is driving it out to the field by the dunes. No funny business or risky car stunts, I promise.”
Henry groans and rubs a hand over his head. “I’m gonna regret this.” He walks over to the key hook, then comes back, keys in hand. “I want it back by midnight.”
Shawn winces inwardly, but he doesn’t want to press his luck. Instead, he grins. “Midnight, got it. Thanks, Dad!” He grabs the keys and spins on his heel, leaving as quickly as he’d come.
Juliet checks her watch to find she has fewer than five minutes before Shawn arrives to pick her up… assuming he’s on time. She curses under her breath (better to give him the benefit of the doubt) and tucks her hair behind her ear one more time. She’s wearing a flowy top with leggings and sandals, neat but practical. She’s totally ready for a date. It just so happens to be a date with Shawn. This is no reason to freak out. As she’s taking deep breaths, the buzzer of her apartment’s comm system goes off. “Hey, Jules, it’s me, I’m outside. Do you wanna let me up or are you gonna come down?”
“I’ll be right down,” she says into the speaker. She straightens her shoulders, grabs her purse, and heads out the door.
Shawn offers her his arm as soon as she hits the sidewalk. “You look beautiful.”
Juliet blushes. “Thank you.” She takes his arm. “Where are we going tonight?”
“Uh, a burger joint near the end of the boardwalk. It’s got reasonable prices and a good atmosphere.” He suddenly gives her a nervous look. “Not that I’m opposed to spending money for you, I just, um, I’m kind of perpetually broke.”
She squeezes his arm reassuringly. “Shawn, you don’t have to go all-out. If the food is good, I’ll be fine.” He smiles at her, and she’s helpless to do anything but smile back. “So, how was your week?”
“Well, it started out kinda lame, because I found out my best friend got married and never told me, but then this cute girl I really like agreed to go out with me,” he jokes. “So, all in all, pretty good.”
Juliet laughs and shoves him lightly. “You goof.”
Shawn chuckles. “Seriously though, you are the highlight of my week. Besides this, the most exciting thing that’s happened is Gus buying us the expensive kind of coffee for the Psych office.”
“Ooooh, drama,” Juliet teases. “You boys must be getting paid well. Find any rich baron’s runaway child lately?”
“Don’t be silly, that was last month. And I’ll have you know I am very much a man.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it.”
“And you will see it,” he assures her. “I told you, didn’t I? I said I’d work harder to be serious and more mature.”
“And I appreciate that,” she says with a smile. “But I also enjoy your sense of humor.”
He beams at her, a wide smile full of delight. She thinks that she might be able to get lost in his eyes, thinks that she could stare at them all day and not know exactly what color they are. She’s damn near ready to pull him into a kiss right there on the boardwalk, but he has to go and ruin the moment.
“Jules, you’re so short.”
She blinks. “Excuse me?”
“You’re always wearing heels, so I’ve never noticed, but you’re ridiculously tiny. How tall are you, anyway?”
She straightens her spine and squares her shoulders. “Five three.”
“Oh my god. You’re so short.”
“How tall are you?”
“Well, I could still kick your ass if I wanted to.”
“Oh for sure,” he says with a smirk. “Hey, we’re here.”
Juliet takes three steps through the door and gasps in delight. The restaurant has high ceilings and dark wood paneling. Delicious smells waft through the air and a white noise of chatter surrounds her. The music drifts around them, just loud enough for her to hear it.
Wake me up
Before you go-go
’Cause I’m not planning on going solo
Wake me up
Before you go-go
Take me dancing tonight
“Shawn” she gasps, “I love it!” She beams at him and he grins at her, wrapping an arm around her waist. They step up to the hostess stand and as Shawn asks for a table, Juliet is stuck by how easy this is, by how normal it feels to lean into him, to feel him so close to her. It’s strangely comforting. She’s smiling wide as they sit at a table near a window that overlooks the dunes.
“Good view, huh?”
“Not as beautiful as you.”
Juliet laughs. “Shawn Spencer, a romantic. Who knew?”
“You make me want to be. I would happily buy all the roses in California if it would show you how much you mean to me.”
She feels like she’s going to melt into a puddle if he keeps looking at her with that earnest adoration in his eyes. “Shawn…” she realizes she doesn’t know where that sentence is going, and ends up giving him a smirk. “I prefer carnations.”
“Good to know.” A waiter appears, and Shawn orders a beer. “Jules, what do you want?”
“I’ll take the same as him,” she tells the waiter. When he leaves, she turns her attention back to Shawn. “I’m counting on you, since you’ve been here before. You’d better not lead me astray.” She rests her elbows on the table and her chin in her hands and grins.
“I’ll do my best,” Shawn promises. “I bet you would like…” he flips through the menu with one hand at his temple; she’s not sure if he’s joking or not. “The mini-burgers. Might I recommend the blue cheese variety?”
Juliet reads the description on the menu and nods. “Sounds good to me.”
They get their drinks and order their food. Juliet sips slowly at her beer and regards Shawn quizzically. “You know, outside of work… and any psychic abilities, we really don’t know that much about each other.”
“I know your favorite color is pink, I know you take your coffee with one cream and one sugar, unless you’ve been awake for more than twenty-four hours- then you drink it black. I know you like cats but you don’t have any at the moment…” he trails off. “Okay, yeah, you’re right.”
“Well,” Juliet thinks about what to share. “I have three brothers and three nephews, but my brother Oliver is in the process of adopting a little girl. I grew up outside of Miami and I went to University of Miami for college. Until I was eleven years old, I wanted to be a ballerina.”
“What changed your mind?”
When she was eleven, her mother had kicked her father out for good. After that, it had slowly donned on her that Frank was more than a horrible dad- he was a criminal. “Career Day. I thought the police officers were really cool,” she murmurs, playing with a strand of her hair.
“Well, you’ve still got the legs of a dancer,” he jokes. She laughs at the casual flattery. “Okay, my turn. I grew up in Santa Barbara, no siblings, just me and my parents. I met my best friend ever when we were seven years old and he’s been stuck with me ever since. My parents, ah, divorced when I was sixteen. My mom left me with my dad and it… wasn’t great. He wanted me to be a cop, I wanted to do anything else. I left as soon as I could, and didn’t come back until I was twenty-six. I was only supposed to be in town for Gus’ birthday, but I got caught up in a robbery investigation…” Shawn stops talking suddenly. “Uh, and the rest is history.”
Juliet squints at him. There’s a question on the tip of her tongue, but she isn’t sure what she’ll do if she asks and then doesn’t like the answer. Not tonight, she thinks. Give it time. “What did you want to be when you were little?”
“A cop,” Shawn answers, with a humorless smile. “My dad tr- my dad wanted me to be a cop, but I… went down a different road.”
“Funny, from the amount of time you spend at the station, I would never have noticed,” Juliet teases.
Shawn volleys right back. “Can I help it if seeing you makes my whole day better?” Juliet blushes.
“I think your bark is worse than your bite, Mr. Spencer.”
“Oh, Jules,” he says, his voice low. “You have no idea what you do to me, do you?”
She shivers, and notices for the first time that they’ve both leaned towards each other across the table. It would be so easy to reach up, to grab the collar of his shirt and pull him in…
“Two blue cheese mini burgers and one cheesesteak?” Their food arrives and they jump back, making room for the plates on the table. Juliet can feel herself blushing even more.
They talk and laugh and flirt over the meal. From the speakers, one song blends into another blends into the next. As Juliet is munching on the last of her fries (it’s a pretty large meal, but she’s hungrier than usual) Shawn glances out the window. “The sun has just set,” he announces. “Perfect.”
“Perfect for what?”
“Stargazing, of course!” With that, Shawn throws a few twenties onto the table and grabs her hand. “Have you ever stargazed out by the dunes?”
“Then you’re in for an awesome surprise.” Before Juliet can say another word, he’s pulled her out the door.
Shawn climbs into the bed of the pickup as the music he’s hooked up begins to play from inside the car. “What do you think?”
“It’s perfect.” Jules is lying down, stretched over the blanket he’s laid out with her hands under her head.
“Great view, huh?” Shawn can’t even bring himself to look at the stars when he could be watching the delighted expressions on Juliet’s face. Unfortunately, she knows him well.
“If you’re looking at me, I’m going to kick you.”
“Too cheesy for you?”
“It’s a bit of a cliche.” She turns her head to smile at him. “I can’t believe you’ve got David Bowie playing.”
“It’s my dad’s truck, so it’s his music,” Shawn explains, lying down next to her. He wants to wrap his arms around her but he doesn’t think they’re there yet, so he keeps distance between them. “Besides, I think it fits, don’t you?”
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
’Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
“It’s very nice,” she agrees. “Wow, look- we can see the Milky Way!”
“Oh, yeah,” Shawn confirms, staring at the cloudy shimmer above them. A breeze blows by and he shivers. Glancing at Jules, he realizes she’s only wearing a thin top. “Hey, do you want my jacket?”
She takes it and wraps it around herself with a smile. “If you’re not careful, I’m going to steal this for good.”
He chuckles. “Well, it would go to a good cause.” She’s closer to him now but they’re still not touching. To resist the urge to push her hair from her face, Shawn starts pointing out constellations he remembers his dad teaching him. When he runs out of those, he starts making things up.
It’s only when it’s totally dark and they’ve been talking and laughing for so long that Shawn feels hoarse that he thinks to check his watch. “Aw, shit, it’s eleven-thirty,” he groans. “I told my dad I’d be back by midnight.”
Jules laughs at him. “You’re a twenty-seven year old man, and you still have a curfew?”
“Of course not. Only, this is his truck. I told him I’d have it back.”
“Well…” he hears shifting, and then nearly jumps out of his skin when he feels her next words ghost across his neck. “You’ve always struck me as a bit of a rulebreaker.”
“I’m trying to follow the rules. For you.”
She kisses his cheek. “You’re sweet. But let’s not go home just yet.” And then she curls into his side, and Shawn knows he’s not going anywhere. He wraps an arm around her and pulls her close.
When he wakes up, a glance at his watch tells him it’s 2:46. Shit. “Jules,” he mutters hoarsely. She’s still asleep. “Jules, wake up.”
“Wha?” She turns to face him but doesn’t move off of his chest.
“We fell asleep,” he explains. “It’s almost three.”
She sits up at that. “Three in the morning?”
“Shit.” She climbs out of the bed and he follows her, both of them scrambling into the cab. “I’m sorry if I get you in trouble with your dad,” she apologizes as they drive.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m in trouble with my dad more often than not,” he deflects. “I liked spending time with you, anyway.”
She smiles at him and slowly reaches to rest a hand on his arm. “Tonight was wonderful, Shawn. Thank you.” She points out a road sign. “This turn up here.” Shawn drives up to the apartment building he remembers from earlier that night, and then exits and pens Jules’ door for her. Once she gets out, they’re standing on the step of her building, face to face. They’re close enough that Shawn could press his lips to hers just by bending down a bit. Should I kiss her? Does she want that? Or would she slap me?
“Shawn,” Juliet murmurs, “you’ve already pointed out how much shorter than you I am. If you want to kiss me, you’re gonna have to come down here.”
Shawn doesn’t need to be told twice. He drops his mouth to hers and kisses her gently at first, then with more heat. She whimpers a bit and sighs when they break apart, her eyes still closed. Shawn kisses her once more on the cheek. “Goodnight, Jules. Thanks for giving me a chance.”
She smiles at him. “You didn’t disappoint. I’ll see you soon, Shawn. Goodnight.”
Henry looks at the clock as he hears the door open and close. Just past three am. Grumbling to himself, he gets off the couch and meets his son in the kitchen, arms folded over his chest. “I said midnight, Shawn.”
“Dad, I know, and I was gonna be back, honest, but-”
“I don’t want to hear it, Shawn. This is a recurring theme with you! You’ll say whatever you have to to get your way, and then totally ignore any promise you’ve made, to hell with the consequences.”
“Dad, why are you even awake?”
“Sooner or later all of your decisions are gonna bite you in the ass, kid. You’re gonna have to face the music and I sure as hell won’t be there to help you.”
“Is this still about the truck?”
“This is about so much more than the truck! As long as it’s intact, I couldn’t care less if you get it to me at midnight or at seven in the morning. This is about you not keeping your promises. You’ve never kept your promises.”
“Oh, I’ve never kept my promises? You’re one to talk. Or, do marriage vows not count?”
“No, Dad, it’s my turn to yell now. I’m trying, okay? I’m trying to be better, more reliable. But you- you only pay attention when I fall short. If you’re so confident that you know how everything works than answer me this, dad- how am I supposed to improve if all you tell me is that I’m doing it wrong?”
Henry stares at him, inwardly dismayed. It seems like every time he tries to reach out to his son, Shawn shoves his attempts back in his face. Henry never means to yell, but somehow, he always does.
“Fun fact,” Shawn spits, “I’ve felt more motivated to follow rules and be mature in half a week with Jules than I have in twenty-seven years with you. Maybe sleep on that one.” Shawn stalks toward the door, and Henry follows him before he consciously knows what he’s doing.
“What the hell do you want, Dad?”
“Shawn…” Henry runs a hand over his head. “Shawn, I’m not trying to make you miserable. You seem to think that’s all I do, but I do want you to be happy.” He sighs. “I’m glad things are working out with you and Juliet.”
Shawn nods, his expression inscrutable in the darkness. “Goodnight, Dad.”
There's a bit of foreshadowing in the dinner scene... pretty subtle, but I wonder if anyone picked up on it? ;) (bonus if you catch the foreshadowing to two different events)
Chapter 5: Flu Season
A month into her relationship with Shawn, Juliet comes down with the flu... or does she?
Episode Tag: 2x15 Black and Tan
Over the next month, Juliet spends a lot of time with Shawn. They have an official “date” about once a week, going out to dinner or a movie or just walking down the boardwalk. She’s enjoying this, enjoying the laughter and the kissing and the way Shawn looks at her like she’s the most perfect woman in the world. He’ll show up at the station with lunch and smoothies, which in turn means she’s eating healthier and on a more regular schedule. She’d never thought that skipping lunch occasionally would have much of an impact, but she’s devouring everything he brings her, so it obviously does.
So yes, she’s on top of the world, but the past week has been hard and exhausting. There’s a homicide case with lots of rich people who’d like to keep their secrets, from adultery to intellectual theft, and if that weren’t enough, it seems as though she’s come down with the flu. For the third time that morning, the detective retches into the toilet, despite the fact that at this point, there’s nothing left but bile. Her phone chimes with another text and she groans. Okay, so now the assistant-slash-vice president is their prime suspect. Fantastic. With another groan, she gets to her feet and rinses out her mouth. If this continues much longer, I should probably take a sick day.
Juliet picks up the almost-empty smoothie cup and drops it in an evidence bag. “Could be poison,” she offers, watching the EMTs roll the gurney with the woman who is no longer their prime suspect into an ambulance.
Her partner frowns. “Who would poison her? So far what we’ve got is that she killed Ciaobella and Gregor so she could run the company. Who would be after her?”
Juliet scans the area for clues, but she’s already done so several times and she’s still feeling a minor sense of exhaustion- in this state, she’s not going to find anything new. “Uh, Shawn, have you… sensed anything that could explain this?”
Shawn presses his lips together and shakes his head. “Nope, sorry Jules,” he says. “This will require an extended conversation with the spirits… and maybe the victim. I’ll think on it and maybe talk to her when she wakes up.”
“If she wakes up,” Lassiter corrects. Juliet smacks him lightly.
“Carlton, we’ve talked about this. Being negative doesn’t help anybody.”
“Neither does pretending to be psychic.”
Juliet rolls her eyes. She doesn’t have the energy for this right now. “I’m going back to the station, Carlton. I need your keys.”
“You are not driving my car!”
“Then stop arguing with Shawn and let’s go.”
She practically drags him out of the fashion office, suppressing a smile at the grin her boyfriend gives her as she does.
Shawn finishes his speech with a dramatic flourish of the arm- Gregor and Ciaobella were each trying to kill the other, they both succeeded, and Emily was caught in the crossfire because she just had to drink those same smoothies. Unfortunately, the detectives in the back don’t seem as impressed as he’d expected. Lassie is scowling in confusion and Jules, though it may just be the lighting, looks faintly ill. Shawn frowns.
“Who do we arrest?” demands Lassie.
Shawn shrugs. “I don’t know. Both of the murderers are dead.”
“So why are we here?” Jules asks.
He shrugs again. “All I do is tell you how it happened. Anything else is above my pay grade.”
Lassie rolls his eyes. “C’mon, O’Hara, let’s get out of here.”
Shawn is unfazed. He turns back to the irate stage manager whose presentation he’d interrupted. “Sorry,” he apologizes, leaving the stage. Murderer or no murderer, he’s still in a good mood- it’s Friday, which means he’s got a date with Jules. “Gus, buddy! Time to go! I think we may have outstayed our welcome.”
Gus looks reluctant to leave the models who have gathered around him. ”You have outstayed your welcome, Shawn.”
“I’ve heard it both ways. Let’s hurry out of here before the fame goes to your head.”
Gus is unamused.
Juliet flops onto her couch with a sigh. It’s not that she doesn’t want to go to dinner with Shawn, but at the moment, she’s worn out from the case and whatever virus is running through her system. Right now ice cream and dozing off with a book or something seems more appealing than dressing up and going out. I need some rest. He’ll understand. Sighing again, the detective reaches for her phone.
Sorry to cancel, but I haven’t been feeling great this week. I’m gonna take it easy over the weekend and hope I feel better by Monday. Rain check?
A reply comes quickly.
Get well soon <3 <3 <3
Relieved, Juliet curls into herself and tugs a blanket around her shoulders. She gets three chapters into To Kill a Mockingbird before she hears a knock at her door. Okay, who the hell…
Her boyfriend grins at her, holding up a bag of groceries and a DVD case. “I have The Breakfast Club , ingredients for chicken soup, and ice cream, if you want it.”
She gapes. “If I weren’t sick, I would kiss you.”
“Well, that’s a risk I’ll have to take.”
It doesn’t take much convincing, and soon enough, Juliet is sitting at her kitchen table, once again wrapped in her blanket, stealing kisses and telling Shawn where to locate various kitchen implements, “I could get used to this,” she says softly.
Shawn smiles at her. “What? Me making you dinner?”
“Well, not that specifically,” she laughs. “But… eating in instead of every date being someplace fancy. Movies and ice cream and making out on the couch.”
“Who said anything about making out?”
“Stop changing the subject.”
“Okay… well, you’re right. This is nice. I like spending time with you. I like having you in my life. You make me very happy.”
“And you can always make me laugh. You brighten my day and the more time I spend with you, the more I can see that you are a good man. I’m glad I didn’t push you all the way away.” Juliet laughs at herself as she feels tears brimming in her eyes. Emotional much, O’Hara?
Shawn tilts her chin up with his hand. “I am very fond of you.”
Juliet pulls him in for a kiss.
Shawn looks away from the movie credits to find Jules asleep on his chest, which he doesn’t have any problem with, except for the fact that one, he can’t feel his legs, and two, if she’s sick she should be sleeping restfully in bed, not curled on the couch under a thin blanket. He runs his fingers through her hair. “Wake up, baby.”
Jules shifts against him, groning sleepily. “Huh. Sorry I fell asleep on you… I guess I’m not much fun in this state.”
He kisses her slowly, drawing a happy noise from her. “I don’t mind.”
“What time is it?”
“Mmn.” Jules frowns. “It’s probably a little late for making out, then.” She cocks her head. “Unless you want to stay the night?”
Shawn can honestly say he’s never had such a stupid reaction to being flirted with since high school. “Unless I- making out- what?”
She blushes. “Okay, that sounds bad. I meant making out and then sleeping. Actually sleeping, I’m too worn out for anything else.”
Shawn lets his fingers wander to the edge of her shirt. “I’m down for that.” Jules smirks and pulls him in for a kiss. His hands wander, but when they reach her breasts, she hisses and pulls away. “Sorry-”
“You’re fine,” she assures, nipping at his neck. “Just PMS, I think. It’s close to that time of the month.”
“Alright.” Shawn captures her lips and kisses her until they’re both out of breath.
An hour or so later, Juliet pulls him into her bed and takes fewer than five minutes to fall asleep on him again. Shawn grins up at the ceiling. “Jules, you were right. I could get used to this.”
Chapter 6: I Gave My Heart to Her
Shawn and Juliet each have a personal revelation.
This is quite possibly my favorite chapter so far.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn spins lazily in his office chair. It’s a slow day at Psych, and if it weren’t for the motion his chair provides, he would move to the couch. He tosses a stress ball into the air and then catches it, lost in thought. “Gus,” he asks slowly, “did you love Mira?”
Gus sits up to look at him, but Shawn doesn’t make I contact. “Did I what?”
“Or maybe not Mira, I just thought of her ‘cause you married her. Have you ever been in love with anyone?”
“Shawn Spencer is thinking about marriage?”
“Right now,” Shawn says testily, “I’m thinking about love.”
“You think you’re in love with Juliet.”
“Well… yeah. I mean… that’s what I was going to ask you about.”
“You were gonna ask me if you were in love with Juliet?”
“You’re an outside eye, and you’re better with people than I am…”
Out of the corner of his eye (he’s still spinning) he sees Gus nod. “Shawn, I think you are in love with her. I’ve been around you for the past two months, and your behavior has changed drastically. You were normal, and then you were super depressed, and now you’re back to normal, but like… happier, and, dare I say it, more mature.”
Shawn sits up. “Don’t insult me.”
“It’s true, though. I don’t think you’ve missed a single meeting unless we were out somewhere else actively working a case.”
His head tilts back and forth as he considers. “Cool. I’m gonna tell her.”
Shawn pulls out his phone. “She gets off work in, like, an hour. I’ll meet her on the boardwalk.”
Gus shrugs and turns back to his book. “Good luck.”
Juliet has finished all her paperwork and is turning it into the chief, which is normally a simple affair. Today, however, as she hands in the last folder, Karen speaks. “Detective, how are you doing?”
Juliet recalls how she’d once again spent the morning hunched over the toilet and promptly lies through her teeth. “Good, why do you ask?”
“It seems like you’ve been a bit under the weather recently. You looked slightly ill at the crime scene the other day.”
“Uh…” Juliet fidgets with a strand of hair. “I guess I probably have a virus of some kind. I wake up feeling sick but it’s normally fine by lunchtime. I’m just letting it run its course.”
Karen raises an eyebrow. “Does coffee help?”
“No… not really. It actually makes it worse, to the point where I’ve kind of stopped drinking it.”
The chief is giving Juliet her full attention now. “Detective O’Hara, to me that sounds like morning sickness.”
“...morning sickness? As in pregnancy?”
Karen nods. “Is it a possibility?”
Oh my god. Juliet O’Hara, what the fuck have you done? “I…” she sits in a chair in front of the desk, no longer trusting her legs. “It- it’s possible. I don’t-” she takes a deep breath. “I should… I should talk to the father.”
“That would be my advice, yes.”
“How… how did you know?”
“For one thing, I don’t know, and you should absolutely take a test or make a doctor’s appointment, or something. For another…” Karen smiles. “Call it motherly intuition.”
The chief’s own daughter, Juliet recalls, is just about a year old. “Okay,” she responds quietly. “I think… I think I’m going to clock out now.”
Leaving the chief’s office, Juliet realizes she’s got a text from Shawn.
Can we talk? Meet me on the boardwalk after you finish work? <3
She gulps and texts him back. Yeah, we should talk. Headed your way now.
As she straightens her desk, she realizes her hands are shaking. What does he want to talk about? Could it be any bigger than what I’ve got to say? Is he breaking up with me? Will he, after I tell him this? Should I tell him, if I’m not even sure? Oh my god, what the hell am I going to do?
“Detective O’Hara?” McNabb’s voice pulls her from her thoughts.
“What?” she only startles a bit.
“Sorry to bother you, but, uh, you looked a bit upset. Are you alright?”
“I’m fine, Buzz, thanks.” She gives him a tight smile, picking up her bag and heading for the door.
Here goes nothing.
By the time she meets Shawn on the boardwalk, Juliet’s nerves have manifested into full-on fidgeting. She pushes a strand of hair behind her ear, plays with the buttons of her shirt, and tucks the same hair behind her ear again. “Um, Shawn?” she asks finally. “You had something we needed to talk about?”
“Yeah!” Her boyfriend grins at her her, bouncing on the balls of his feet. “Jules, I’ve had an epiphany.”
“So, I was thinking, about you, about us, about how this past month has been the happiest month I’ve had in a long time, and I realized…” he turns to face her, taking her hands in his. They stop walking, but he’s lead her out onto a section of boardwalk that’s almost flooded and is never used, so they’re not in anyone’s way. “I realized I love you. I’m in love with you. And, just because I love the way it feels to say it, I’ll say it again: I love you, Juliet O’Hara.”
Juliet doesn’t think she’s capable of verbally expressing happiness with everything that’s swirling through her head; she doesn’t even feel like she could smile. Instead, she presses a soft, gentle kiss to his lips. When they break apart, he holds her close, and she rests her forehead against his. She takes a shaky breath. “I think I’m pregnant.”
He stares at her in shock, but to his credit, he does not pull away. “And- and I’m the father?”
Juliet folds her arms across her chest, stepping back a bit. If she’s honest with herself, she feels like being the first to move away will lessen the pain when he runs. “Shawn, you’re the only man I’ve slept with in the past, I don’t know, year!”
“Right, right, yeah, um,” he runs a hand through his hair, exhaling shakily. “Um, what- what are you gonna do?”
She stares at him. “I have no idea.”
“Okay, that’s fair. Well, whatever you do… whatever you decide, I’m gonna be right here. You’ve got my full support. I’m not going anywhere.”
Juliet throws her arms around his neck and bursts into tears. He wraps her in a hug and rubs her back. “Are you okay?”
She groans and lets her head drop to his shoulder. “No. I’ve just made it from Junior Detective to Detective. I’ve been here for what, two years? I should be focusing on my career, not on children. Also, no offense, but we’ve been dating for a month. This situation is… not ideal.”
“True,” Shawn replies, nodding. “Have you taken a test yet?”
“No… I- I wanted to wait for you.”
He notices the hesitation in her voice and pulls away a bit to look her in the eye. “You thought I’d freak out and run, didn’t you?”
She shrugs. “Maybe…”
He kisses her sweetly on the cheek. “I’m not going anywhere. Do you want to go get a test and then we can go back to your place and find out for sure?”
“Yeah.” Juliet takes a deep breath. “Yeah, let’s do that.”
Shawn sits on the edge of Juliet’s bed, his knee bouncing. How long do those things take, anyway? Sure, it hasn’t even been five minutes, but that’s a long time to be alone with his thoughts. A kid? What am I gonna do with a kid? I didn’t even want kids three months ago! But with Jules… I think I’ll love any kid I have with her, even if they’re super unexpected with horrible timing. What if she doesn’t want it, though? I wouldn’t blame her… she’s got a good thing going and a baby sure would throw a wrench in the works- plus, I’m not the most reliable person.
As he continues to worry, the door swings open. He looks up at Juliet, his heart in his throat. She looks, dare he say it, scared as she holds up three sticks, all of them showing plus signs. “Shawn,” she says quietly, “I’m definitely pregnant.”
“Okay,” he responds, trying to keep his voice calm, “do you… know what you want to do?”
“No, Shawn, I don’t,” she snaps, flopping onto the bed with a sigh. “Right now, all I know is that I want pasta with basil pesto, and some time to think.”
Shawn leans over and kisses her forehead. “I have no idea what that is, but I can follow a recipe.”
“I love you.”
He smiles, although the simple expression cannot possibly convey how hearing her say that makes his heart swell with joy. “I love you too.”
next week: d e c i s i o n s
Chapter 7: A Sign From the Universe
Juliet has a decision to make.
kinda hard to update this at 9am every saturday when I keep sleeping past 9
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn and Juliet don’t always get the chance to spend the night together, but when they do, it’s divine. Juliet is a cuddler, and she’s quickly turning Shawn into one. They’ll fall asleep wrapped around each other, and then in the morning Juliet’s alarm goes off and she wakes Shawn with soft kisses everywhere. The morning after the revelation, however, waking up is a lot less gentle for both of them.
Shawn wakes to an elbow in his ribs as Juliet scrambles out of bed. He blinks, confused, hearing retching noises coming from the connected bathroom. Waking up a bit more, he realizes he should probably help.
“I’m sorry you feel bad,” he murmurs sympathetically, gathering her hair back in his hands. Juliet groans in response. He rubs a hand over her back. “Is there anything I can do to help?”
“No, not really,” she says, standing and wetting a washcloth. “Morning sickness means the baby’s healthy, if I remember sex ed correctly,” she adds.
Shawn nods, still trying to remain impartial. Jules has a weird look on her face, like she’s confused herself, but she shakes it off and grabs her toothbrush. “Have you been feeling this bad all week?” he asks.
“For a few weeks, now,” she grumbles around the mouthful of toothpaste. “It sucks. But I’ll be fine by lunch.”
“In that case,” Shawn decides, “I’m taking you to lunch. I’ll buy you a salad or a sandwich or whatever kind of absurdly healthy food you want.”
Juliet pauses, grimacing, then removes the toothbrush and turns to bend back over the toilet. Shawn winces in sympathy. “Okay, no talking about food. Got it.”
Juliet tries to focus on her paperwork, really, she does. She tries to throw herself into her job and forget about everything else and calm herself with the scratch of pen on paper. But it’s impossible, because she can only focus on one thing: she’s growing a new life inside her, and she’s really not sure she wants to be.
She’s on the up-and-up, career-wise. In her line of work, she needs to be free to work long hours and go days or weeks at a time with only fleeting glimpses of her own bed. There’s a reason she hadn’t been dating much, before Shawn. Because I had already half-fallen for him. She shakes herself and tries once again to focus on her papers, to no avail.
Yes, she wants kids, but she’d assumed she had time for that, time to settle down and get married and be stable in her job. She’d thought she’d be having kids in her mid thirties, not her mid twenties. She’s twenty-six, but somehow, it still feels like she’s sixteen. Juliet sighs and flips a page in her report. Carlton looks up. “What’s the matter?”
I’m pregnant and the father of my child is fairly unreliable and just a little bit crazy. “Nothing,” she sighs.
He snorts. “You keep sighing and you’ve hardly gotten any work done.” Juliet shrugs. “Fine, then. Don’t tell me.”
Juliet bites her lip and returns her attention to her paperwork.
Does Shawn want kids? Do I want kids with him? How, exactly, would I raise a child and be a detective at the same time? If there’s one thing she knows, it’s that she’s not going to leave her dream job just because she’s pregnant. But maybe she could do both…
Juliet thinks about how her first reaction to her morning sickness earlier that day had been to think about the health of her child. Her child. Maybe… maybe this could work.
She needs to talk to Shawn.
“I’m going on my lunch break,” she says aloud. Not waiting for a response, she grabs her bag and heads out the door.
Shawn crunches on his BLT, watching Jules devour her chicken salad. Just as she’d said, she’s clearly hungry now despite her nausea that morning. “So, I take it you’re feeling better?”
“Uh-huh.” She finishes chewing. “Um, Shawn…” he watches as she pushes her hair out of her face. “Shawn, I think I’ve decided.”
His heart stops, then threatens to burst out of his chest. “A- about the baby?”
“Yeah.” She takes a deep breath. “I’ve always wanted kids… I thought I’d have children further in the future, but… maybe this is a sign from the universe, that this was meant to happen. And Shawn, I love you, so… those two factors alone, I think we should have this child. But those aren’t the only two factors. There’s my job, there’s the responsibility of a baby… and I can’t raise this kid without you. So, I need to know, Shawn. Do you want to have a kid?”
Shawn is reeling. She wants the baby. I’m going to be a father. He can feel himself tearing up, which never happens. Foregoing words, he reaches across the table and takes her hand. She smiles at him and brushes the tears from his cheeks. He leans over to kiss her softly, and when they break apart,she rests her forehead against his.
“So we’re doing this, then?”
“Yeah. Yeah we are.”
That night, Shawn lies awake with Juliet in his arms. He lets one hand drift down to her stomach, where her t-shirt (his t-shirt) has ridden up to expose bare skin. Our baby is growing in there, he thinks as he slowly rubs his thumb back and forth. Wow. That’s crazy. What the hell am I gonna do? The psychic thinks on this for almost an hour more, eventually coming to the conclusion that he does not know what he’s going to do. Maybe he’ll call his dad or something if he gets really desperate.
With a sigh, Shawn pulls Jules closer and goes to sleep.
next chapter: season 2 finale
don't ask me how I'm gonna split up 2x16 and 3x01 I just AM okay
Chapter 8: Wanna Be Who I Couldn't Say I'd Ever Been
Shawn is juggling plates- his psychic scam, his relationship with Jules, whether or not he's actually capable of being a father. Sooner or later, he'd going to drop them.
This chapter up early bc I'm out of town tomorrow! enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet scowls at the road as she drives through the forceful rain. It’s 4am, she’s uncomfortably nauseous, and to top it all off, Shawn is god-only-knows where, without even leaving a note. She grabs her phone- she may as well make sure he’s not dead in a ditch somewhere. After two rings, he picks up.
”Shawn Spencer, Psychic Extraordinaire, I’ve been expecting your call.”
“Where are you?”
She hears a sound like he’s lost his balance on top of something metal. ”Shit, Jules, I didn’t think you’d be up.”
“You thought you could sneak out and then sneak back in and I’d be none the wiser?”
”Well, when you say it like that-”
“Shawn, I’m not in the mood to be talked in circles. Either give me a sensical explanation or just hang up already.”
“I’m doing… Psych stuff. The spirits are most talkative before five. Speaking of which, why are you up?”
“Lassiter and I have the privilege of responding to an alarm at the museum. But you’re working a private case,” she says, her voice too sweet. “I won’t bother you with it.”
“Jules, I didn’t mean to worry you-”
“Oh, I’m not worried! Have fun chatting with ghosts, Shawn. I’ll see you tonight, if you’re home.”
“Are we not on for lunch?”
“Not anymore. I have better things to do with my lunch break.”
Juliet hangs up as she pulls into the parking lot. Instead of getting out of the car, she drops her head to the steering wheel, avoiding the horn. The detective groans and rubs at her stomach. “God, I hope we can do this.”
Shawn bounces into the museum, searching the sleep-deprived cops for a familiar face. He spies Juliet, but before he can continue his apologies and excuses, he’s intercepted by the museum curator.
“Mr. Spencer, I’m a huge fan of your work-”
“Mr. Spencer is my dad. I would say call me Shawn, but I don’t think you should do that either. I have a girlfriend.” Yes, he’s being rude, but it’s not even five in the morning. He gets a pass.
He sees Lassie arrive, coffees in hand. "Here, O'Hara. Two creams, one sugar." Shawn winces, knowing this won't end well. Sure enough, Jules frowns and pushes him gently away. "Um, thanks, but I'm good." She frowns, and Shawn thinks he's the only one who notices her hand drift to her stomach. "I'll, uh, be back." Without another word, she rushes out, presumably for a bathroom.
Lassiter frowns. "What was that?"
The chief gives a tight, false smile. "I'm sure she's fine.”
Shawn lets himself glance longingly in the direction Jules had gone, then bounces toward the section of the Egyptology exhibit that’s not yet open for business. Sure enough, the mummy’s case is empty. He has barely fifteen seconds to look around before he’s joined by his posse of police officers, but it’s enough.
Shawn raises a hand to his temple and lets his eyes flutter closed. “Something is awake!” he exclaims. “Yes, even this early in the morning. Something- or someone- has awoken! I can see bandages, and augh, the smell is so strong! I smell death! And rot!”
He manages to follow the footprints he’d noticed without opening his eyes. They lead away from the class case, but he walks towards it, collapsing onto it with a gasp. “Nobody stole your mummy,” he tells the curator.
She folds her arms. “Then where is it?”
Shawn fixes her with a stare. She’s totally into him; it can’t hurt to make her squirm a bit. “It left of its own accord.”
Juliet reappears, looking about as amused as Lassiter. “You think the mummy just… got up and walked away, without a trace?”
“Of course not.” Shawn holds up his fingers, ticking off his list. “Fingerprints on the glass. Footprints on the tile. And of course, the alarm that brought you here in the first place.”
Lassie and Jules exchange glances, then turn back to him and shake their heads. Their synchronization is a little creepy. Chief Vick only sighs. “Mr. Spencer, I understand it’s early, and I know you’re always inclined to… walk the road less traveled, but this is preposterous.”
He winks at her. “That’s what everyone says, at first.”
Juliet smiles at Shawn as she chops lettuce for a salad. “I can’t believe you got locked in a museum overnight.”
“It was all part of the plan, baby,” he says, kissing her cheek. “Admittedly, not my best plan, but still.”
She laughs and shakes her head, taking the salad bowl he offers her. “You could’ve just told me you were out getting dirt on the candidate for chief of police the other night, you know.”
Her boyfriend suddenly appears nervous. He steps back from her, grabbing dishes to set the table. “I know,” he mutters, “but it’s… it’s complicated, the whole psychic thing. Sometimes the, uh, visions come and they’re random, like, in the middle of the night, when I’m not sure I’m not just dreaming…” He shakes himself and gives her a quick smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. “I’m sorry for ghosting you like that. I’ll work on giving you a heads up before I go chasing down leads and whatnot.”
Juliet wraps her arms around him, enjoying his warm body against hers. “Thank you. That’s all I want.”
Shawn smiles down at her. “Jules?”
“I love you.”
“Love you too.”
He drops his head until his breath is blowing over her lips. “I’m going to kiss you on the mouth now.”
He does exactly that.
Shawn is stressing out. Not over a case, no, there’s none of those at the moment, but over pretty much everything else. He hates lying to Jules, but at this point he’s in over his head; he’s got to keep his psychic charade going. And over the last week, his excitement about becoming a father has morphed into fear as he realizes he has absolutely zero clue what to do.
Really, there’s only one thing Shawn can do, so he accepts his father’s dinner invitation.
“Hey Dad, for once I actually want to talk with you about something…” Shawn trails off. “Why is the table set for three? You specifically told me not to bring Gus.”
“Yeah, Shawn, this is what I’ve been trying to talk to you about all week.” Henry folds his arms across his chest.
Shawn distantly recalls a past conversation about his dad beginning to date other women. “Wait, Dad, is this about you getting back into the dating game? I do not want to talk about that. Look, I came over because I need to tell you something, it’s actually kind of important-”
“Well, so is what I’ve got to say, Shawn, and it’s time you listened. I did try to get back into the dating game, but then-”
“I can’t fucking believe you!” Shawn doesn’t want to fight, but he’s frustrated and on edge and his voice is rising of its own accord. The profanity slips from his mouth before he can stop it. “It’s time I listened? Dad, I’m here for advice, and you’re trying to talk over me, and make this all about you-”
“What I’ve got to say is slightly more pressing than whatever the hell you’re talking about, Shawn. I’ve been trying to mention it for a week but you’ve been avoiding me, so this is what you get!” The doorbell rings and Henry stomps off to answer it.
Shawn follows him down the hall, running a hand through his hair. Henry’s hand is now on the doorknob and even as he’s opening it, Shawn shouts the one thing he can think of to stop him. “You’re going to be a grandfather!”
Henry gapes, his eyes suspiciously shiny as he continues opening the door.
On the front porch, Madeline Spencer bursts into laughter.
Thanks for reading!
Chapter 9: Convergence
Maddie's back in town... and Shawn has news.
episode tag: 3x01 Ghosts
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn hangs upside down off his bed, the phone cord stretched to its limit. “I mean, I haven’t talked to my mom in years, let alone seen her, and the first thing she hears out of me is that I knocked up my girlfriend? What kind of fucking karma is that?” Gus starts to say something, but Shawn rambles on. “And now I’m stuck up here in my old room and I have no way to escape. Hey, maybe I could climb out the window and sneak to your house like we used to…”
”Hold up, Shawn,” Gus says, finally able to get a word in. "Back up, like, three steps. What do you mean, you knocked up your girlfriend?”
Shawn smacks himself in the forehead. “Shit, I forgot I hadn’t told you… I was waiting because Jules was still figuring things out and I didn’t wanna make a huge deal until she’d decided, and then we had that case and you weren’t speaking to me- which, by the way, is so unfair, how was I supposed to know you didn’t want to be locked in a museum overnight- and anyway, I’m telling you now. Juliet’s pregnant.”
”I can’t believe you. You slept together once, and now she’s pregnant with your kid? You’ve barely even been dating two months!”
“I don’t know what to tell you, Gus. I’m just that good.”
”You’re stupid, is what you are.”
“Yeah, a bit of that, too.” Shawn sighs. “Well, I’m hungry. I guess I have to go downstairs and deal with the consequences of my actions.”
”About damn time.”
“Thanks, buddy. Love you too.” Shawn hangs up the phone, then falls the rest of the way off his bed. He lies on the floor without moving for a solid ten minutes.
Maddie accepts the glass of wine Henry pours her, leaning on the counter. “So, it sounds like your life has gotten… more exciting as of late.”
Henry shakes his head and sips at his own glass. “I don’t know what the hell that kid thinks he’s doing. I mean, he’s only been dating this girl for what, a month and a half?”
She raises an eyebrow. “Has he only been seeing her for a month and a half, or did he only tell you a month and a half ago?”
Henry nods. “Good point.” He takes another swig of wine. “You know, I haven’t actually met her yet. I only found out he was seeing her because he wanted to borrow my truck for a date.” He shakes his head, sighing. “I love him like hell. You know I do. I just… don’t know how to tell him that.”
Maddie presses her lips together, reaching up to straighten Henry’s collar. “Give it time, Henry. He’s been mad at the both of us for a long time. I’m just proud of you for trying to repair the damage.”
Henry looks at her with worry in his eyes. “What if it’s too late?”
She wonders if he knows what she’s thinking when she gives him a slow, sad smile. It’s never too late.
Before he says anything, there’s a sound like a herd of elephants storming downstairs. “Hey, Mom,” Shawn mumbles, chugging the glass of wine Henry offers him. “Your disappointment of a son has emerged from his cave. Nice to see you.”
“Oh, Shawn,” Maddie sighs, “you’re not a disappointment.”
Shawn continues to sulk, refusing to look at her. “I slept with a girl before we were even dating, and now she’s pregnant. I’m pretty damn sure that’s disappointing.”
Henry leans on the counter. “Do you regret it?”
Shawn’s head snaps up and Maddie is almost caught off-guard by the intense look in his hazel eyes. “Absolutely not. I love her. And I sure as hell am going to love our kid.”
Henry wakes a hand in front of him. “There you go.” Shawn still looks unconvinced. “Shawn, the only reason I would’ve been disappointed in you is if you had left her when you found out.”
Shawn shakes his head. “I would never.”
Maddie frowns, noticing something familiar about Shawn’s expression. It reminds her of Henry’s, a bit, during the months when she was in school and he was only a beat cop and they had no idea how to raise a baby. “Shawn,” she asks softly, “this isn’t about your father and I being disappointed, is it?”
Shawn waves a hand dismissively. “Mom, don’t try to psychoanalyze-”
When she says the words aloud, Shawn seems to deflate. He pads through the kitchen and flops on the couch. “I’m terrified,” he says hoarsely.
Henry hovers behind the couch, but Maddie sits next to Shawn and takes his hand. “That’s alright,” she assures him. “I was so, so scared when I found out I was pregnant with you. I was twenty-three, and still in school. But you know what?” Shawn looks at her expectantly, but doesn’t say anything. “I got through it because I had your dad.”
Shawn slowly sits up. “So what are you telling me?”
Maddie smiles softly. “Talk to your girl. I bet she’s scared too.”
Shawn has to admit, his dad’s steak pretty much makes it worth the awkwardness of dinner with his parents. He almost feels like a teenager again, which is incredibly strange, not least because he’s going to be a father in a few months. However, with enough food, he can survive any conversation.
“So, Shawn,” Henry starts, “how long are you planning on lying to Juliet? Now that she’s, you know, the mother of your child?”
Before Shawn can retort, Maddie jumps in. “Wait, she works for the department?”
“Yeah. And Dad, I know what I’m doing is… risky. I love Jules; I hate lying to her. I want to tell her everything. I just… don’t know how.”
“How hard can it be? Just go up to her and say, ‘I’m not psychic.’ There, you did it.”
“Henry,” Maddie chastises, “you know it’s not that easy. If she works for the department, chances are she has to report to someone. It could be bad for Shawn if the detectives he’s working with find out.”
Shawn and Henry exchange glances.
“Shawn, why don’t you explain this whole situation to your mother?”
Or I could do… literally anything else. Shawn sighs. “Alright. So, Mom. Jules- uh, Juliet O’Hara. She’s a detective with the SBPD, she’s been here for a year or so, and she’s the most caring, badass, and gorgeous woman to ever walk this earth. We’ve been into each other, like, since we met- don’t give me that look, she was totally checking me out, you don’t know, you weren’t there-”
“Shawn,” Henry interrupts, “from what you’ve told me, I assume that even if she was looking you over, it’s because she was casing the joint for possible robbery suspects.”
“I’ve heard it both ways, and my way is the right way.”
“Shawn, I’m sure you’re very in love… now. I’m just saying, no cop worth their salt would flirt during a stakeout.”
Maddie raises an eyebrow. “Was that not a rule in the eighties?”
Henry blushes, which pretty much resets Shawn’s entire worldview. His father does not blush. “Uh, that’s not important. Anyway, Shawn, keep talking.”
Shawn shrugs. “A few months ago, Jules and I got together. I fell in love. We found out she’s pregnant. So yeah, that’s the story.”
Henry sighs fondly and shakes his head. Maddie smiles and leans over to grab Shawn’s hand. “I’m happy for you, Goose.”
When Shawn goes home that night to Jules, who’s already ready for bed, wearing one of his shirts, he remembers that he’s happy too.
i've actually written out a plan for how the next few chapters are gonna go be proud of me
Chapter 10: I Can't Avoid Believing
carefulconsideration, decides there's something he needs to tell Juliet.
So now that it's summer, I have no idea what day of the week it is. But don't worry- after remembering today that it was Saturday, I have set a weekly alarm on my phone. Expect next chapters at 10am EST every Saturday!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet can’t tell if Carlton is walking fast because he’s irritated or if he genuinely doesn’t know how long his legs are. She knows he’s not annoyed at her, but rather, at his imminent psych eval. Still walking double-time to keep up, she tries to reassure him. “Carlton, relax. It’s just a standard evaluation, and not even with the normal guy. Some consultant has been brought in; they probably won’t keep you half an hour. I mean, the psychologists I’ve seen here in the past few months are barely even qualified-”
They both halt right in front of a psychologist whom Juliet knows is extremely qualified.
“Dr. Spencer,” she chokes, sure she’s gone pale. Or maybe bright red.
“You know her? Wait, did you say ‘Spencer’?”
Juliet only knows her from what Shawn had told her about his dinner- he hadn’t been very responsive to her further poking for details. “Uh. Um, I know of her, she’s been in journals…”
“And yes, I believe you’ve met my son,” Maddie says, in answer to the second part of Lassiter’s question. The way his expression falls is almost comical, but Madeline ignores this and turns to Juliet. “Nice to meet you, Juliet.”
The detective is still trying to process literally running into Shawn’s mom while also preventing her partner from figuring out why she’s freaked out by Maddie. “Um. Hi.”
Carlton frowns. “Why does she already know you?”
Maddie begins to answer, but Juliet quickly cuts her off. “Oh, she’s probably read my file. She’s probably read yours, too. Oh, wait a minute, you guys are going to get started on your evaluation, aren’t you? I’ll leave you to it.”
Ignoring their confused and mildly concerned expressions, she turns on her heel and rushes off.
Maddie laughs at Henry’s retelling of a recent catastrophic fishing trip. Before she can stop laughing long enough to get a sentence out, Shawn shows up.
“Oh, Dad… I… didn’t think you’d be here.”
“I invited him to join us, Goose,” she explains softly. His eyes are dark and his normal smile has disappeared. She wonders just what Henry had meant when he’d worried that it was too late to fix their relationship.
“Oh, fun,” Shawn mutters, picking up a menu. “So, what’s good here?”
Maddie suffers through the strained silence until they order. Then, she starts a conversation. “I met Juliet this morning.”
Shawn’s head snaps up. “What? Where?”
“I was doing a few psych evals for the station.”
“Shit, I remember you mentioning that now. I should’ve given her a heads up.”
Maddie shakes her head in amusement. “Well, she was very polite. I don’t think detective Lassiter is aware of her relationship with you.”
Shawn barks out a laugh. “Oh, definitely not. Are you kidding? I think he’d lose it…” he chuckles to himself, shaking his head.
Maddie raises an eyebrow at Henry. “They don’t get along,” he explains.
“I could’ve guessed that much.”
Henry concedes the point with a tilt of his head, then excuses himself to the restroom. Maddie focuses back on her son. “Shawn, why are you so upset that your father and I are spending time together?”
Shawn sighs heavily. “He ditched you, Mom. You guys fought for years and he never once tried to fix anything. He never worked less, he never stopped yelling to listen, he never tried to change his ways to help our family. And then you divorced, and he left you with nothing. He took the house, he got me… I’ve never forgiven him for what he did, and I don’t want him to hurt you again.”
Maddie shakes her head. “Oh, Shawn,” she sighs. “What he did? Your father was willing to drop everything and follow me wherever I wanted to go. I didn’t let him because I knew he loved his job, and he loved this city. I was afraid he’d resent me.”
She sees his face contort in confusion as he tries to figure out what she’s saying. “What? Wait- who left who?”
“It’s not always that simple, Shawn. Neither of us wanted to leave, but we each thought we were holding the other back. I left so that I could immerse myself in psychology, leaving your father to finally prove himself as a detective. We didn’t like it, but… it was better for both of us.”
Shawn blinks slowly. Maddie munches her appetizer and waits for him to process. “So… you both chose your careers over your marriage, and it made you both miserable?”
“We’re not totally miserable, Shawn. We have you.” Even though he’s right, she still feels the need to defend the decision she’d made over a decade ago.
“Cool.” Shawn steals some of her food, washes it down with the remainder of his beer, and then stands. “I gotta go.”
He raises a finger to his temple. “To tell Jules.”
When Henry returns, Shawn is already gone. “Where’d he go?”
Maddie sips her selter. “To confess to Juliet.”
“What? Mad, what did you say to him?”
“I only cleared up some misconceptions he had about our divorce. And on the topic of that, we need to talk about you taking all of the blame for things.”
Henry sighs, but they both know he won’t be getting out of this one. “Alright. Where do you want me to start?”
Shawn doesn’t tell Jules immediately after leaving the restaurant.
He gets halfway to the station before he gets a call from Gus. He spends entirely too long in a meeting that makes his heart race, but thankfully, Gus gets to keep both of his jobs by the time Shawn finishes with Haversham. Unfortunately, he has to wait for Gus to finish up at his day job before they can do the final paperwork for the case. He doesn’t get home until after ten at night.
As he heads into his apartment, Shawnis already bracing himself for a long night of explanations and apologies. He’s scared to death of what might happen once his secret is out, but he refuses to let that stop him. He loves Juliet too much to lie to her. He can’t stomach what might happen if she were to figure it out on her own.
Jules isn’t in the living room, or the kitchen. When he makes it to the bedroom, the sight makes his heart swell. His amazing girlfriend is asleep in his bed, wearing one of his shirts, her arms around his pillow. He smiles and hangs up his jacket and takes off his shoes.
I can hold off on telling her until tomorrow, he decides, brushing Juliet’s hair out of her face.
Her blue eyes flutter open, still clouded with sleep. “Hey,” she murmurs. “I thought you’d still be staking out Gus’ boss’ house. I would’ve waited up.”
Shawn presses a gentle kiss to her forehead. “You didn’t need to; I’m sure you need sleep. I mean, solving crimes and serving justice all while making another person has gotta be tiring,” he points out.
Jules smiles sleepily and tugs him down so she can cuddle him instead of the pillow. “You know that’s right.”
He doesn’t tell her that night. But with Juliet wrapped around him as he slowly falls asleep, he can’t bring himself to regret it.
Juliet smiles warmly at Shawn when he brings her a mug of tea in the morning. It’s a variety she’s just recently discovered, that doesn’t have caffeine and also settles her stomach somewhat. “Thank you,” she tells him, tilting her head for a kiss. He obliges, but when he sits on the bed near her legs, he starts to fidget.
“Shawn, what’s wrong? You seem nervous.”
“I…” he swallows. “Jules, I have something to tell you.”
She sits up straighter, slightly worried. “What is it?” He seems to be taking time to compose himself. “Shawn?”
“Jules…” Shawn takes a deep breath. “I’m not psychic.”
She stares at him blankly, still waiting for him to speak. Because he hasn’t said anything yet, of course he hasn’t, her brain is just still half asleep. He hasn’t said what she thinks he’s said. He can’t have.
“I’m sorry, did I hear you right?” Her voice sounds strange even to her own ears. “Did you just say you aren’t psychic?”
She waits for him to laugh, gives him one more chance to tell her it was another stupid joke. Instead, he nods. “No paranormal abilities whatsoever.”
She laughs mirthlessly to herself and shakes her head. “Of course. There’s no such thing as psychics.” I should have known this was too good to be true.
“Jules, let me explain… I feel like you’re trying to play it off like you’re not upset. You can be upset, I deserve it.”
She shakes her head. “I’m fine, Shawn. This is fine.” Before he can object, her phone rings. “Oh, I have to get this.” She actually does- it’s Lassiter.
”O’Hara. Apparently someone decided to shoot up a bodega instead of just paying for their morning coffee. They took the whole damn register, too.”
“Alright. Give me ten minutes.” She climbs out of bed, setting aside her tea. “Shawn, I have to go solve a robbery case. You can tag along, if you want. I’m sure you could use the fact that nobody knows we’re dating to fake some sort of vision. But I wouldn’t, if I were you.” She’d like to think she remains outwardly calm, but when she finally meets his eyes for the first time since his confession, she knows all of the simmering fury she feels is conveyed in her gaze.
“Jules, when you say it like that, it sounds almost like I’m only in this relationship for the work benefits.”
She tugs on her blazer and steps into her heels, holstering her gun. “Maybe you are, Shawn. How would I know?”
Ignoring his noise of protest, she stalks out, slamming the door behind her.
the next chapter is worse.
Chapter 11: Looks Can Be Deceiving
Shawn tries to apologize to Juliet. She doesn't let him.
“Jules, I’m sorry. I swear I can explain. Please call me back.”
Shawn hangs up and frowns dejectedly at his phone. “Gus, am I doing this right? I don’t know how to grovel.”
Gus is actually doing work at his desk instead of sulking on the couch. He looks up, but before he can answer, Shawn distracts himself.
“Is there a relation between grovel and gravel? Oooh, what about gavel?”
Gus sighs. Shawn knows he’s asking a lot of his best friend today, but he’s just too scrambled to address it. Thankfully, Gus seems to understand.
“Shawn, it’s not the time for wordplay. In my opinion, you should stop bombarding Juliet with phone calls. If she didn’t answer the first seventeen times, she won’t now.”
Shawn fiddles with his cell phone, considering. “Are you sure?”
“No, I’m not. You know why? Because I’m not stupid enough to build a relationship on lies and felonies!”
Shawn nods and sinks into the couch, trying not to show hurt. He knows Gus doesn’t mean to be harsh, but Shawn’s losing his ability to bounce back and brush things off. “You know, Gus, you should probably go back to your pharmaceutical job… at least for a week or so. If Jules does end up arresting me, at least you can stay out of it.”
Shawn knows that they’re both in too deep for either one to not implicate the other, but Gus must take pity on him, because he doesn’t point that out. Instead, he swivels around to face Shawn fully. “Shawn, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not leaving you like this, not while you’re falling to pieces. I’m here for you.”
“Thanks, buddy.” The fake psychic lets out a sigh. “That means a lot.”
The bodega robber had, rather inconveniently, fled not only the crime scene but also Santa Barbara. Juliet and Carlton have spent hours chasing him through the slums and outskirts, until they’d found him at the very edge of their jurisdiction. It is two o’clock. Juliet has not eaten anything since dinner the night before.
The diner they stop at has absolutely delicious burgers and fries. It also happens to be the first place she’s been in hours that has cell signal. As Juliet is happily sipping at her orange soda, her phone starts going off.
She manages to silence it after the first twenty or so alerts, but they keep showing up on her creen. Eventually her screen reads
14 missed calls
87 new texts
Juliet frowns and drops the phone back into her bag. When she looks up, Carlton is raising an eyebrow. “What was that?”
“Nothing,” she lies, turning her attention back to her meal.
“You got, like, a hundred texts about nothing?”
Thankfully, Carlton does understand the merits of privacy. He shrugs and goes back to his sandwich.
Shawn can’t sleep.
His brain is still far too awake, but he lays in bed anyway, sorely missing the feeling of a smaller form curled against him. He misses how Juliet lays her head on his chest and wraps her arms around him. He misses how she murmurs things in her sleep, sometimes. He misses the warm reassurance that she is there, that she is safe.
Groaning aloud to the empty room, he reaches for his phone.
Juliet is getting ready for bed and trying not to think about Shawn. It’s not really working, and it especially doesn’t work when her phone goes off with a message. She checks it in spite of herself, and sure enough it’s Shawn.
please just respond so i know you’re alright
Setting her jaw, she relents. Physically, yes.
With that, she turns off her phone and sets her alarm for six-thirty. Shawn had convinced her to sleep until seven, because she’s always up early and her baby needs rest. But she’s not going to do that now. Seven and a half hours will be plenty, and maybe a light jog in the morning will clear her mind.
Of course, it takes her hours to fall asleep. She’s hurt by Shawn’s lie and angry, so angry. Angry at Shawn for lying, yes, for his foolish, dangerous game, but also at herself. She’s angry that she fell for it, that she fell for him. She’s angry that she somehow still loves him, and that that love has kept her from doing her job, from telling the chief that Shawn Spencer is not who he seems. It shouldn’t, but the thought of him locked up- probably for good- in a cold jail hurts her heart.
She decides to blame her mixed feelings on the pregnancy. She just doesn’t want the father of her child behind bars, is all. And hormones are a valid excuse for crying herself to sleep.
Shawn sips despondently at his milkshake, his eyes glued to the door. Gus sighs.
“Shawn, that’s your third shake. You’re paying for the next one yourself.”
“Alright, that’s fair,” Shawn says. “I probably owe you more than a milkshake, anyway.”
“You know that’s right.” Gus dips a pretzel bite into mustard and munches. “Look, I know you don’t wanna hear this, but I think we should go. You’re not gonna find Juliet if she doesn’t want to be found.”
“I know, Gus. She’s a well-trained detective. But it’s been a week! And I’m not trying to find her; I know to give her space. I just… well, she likes this diner. For the same reason I do. I thought I’d give it a chance.”
Gus pats Shawn consolingly on the shoulder. “Alright, buddy. Let’s go.”
Juliet is lying on her couch going over case files when she notices- though she doesn’t, at first. She sets one page she’s done with on her stomach, and it slides right off. Thinking nothing of it, she picks it up and sets it aside. It’s only when the same thing happens again that she frowns and puts down her papers.
Juliet knows she’s pregnant- she has all the symptoms, and all of the at-home tests had tested positive- but she hasn’t been to a doctor yet. She has no definite proof. There’s a difference between knowing you’re going to have a baby a few months from now and feeling the swell of your stomach and seeing the bump for the first time.
In spite of everything, she smiles as she looks down at her bump. “Hey there,” she murmurs. “You’re really growing, aren’t you?”
Later that night, she once again lays her hand over her belly. Juliet has more or less gotten used to sleeping without Shawn next to her, but that doesn’t make it any easier, or her any less miserable. Once again, she blinks away tears as she tries to fall asleep. This time, she rubs gently at her bump for comfort.
“I miss your dad,” she whispers aloud.
Chapter 12: I Trust With My Heart
Juliet had scheduled her appointment weeks before, when she was nervous and a little excited and Shawn’s support was the only thing keeping her afloat. Now, she’s been over two weeks without him, and her broken heart shows no signs of repairing itself.
She has nothing better to do in the OB/GYN waiting room, so she picks up a maternity magazine. The first five pages are photoshoots of happy couples, all married, looking thrilled about their unborn child.
She puts down the maternity magazine.
Relieved to not be alone with her thoughts, Juliet follows the nurse to an exam room. She tests her vitals and draws blood, and then leaves. When she comes back, she has some pamphlets and papers in her hands.
“Juliet, your results should be in soon. Right now, I wanted to ask you about your situation, in terms of raising a child.”
Juliet arches an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Yes, it’s just a standard questionnaire- you’re already one of Dr. Acursio’s patients, so we have most of your information. Ah, first, I’d like to ask you about the baby’s father.”
Juliet fidgets with her wristwatch. “What about him?”
“Well, for starters, whether or not he’s in the picture affects your experience with us. We have methods of supporting single mothers, and we try our best to help your pregnancy be as comfortable as possible.”
Juliet shakes her head. “Um, Shawn is incredibly supportive. To my knowledge, he fully intends to be here for me and our child. We’re just, ah, working through some things.”
The nurse nods, shuffling her papers. “Well then, good luck.”
Juliet tries for a smile. “Hopefully he’ll be here next month.”
She realizes two things throughout the remainder of her appointment. Firstly, after the nurse leaves, Juliet knows that she does want to reconcile with Shawn in time for her next appointment. And then, when she’s staring at the image of her baby on an ultrasound screen, when she’s listening to the heartbeat and nearly in tears over the life growing inside her, she wishes with all her heart that he was there now.
Juliet stares silently out the window of Lassiter’s car as they drive to a crime scene. A dead body has been found at a state park, which means a forty-five minute drive for them. It’s been twenty minutes.
“O’Hara, are you doing okay?”
“What?” She doesn’t even turn to look at him.
“I’ve noticed that… over the past week, or past few weeks, really, you’ve been… quiet. Not your usual self.”
Juliet knows she can’t tell him what’s really bothering her, but there is some other information she probably needs to share. She rests a hand on her belly and takes a deep breath.
“I got some news, recently,” she begins. It’s not the whole truth, nowhere close, but it’s not a lie, either. She repeats that over and over in her head. Not a lie, not a lie, not a lie. “I’m- I’m pregnant.”
Juliet can practically hear Carlton choosing his next words carefully. “I, ah, didn’t know you were seeing anyone.”
“It’s a relatively new thing. We may have… rushed into things.”
“Huh.” Lassiter is silent for a minute. “Do I know the father?”
Juliet winces; this will be the hard part. “Yes. You do.”
When she doesn’t elaborate, he prods further. “Who? It’s not Spencer, is it?” Carlton laughs at his own joke, but when Juliet doesn’t respond, he turns to look at her. “O’Hara.”
She shifts in her seat, fidgeting.
“O’Hara, you didn’t. You wouldn’t.”
Something about the tone of his voice takes her back to her academy days. She straightens, on the defensive. “What? You don’t think I can make my own choices about who I do or do not date?”
“You just said that you thought you rushed into things!”
“In terms of sex! I don’t regret the relationship!” She doesn’t, not really. Just because she’s been hurting for the past few weeks doesn’t mean she wishes it had never happened.
“Are you serious? He’s a liar, and a jackass, and a fraud!”
Juliet bites her lip. She knows her partner is mostly right. But still. “Alright, maybe,” she admits. “Maybe to you. But he’s also gentle, and funny, and caring. I love him.”
They’re at a red light, and Carlton takes the opportunity to fully face her. “Does he make you happy?”
Juliet freezes. Happy.
She thinks first of sitting in her bed, a mug of tea in her hands, listening to Shawn confess. How she’d felt like she couldn’t breathe. How she’d been- still was, at times- so, so angry.
Then, she thinks back further. Shawn making her dinner before she’d identified her morning sickness for what it was. His immediate promise to support her, to love her, as soon as he’d learned she was pregnant. The look in his eyes when he’d told her he loved her.
Could he really be lying about all of that?
“Yes, Carlton,” she finally answers. “He does make me happy.”
Lassiter groans at the sign on the gate leading into the forest. No cars, bikes, pets. Foot traffic only. He parks the car on the side of the dirt road, then gets out of it and goes to open the door for O’Hara. He is a gentleman, after all.
She raises an eyebrow, but doesn’t comment.
There’s a trail of forensic techs and park service ATVs that make it easy to head to the crime scene. Well, easy to not get lost. The terrain makes the actual hike difficult. When they reach a tree that’s fallen across the path, Carlton offers a hand to his partner. This time, both eyebrows go up.
“I can step over a tree by myself,” she reminds him.
“Right. Of course.”
He does it again when they find a stream. Juliet is wearing heels, after all; she could slip. That might hurt more than just her pride, in her condition.
“No thank you,” she says politely. And then she manages to end up drier than Carlton himself by the time they reach the normal path again.
They come to a rocky patch after hiking for maybe twenty minutes. This time, he rests a hand on her arm to help her, instead of just holding out a hand. O’Hara’s eyes narrow before she proceeds to navigate the risky section with ease. When he meets her on the other side, she folds her arms across her chest.
“Carlton, as of now, my being pregnant changes very little about my ability to do my job. It changes absolutely nothing about my ability to hike through a forest. If I need help, I’ll ask. I appreciate your concern, but you’re being a little overbearing.”
“Right.” Lassiter rubs a hand over the back of his neck. “Sorry.”
She nods and leads the way. Neither of them say a word until they reach the crime scene. Technically, they’re several hundred yards away from it. The body is at the bottom of a steep ravine, which means they have to climb down a slope covered in leaves and broken branches. There is no discernible trail.
O’Hara turns to face him. “Carlton, I think I could use a hand now.”
He nods, grimacing. “Ditto.”
Shawn isn’t much for routine, but the things he does do regularly can be tracked like clockwork. It’s five-thirty pm on the dot, and he’s outside his favorite smoothie stand. He gives the owner, who knows him well by now, a friendly wave. “One pineapple smoothie, please.”
A voice behind him makes him nearly jump out of his skin. “Two pineapple smoothies.”
He turns around, not trusting his ears. Behind him, wearing a gray pantsuit and a guarded, solemn expression, is Juliet O’Hara.
Chapter 13: The Best Laid Plans
Shawn explains himself. Juliet tries to understand.
This was supposed to be a part of last chapter. You can see why it wasn't.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn is still processing the fact that he’s face to face with Juliet for the first time in weeks when she keeps talking.
“I think buying me a smoothie is literally the least you can do.”
Shawn nods, still looking shocked. “I will buy you all of the smoothies in the world. Do you want pineapple? They have other flavors that are good, too…”
She shakes her head. “Our baby loves pineapple just as much as you do.”
Our baby. Shawn can’t suppress the smile that comes when she says that. He pays for the smoothies, then hands her one. “What do you think, Jules? Will you give me a chance to explain myself?”
She looks away from him, quickening her pace to stay slightly ahead. Still, for a brief moment, he glimpses the hurt in her eyes. It makes it hard for him to breathe for a bit.
“Yes, Shawn. I want an explanation. But I want the truth.”
“Of course, Jules. You deserve nothing less.”
“No more lies?”
“None. I promise.”
“I wish I could believe that, Shawn, but it’s going to take a lot of work on your part.”
“I know, Jules. I can do it.”
She gives him a long look. When he meets her eyes, he sees hope. She wants to fix this just as much as he does. He thinks about reaching for her hand, but he doesn’t want to see her flinch away. Instead, he offers her a hesitant smile. He gets a fleeting one back.
“Let’s go to my place, Shawn. If you don’t screw up too badly you can stay for dinner.”
Juliet sits on one side of the couch, sipping her smoothie. Shawn, who had managed to finish his between the smoothie stand and her apartment, is at the other end of the couch, fidgeting with the fringe on a pillow. He doesn’t say anything at first, so she simply watches him, cataloguing his body language, keeping an eye out for tics or flinches that could suggest a lie.
“I have an eidetic memory,” he says, finally. “Eidetic iconic memory- I rarely forget a thing I see.”
Wow. So he’s some sort of genius.
“It’s genetic, sort of- my mother never forgets anything she hears. Hers is eidetic tonal.”
Juliet nods her understanding, but is careful not to interrupt.
“And then there’s my dad- hardest working cop in Santa Barbara, wanted me to follow in his footsteps from day one. I was six or seven when he realized how my skills could be put to good use, when he taught me how to notice things. The early days of him training me are some of the last memories of mine that are even slightly fuzzy. Everything else is crystal-clear, like my brain is a corkboard for polaroids. You know when you’re running on adrenaline and you’re on high alert and you’re noticing everything because not doing that could cost you your life?”
She does. For her, those memories are tinged with panic and screams and the sound of bullets. She wonders if the underlying terror of recollection is what Shawn deals with all the time.
Shawn nods, almost as if he’s read her mind. “It’s… a lot, at times. And his- his training really strained our relationship. I left as soon as I could, and I didn’t come back until 2006. For Gus’ birthday.”
“For Gus’ birthday,” she repeats.
He nods again. “Yeah. And then one night I was-” a pause, a hand rubbing awkwardly over the back of his neck- “I was with a girl, at her place, and we were, uh, you know, getting started. Only, her TV was on. And I could see the news. Without even meaning to, I figured out that the guy they were interviewing about a robbery was the one who’d done it. I called in a tip, and I got a call back.”
Shawn sighs and lays out on the couch, staring at the ceiling. Juliet is leaning against his legs now, but she doesn’t move away. “The cops thought I might have inside information,” he explains. “There was more than one culprit, apparently. And they didn’t believe that I read his body language. They didn’t believe anyone who wasn’t a trained cop could do that.”
His voice has changed, gotten rougher. There’s almost a note of mocking to it. “It was stupid, looking back. But I looked around the room and the beat cop outside was clutching a talisman and in the two-way mirror I could see Lassie playing with his old partner’s ponytail and I didn’t even think, I just put a finger to my temple and started spewing information.”
Juliet leans forward but at the same time, folds her arms over her chest. “Wait a minute. You’re the reason I’m here.”
Shawn blinks at her. “What?”
“You said- you said you were the one who called out Carlton on his affair. If it weren’t for your ridiculous lie, I would still be chasing after drug dealers in the back alleys of Miami.”
He shrugs. “Nah. You’re really good at what you do, Jules. You’d have gotten some other promotion. You don’t need my help.”
She sits silently, thinking about everything he’s said. Shawn watches her. “You don’t like that you’ve benefited from my ‘ridiculous lie’.”
“Do you know me that well? Or would you have been able to guess that from anyone?”
“I could get from body language that you were upset, if we’d never met. But because I- because I know you, because you’ve let me know you, I know why you’re upset.”
She looks him in the eyes and he holds her gaze. “Shawn… I think I can forgive you, or at least start. But I need to know that you know that this isn’t just about you. You could go to jail, Gus could go to jail, probably your dad too. I could lose my job. Dozens of criminals could walk free, if you were discovered.”
He nods solemnly. “I never meant for it to go this far. But now that it has… I know I have to keep going.”
Juliet looks down, playing with the buttons on her shirt. “I don’t like it. The lying. You’re pulling a con on an entire police department.”
She sees him reach for her in her peripheral vision, but he stops, like he doesn’t know if that’s allowed. “You don’t have to lie for me.”
“Shawn, have you been listening to me? It’s not that easy. I’m in this with you, now.”
He nods. “Alright, Jules. Alright. I’ll be more careful. I’ll make this better, even if I can’t totally fix it. I promise.”
“Anything else you should tell me? While I’m in the process of forgiving you?”
He shakes his head. “That’s really the only thing… well, remember that speed dating case a while back?”
Her brow furrows. “Vaguely…”
“I, uh, copied your questionnaire during it.”
She laughs. “Are you kidding? Shawn, I saw you copying it.”
Shawn looks aghast. “Of course you didn’t! I was in stealth mode!”
And then they’re laughing, and Shawn keeps talking to make her laugh more, and all of the sudden she’s leaning against him and delivers a gentle kiss, just out of habit. They both freeze.
“Shawn…” her sigh of his name blows over his lips, but then she sits back up, her lips pressed into a thin line. “Sorry.”
“No, Jules. I’m sorry.”
She plays with a strand of hair that’s fallen from her bun. “Shawn, I- I love you. I do, really. But… it’s hard right now. I’ve got all these- these conflicting emotions swirling around in my head and pregnancy hormones just aren’t helping anything…”
Once again, he reaches for her, but stops. Instead, she leans in and lets him rub her back. “It’s gonna be okay, Juliet,” he whispers. “I’m gonna stay with you as long as you want me by your side. You don’t have to deal with this alone.”
“Thank you, Shawn.” Juliet sighs. “I’m still going to need time. I need to process this. But… I think you can stay for dinner.”
His hazel eyes are wide as he stares at her, silently asking if she’s sure. She kisses his cheek gently in response, and his eyes flutter closed. Despite her mention of dinner, she stays in his arms for a little while longer.
She doesn’t want to deal with this alone.
Heads up: I'm going on vacation, so next week's chapter is a bit up in the air. If I do get it posted, it will probably be Saturday night.
Chapter 14: Healing Slowly
Shawn continues to patch things up with Juliet.
I know it's been way too long, but I was on vacation, and then I was working on whump week. Sorry for the late update, but here it is!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn rummages through Juliet’s cupboards, looking for the salad spinner she’d asked for. After maybe two dinners at her place, he’d memorized the storage system- she doesn’t even have to tell him where to look anymore. Finding the salad spinner, he hands it across the small kitchen to her. “Hey, Jules,” he ventures, “didn’t you have a doctor’s appointment earlier this week?”
She begins loading lettuce into the spinner. “Oh, yeah, I did. Um, everything’s going well. I’m about eleven weeks along… but we knew that already. So far, so good, according to the doctor.” Suddenly, she straightens. Oh! I’ll be right back.”
Shawn watches her head for the bedroom, then shrugs and turns on the pasta water to boil. Soon enough, Jules returns, chewing her lip as she holds a small piece of paper in her hands. Shawn steps closer to her, confused, and she hands him the black and white image. It’s a sonogram.
Shawn gasps a little. “Jules… is this our baby? Do we actually get to see what they look like?”
Juliet nods, smiling as much as he’s seen her smile all night. “You can see the head, and the feet, and there’s an arm.”
Shawn traces his finger over the image, noticing everything she points out. “Wow.” I can’t believe that’s my kid. I can’t believe Jules and I are gonna have a baby. He might tear up a little as he looks up at Juliet. “Can I… can I keep this?”
She nods, still smiling. “I have a whole strip. That one’s for you.”
Shawn steps hesitantly closer. He wants nothing more than to press a soft kiss to Juliet’s cheek, but he’s not sure that’s allowed. “I love you so much,” he whispers.
Juliet takes his hand in hers and squeezes it. “Love you too, Shawn. Don’t let the water boil over.”
Gus has spent his entire morning with Shawn, following lead after lead on their current private case to dead end after dead end. They’ve ended up back in the Psych office for lunch.
“So, did you and Juliet finally patch things up?”
Shawn beams. “Yeah! We talked, and she let me stay for dinner, and- ooh, look at this!”
For a second, Gus thinks Shawn has found something on the case. He shoves his entire sandwich into his mouth, just in case they immediately rush off again. Instead, Shawn pulls a small photo from his pocket. “It’s a sonogram,” he explains.
Gus tilts his head from side to side, examining the picture of the baby-shaped blob. Of course, his mouth is still full, so he can only nod and give his best friend a thumbs up. This is enough for Shawn.
“God, I can’t believe I’m gonna be a dad,” he rambles. “I mean, I’m still really scared, but at the same time, since I’m working my way back into Jules’ good graces, the future seems bright. For the first time I’m wondering about things like if we’ll have a boy or girl, and- hey, Jules!”
Gus sits bolt upright as the door opens and Juliet enters, looking over her shoulder at the bay window. “Psych. I get it now,” she says. Gus can’t tell from her tone whether she’s annoyed or amused. “That’s funny,” she continues. “Stupid, but funny.”
Shawn grins. “I think you’ve just summed me up in three words.”
Gus looks nervously up at Juliet. “Uh, are you here to arrest us?”
She shakes her head. “Nope. Shawn and I have an agreement.”
Shawn nods. “We take serious things seriously and use common sense when investigating and report to Jules or Lassie at least via text when we’re chasing criminals. And if we screw up, Jules arrests us.”
Gus nods. “Fine with me. I think you’re the only one who might have trouble with that.”
“Of course not,” Shawn scoffs, giving Juliet puppy dog eyes. “I’ll be on my best behavior.”
She smirks. “I highly doubt that. Oooh, what’s for lunch?”
Gus makes a noise of protest as she swipes a sweet potato chip from his plate. “Hey, that’s mine!”
“Let her have it, Gus, she needs the energy. I’ll buy you more.”
“Thank you, Shawn.”
“So, what are you boys working on?”
“Missing teen who’s already been given up on by three different police departments,” Shawn explains. “His Uncle- only living relative- is afraid he’s trying to get out of the country, so he brought us in in the hopes that we’d be speedier than the SBPD. We’re not having much luck.”
Juliet leans over Shawn. “Have you looked at security feeds from airports or anything?”
“No, we can’t get the footage…”
The pair trails off into Cop Speak, Shawn explaining his investigation to Juliet without any mention of spirits. Gus blinks as Juliet sits in Shawn’s lap to access the computer. Well.The times, they are a’changin’.
The rest of the week passes, and Shawn gets happier every day. Jules has started showing up at the Psych office on her lunch breaks again. They find the missing kid by Wednesday. Everything seems to be getting back to normal… or rather, a new normal. Shawn still misses falling asleep with Juliet by his side, but the mere fact that she’s speaking to him again is already a major improvement.
On Friday evening, Shawn risks showing up at the station beside Juliet’s green bug, with a bouquet of carnations in one hand and a pineapple smoothie in the other. He shows up at five on the dot, and he doesn’t have to wait long before Juliet appears, striding out of the station with straight posture and a small smile on her face. Luckily, Lassie isn’t with her.
“Shawn!” Her smile widens when she sees him, which is a good sign.
“Is this all for me?”
She sips at the smoothie and runs her fingertips over the petals of the flowers. “Carnations… you remembered.”
He laughs a little. “Yeah, well, I mean…”
“I know you remember everything, Shawn. It’s still very thoughtful.”
“So, um…” Shawn shifts his weight from foot to foot, gathering courage for his next question. “Uh, I totally get it if you say no, but I was- I was wondering if you’d like to go to dinner with me tonight?”
Her eyes go wide. “Oh? Well, I mean, yes, but I’m not- I’m not dressed for a date…”
He grins in relief. “Jules, you’re beautiful. But if you want, you can go home and change first. I mean, we will have to take your car.”
She shrugs. “Screw it, I’m hungry. You’ve seen me worse than this. Where were you thinking?”
“Uh, we could go to the italian place we’ve been to before, ‘cause we know that’s good, or we could go to that new greek place, or if you want something more casual, the diner is always an option…” He watches her nose scrunch up as she considers. It’s adorable.
“The diner sounds great, Shawn.” A teasing smile spreads over her face. “As long as you’re okay with me stealing all your fries.”
“Oh, naturally. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Both laughing, they climb into the tiny green car.
Juliet hasn’t laughed this much in weeks.
She laughs when Shawn hits his head getting out of her car, but when he asks her to ‘kiss it better’ she does press a kiss to her own fingers, and then her fingers to his head.
She laughs when he makes crawly snakes with their straw wrappers. She laughs when he sticks two fries in his mouth and acts like a walrus. And when he tells long-winded, barely funny jokes, she laughs so hard she can’t breathe for a few minutes.
“I’ve missed you, Shawn,” she says toward the end of the meal. “I’ve missed this closeness. And I know… I know we’re still healing, healing slowly, but… would you like to spend the night with me tonight?”
His fork clatters to the table. “Absolutely!”
Juliet laughs a little at his enthusiasm. “Well then, if you’re still good with sleeping in boxers and a t-shirt, I have some of your shirts at my place. We could go straight there.”
Shawn’s elated smile turns softer, to the one Juliet almost believes is just for her. He reaches across the table to hold her hand. “I’d love that, Jules. I love you.”
Shawn feels like his heart might beat out of his chest as he climbs into bed with Juliet for the first time in weeks. At first, they just sit against the headboard, and when Jules leans into him, he puts an arm around her shoulders.
He wants to kiss her.
You’ve been taking risks all day, says the voice in his head. The flowers, the date, spending the night. What’s one more?
Slowly, Shawn dips his head until his breath is ghosting over Juliet’s lips. When she doesn’t move, he closes the gap between them, and then they’re kissing, really kissing, for the first time in far too long.
It’s even better than all the times before, like the euphoria of nearly falling but catching yourself at the last minute… or having someone else catch you. Jules moans softly and their hands begin to roam, but Shawn uses every bit of willpower to pull away. “Jules.”
“I thought tonight was just sleeping together, not… sleeping together.”
He can tell she’s blushing, even in the dark. “Oops.”
Shawn smiles and rubs his hand down her arm to cover her own hand. When both of their hands are resting on her stomach, he notices something. “Hey, Jules,” he murmurs, rubbing his hand over the clearly rounded baby bump, “when did this happen?”
She smiles up at him. “A week or two after… everything.”
“I can’t believe I haven’t noticed.”
“Well, my blazers hide it, mostly. And I’ve been wearing some of my old shirts, which are bigger. When I first moved to Santa Barbara formal wear alone was straining my budget. It was months before I could afford to shop petite.”
Shawn nods his understanding. “So, who knows? Besides Gus and my parents?”
“Carlton and the chief. I told you, she figured it out before I did.”
Shawn nods. “Probably best to keep it a secret for a bit longer, right?”
“Yep, but we don’t have to wait too much longer, I don’t think. I’m starting the second trimester. According to the pregnancy site I’ve been looking at, our baby is as big as a peach.”
Shawn looks down at her belly, rubbing his hands slowly back and forth. “Wow. They’re really growing.”
Jules makes a happy noise and snuggles into him. When she yawns, Shawn looks up. “Oh, geez. We should probably go to sleep… I bet you’re tired.”
“You could say that,” she mumbles, already half asleep. Shawn only laughs and pulls her closer and they slide beneath the blankets.
“Goodnight, Jules. I love you.”
“Night, Shawn. Love you too.”
Thanks for reading! Updates should continue to be weekly for the next few weeks!
Chapter 15: Everything I Need (I Got Right Here)
Family dinner with the Spencer
As Juliet reconciles with Shawn, days pass. They grow closer, and days turn into weeks. She spends the night with him a lot, possibly because she’s seeing him so rarely during the day. A steady stream of casework keep her at the station all day and Shawn and Gus are working private cases. Aside from dinners and dates and staying the night, the only times she sees him are when he pops into the station for backup or assistance in tying up a case. He’s been cutting fewer corners in his investigations, following the rules and asking for help- at least, when there’s no danger of revealing his secret.
So in short, their relationship is back on track. Which is great and all, but it’s two in the morning, and Juliet would really like to be asleep, instead of mentally analyzing the past few weeks. Only, her hormones seem to be making that impossible. She’s fucking wired.
She’s been reading the books and looking at the websites. She knows the second trimester is when she’ll be getting her energy back. She just hadn’t realized that also meant an increased libido.
Juliet rolls over onto her side, watching Shawn sleep. She could wake him up… but she shouldn’t. He’s dead asleep; she should let him rest. I’ll just watch him for a bit, she decides. He really is handsome when he’s all relaxed like this. Ever so gently, the detective traces her lover’s jawline with her fingertip. She lets her hand rest on his shoulder, watching his chest rise and fall gently. Damn, he’s got nice pecs. Maybe tomorrow night I’ll convince him to sleep with his shirt off. And of course, this leads her to imagining several situations that might involve her taking his shirt off. She groans quietly.
“Alright,” Juliet whispers, “Technically, it’s your fault I’m all wound up right now. I am not going to lie here and suffer while you sleep and look all… unfairly handsome.” She leans over, trailing her lips along his jaw. She presses open-mouthed kisses to his neck and runs her hand over his bicep. Damn, he’s got good arms. After a few minutes of gentle kisses and touches, Shawn stirs. Juliet presses a firm kiss to his lips, and he groans underneath her.
She grins down at him. The blankets are still covering them more or less to their waists, but from the look in his eyes, she has a feeling that if she were to pull back the quilt, she’d find that her wake-up call had gotten Shawn as worked up as she is. Laughing a bit, she kisses him again.
“Mmmm… baby, what time is it?”
“Just past two.” She bites at his lip. “Make love to me.”
“Jules- what?” Shawn’s eyes go wide. “Are you sure? We haven’t, ah, done any of this since that first time…”
“Do you really want to?”
She nods. “I do. I love you.” She kisses him. “I trust you.” Another kiss. “I want you.”
Shawn groans into her mouth and lifts her until she’s straddling him. She’d been right about how excited he was. “Shawn?”
She smiles softly down at him and tenderly runs her fingers through his hair. “I love you. Let’s make love.”
Shawn doesn’t need to be told twice.
Henry folds up his newspaper, glancing at Maddie. “Hey, Mad, it’s ten o’clock. Do you think Shawn’s up?”
“Possibly. Are you still planning on that dinner thing tonight?”
“Yeah.” Henry rubs a hand over the back of his neck. “If he agrees.”
As always, Maddie’s reassuring smile calms him. “I’m sure he will, Henry. Just give him a call.”
Henry dials his son’s landline number, only vaguely surprised when a female voice answers. ”Shawn Spencer’s place-” a yawn- ”Juliet O’Hara speaking.”
“Hey, Juliet,” Henry replies. “Sorry if I woke you.”
”Oh, no you’re fine!” Another yawn. It’s just kinda early. But you’re fine.”
Henry raises an eyebrow. “It’s ten am.”
”It’s what!?” Geez, I overslept.” Juliet’s tone of embarrassment makes Henry think her late rising is due to more than just a faulty alarm clock. ”Uh, so, do you need me to wake- to get Shawn for something?”
“Nah, you can ask him about it when he gets up. Maddie and I were just wondering if the two of you would like to come for dinner. Gus will be there too, if you say yes.”
”O-oh.” Juliet pauses, and Henry thinks drily that she might not think they’re at the ‘meeting the parents’ stage yet. ”I think that would work. I mean, I’ll have to ask Shawn about it- oh, here he is.”
Henry hears shifting and rustling on the other end, and Juliet’s tone has changed when she speaks. ”Shawn... Shawn, your dad is on the phone.”
”Oh, hey, Pop.” Shawn sounds like he’s close to the phone, but probably not the one holding it.
Again, Henry hears Juliet speak to Shawn. ”He wants us to come for dinner.”
Shawn’s response is unintelligible, but then there’s more rustling. ”Hey, Dad, what’s up?”
Henry is foolishly glad that Shawn can’t see his nerves. He’s discovering that patching a relationship is harder than letting is slowly tear. “Well, I was just thinking… since your mother is leaving in a week or so, and we haven’t officially met Juliet… I thought maybe we could do a family dinner tonight. You, Juliet, Gus, your mother, and I.”
The silence seems to stretch on for ages, but Henry knows it’s probably only a few seconds.
”Yeah, sure Dad. We’ll be over at six.”
Maddie has everything that needs to be done ready by five-forty. For a bit, she moves rather aimlessly around the house, straightening the welcome mat and rearranging the glasses in the cabinet and generally keeping herself busy. After a bit of this, she notices Henry on the couch, flipping through a magazine she knows he’s read twice already.
She runs her hands over his head like she’d used to do when he’d had hair for her to play with. And just like those days, he leans into her touch. She laughs, “Henry, you’re like a cat.”
“I hate cats.”
When he doesn’t offer anything other than that, she sits next to him, squeezing his hand gently. “Henry, what’s wrong?”
He sighs. “I’m kinda worried about Shawn. About tonight, specifically.”
Maddie frowns. “After the phone call, you said that you thought things were going well.”
“I did say that. I guess I’m just worried about how things are gonna go, with me meeting the mother of his child…”
“Henry, what are you so scared of?”
Henry meets her eyes, and the doubt and worry in his blue eyes hurts her heart. “Mad, I’m worried he’s not gonna want me to be a part of this kid’s life.”
“Oh, Henry,” Maddie moves even closer to him, one hand still holding his and the other going to his shoulder. “Why would you even think that? You two seem to be doing much better than you were…”
Henry sighs. “Maddie, some time after you left, during that hellish- no. Shawn leaving, that last thread of hope snapping, that was Hell. So I guess the time when I only had him was more of a purgatory. Anyway, after you left but before he did, the arguments, the fights, just kept getting worse. There’s a particular one that still haunts me, that still makes me feel sick to this day.”
Maddie rubs his arm soothingly but does not say anything. Henry swallows and continues. “We were arguing about something, god, I don’t even know. I told him that when he had children, when he knew what it felt like to be responsible for someone other than himself, he’d understand. He told me that because- because of me, he didn’t want kids, ever. And he said that if he did have any-” Henry chokes on his words. Maddie looks into his eyes, glassy with tears, and wonders if they’ll fall. She hasn’t seen him cry in years.
“Shawn said if he ever did have kids,” Henry finally sighs, “that he would never let me near them as long as he was alive.”
Maddie has no words. She can’t reassure him, can’t insist that their son’s mind has changed, because she doesn’t know. She wasn’t there for the argument, she’s not privy to Shawn’s current opinions on fathers and fatherhood, she’s missed entirely too much and now there’s not a damn thing she can do about it. But she can do something about the look of utter defeat on Henry’s face.
Ever so slowly, Madeline Spencer leans over and kisses her husband.
Henry kisses her back, and it’s like a switch has been flipped. Years of missing him and wishing she didn’t have to sleep alone at night and desperately wanting to turn back the clock and make a different decision, if only so she could kiss him again, flood through her. Her kiss turns hungry and despite the fact that they have under ten minutes until they have company, she keeps kissing him.
They haven’t made out like this in decades, but it still feels so natural. Henry is in shock underneath her and Maddie gets a bit carried away, but none of that seems to matter when she’s bitting at his neck and he’s holding her like he never wants to let go.
And then the doorbell rings, and it’s all they can do to climb off of each other and try to look presentable before their dinner.
Shawn gives his dad a half hug and kisses his mom on the cheek as he enters the house. “Dinner smells good, what’s cooking?”
“I grilled some chicken and your mother cut it up for tacos,” Henry explains. Shawn turns to face his father and frowns at the fresh bruise on his neck. That wasn’t there two days ago. He contemplates asking about it, but decides that if it is what he thinks it is, he really doesn’t want to know.
“Juliet, so nice to finally meet you!” Maddie offers a hug to the young detective, who returns it cheerfully. “Well, I know we’ve met through work, but still.”
Juliet beams. “The pleasure is all mine, Dr. Spencer.”
“Oh, please. Call me Maddie.”
“Mrs. Spencer,” Gus ventures, “you wouldn’t happen to be serving… jerk chicken tacos tonight, would you?”
Maddie laughs. “I certainly am, Gus. I’ve been trying some different cooking styles. You’ll have to let me know what you think.”
Shawn and Juliet crack up as Gus bursts into his victory dance.
At the dinner table, Juliet is the center of attention, as she’d expected. Henry quizzes her on how the SBPD has changed since his time there. For the most part the questions stay in the realm of reasonable dinner conversation, and if anything gets iffy, Shawn is quick to jump in and change the subject. Every time he does this, Juliet gives him a grateful smile and a hand squeeze under the table.
“So, Juliet,” Maddie says, “Shawn mentioned that you’re from Miami. Do you have family there, or was that just where you went to school?”
Juliet swallows her chicken before answering. “Well, I grew up just outside the city, and went to University of Miami for college, before I worked for the local PD. Most of my family is still there. My brother Ewan is overseas, and Oliver moved to New York a while back, but my oldest brother is a pediatrician in the city and my mom and stepdad still live where I grew up.”
Technically, they live in the third house she’d grown up in. Changing the locks hadn’t been enough to keep Frank away, so they’d changed addresses.
“Stepdad?” Shawn tilts his head, watching her curiously. “I didn’t know your parents were divorced.”
Juliet bites her lip. There’s no getting out of this conversation- Shawn’s the one starting it. And she can’t really blame him. She’d known his parents were divorced when she started dating them; this probably should have come up sooner. But she really doesn’t want to explain that her father is a con-man during her first dinner with Shawn’s family. She frowns and looks at her plate, pushing the bean salad around with her fork.
“Um, yeah. It mostly ended when I was eleven. I’m not close with my dad.”
Surprisingly enough, Gus comes to her rescue. “Are you close with your brothers, Juliet?” Before she can do more than smile in relief, he continues. “I did hear that you had family over for Christmas- you know, that time you arrested my parents.”
Juliet laughs and rolls her eyes. “Yes, my brothers were in town that week. I am fairly close with all of them, though mostly Ewan. And I’ve got these three adorable nephews…”
After the main course, Henry follows his wife suspiciously into the kitchen. Maddie is acting casual as she scoops bowls of ice cream, but she’s got a small smile on her face, the same one Shawn gets when he’s up to no good.
“Maddie,” he asks nonchalantly, “why has Shawn been unable to look me in the eye all night?”
She shrugs and hums noncommittally. The smile gets wider.
“Mad, what did you do?”
She glances up at him. No, at his neck. “Well, we did get a little carried away earlier.”
Henry is still half in shock from making out with the love of his life for the first time in decades. “Yeah, and?”
“I may or may not have left some… marks.”
Henry blinks at her. “Maddie.”
“You made me sit through a full dinner with our son, a man who may as well be our son, and the woman who will likely become our daughter-in-law- whom we’re really meeting for the first time, I might add- with a hickey?”
“Henry, they almost caught us when they arrived. We didn’t exactly have any time to over up.”
He groans. “I need a cold spoon.”
Maddie’s laughter, even at his expense, is music to his ears.
Lying in bed with Jules, Shawn runs his fingers through her hair. It’s thick and soft and shines in the light of the lamp. “What do you think, babe?”
She rolls over to face him. “About your family? I think they’re lovely, Shawn. Your parents seem close, for a separated couple.”
He groans, his head dropping to rest on her chest. “Is that your way of saying my dad definitely had a hickey on his neck?”
“Well, yes. It was pretty obvious. And move your head, please, I’m sensitive today.”
Shawn obligingly moves his head to her shoulder. “Jules,” he whines, “I really don’t want to think about my parents making out.”
She strokes his hair. It’s possible he purrs. “Then go to sleep, Shawn. It’s late.”
He nods and stretches to kiss her, then leans down to kiss her belly. “Goodnight, Jules. Goodnight, growing baby. I love you both.”
Her soft kisses interspersed with light laughter make him forget all about the horrors of his parents’ relationship.
Chapter 16: What Aren't We Going to Do?
Shawn takes Juliet to his high school reunion. Episode tag to 3x02 (Murder?...Anyone?...Anyone?...Bueller?) of course
i know this is a bit late but do you know how many words are in this chapter? 3700. Do you know how many words I normally have in a chapter? Somewhere around 1500.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
On Thursday morning, Juliet wakes early, leaves a note for Shawn, and goes on a walk. She’s back by seven fifteen, and Shawn is still asleep. Laughing softly, she kisses his cheek, and heads to the kitchen to start breakfast.
She’s flipping her fried egg onto a plate when Shawn walks in. He doesn’t bother with a verbal greeting, instead wrapping her in his arms as he presses kisses to the back of her neck. His hand rests on her bump.
Juliet laughs. “Are you sure you want to get this close? I’m all sweaty.”
“Then maybe we should shower together,” he mumbles into her skin.
“Not until I eat something,” she retorts. “Our baby is ravenous.”
“Well then, by all means,” Shawn agrees, “enjoy your egg. I’ll put some fruit on that yogurt you like.”
She beams. “Don’t forget the pineapple.”
“Oh, of course not.”
Shawn serves enough yogurt for both of them, tops it with fruit, and joins her at the breakfast bar. “Hey, Jules?”
She has a mouthful of egg. “Mhm?”
“How do you feel about high school reunions?”
“Well, I went to my five year reunion in ‘04, but that’s my only experience with them. It wasn’t that bad, I suppose.”
“Cool.” Shawn is drumming his fingers on the table, and his smile is on his face more as a default than as an expression of emotion. Juliet knows he’s nervous about something.
“Shawn, what’s up?”
“Uh, well. Gus has put a ton of work into planning our thirteen year high school reunion. It’s on Saturday. I was… hoping you’d come with me?” He tilts his head to look at her, like he’s preparing to hide from her reaction. Juliet reaches out with a comforting hand.
“Shawn, I would love to go with you to your high school reunion.” She brings their hands to her lips, kissing his knuckles. It hurts a bit that he’s still so wary, but she doesn’t mention it. She’s showing him she forgives him, and she knows he can see that, he doesn’t need to hear it. She also knows he’s still scared of losing her, but she’s more than happy to stay with him until he realizes that’s not going to happen.
Juliet is shaken from her reverie by Shawn saying her name. “Jules?”
“I asked if Saturday night was a good time for you.”
“Of course.” She leans over and kisses his cheek. “I just have one question…”
“Who on earth plans a thirteen year reunion?”
Friday night, fewer than ten minutes before they’re supposed to leave, Shawn paces across Juliet’s living room, waiting for her to come out of the bedroom. He doesn’t know why he’s this nervous; the only person he’s kept in touch with from high school is Gus.
Deep down, in the serious parts of his brain Shawn doesn’t like to visit that often, he does know why. It’s the first time he’ll introduce Jules as his girlfriend to people who don’t already know them. Hell, it’s the first time their relationship won’t be a badly kept secret-- Shawn knows Jules is still keeping them on the down-low at the station. So yeah, maybe it’s kind of a big deal.
Shaking himself, Shawn looks at his watch. They need to leave in five minutes. He stands and goes to knock on the bedroom door, but it’s already halfway open, and when he sees Jules, he can’t bring himself to interrupt her.
His beautiful girlfriend is standing in front of the floor-length mirror, wearing a shimmery pink dress that looks like it might fit better at a prom than a reunion. She’s got her back to him, but in the mirror he can see that she’s holding her belly, her right hand rubbing circles at the top. Shawn smiles and steps through the door. “Jules?”
She turns to face him, but her hand stays on her bump. “Sorry, I’m ready. I just… got distracted.”
“Understandable,” he murmurs, stepping closer. He kisses he gently and rests his hand, too, on her belly. “Whatcha thinking about?”
“I don’t wear clothes like this for work,” she answers. “Even if I’m not actively trying to hide the fact that I’m pregnant, it doesn’t really show. This is… this is pretty much the first time I’ve seen my bump stand out in the light of day.”
Shawn smiles, a giddy grin, and begins a gentle rubbing motion over her belly. Jules sighs and leans into him. “Oh, that feels nice.”
“Mhm. I’m kind of achy and sore. It’s because my uterus is stretching.” She indicates a stack of pregnancy books and pamphlets on the nightstand.
“Ah, I see.” Shawn nuzzles his nose against hers and keeps rubbing at her belly. “Well, after this shindig, I will give you a full-body massage. How does that sound?”
Juliet wiggles her eyebrows, smirking. “Like it’s going to end in more than a massage.”
“Don’t tempt me, woman.” Shawn glances at his watch. “Gus says he needs me there by five-thirty, and it’s already five twenty-five. Let’s go.”
Shawn helps Gus move chairs, argues against wearing his nametag, and generally isn’t actually helpful for the first ten minutes in the high school gym. Juliet only laughs and rearranges the food platters. People slowly trickle in, and Shawn, like any good boyfriend would, begins introducing Juliet to people.
It goes well until he spots a familiar face. Abigail Lytar clearly recognizes him as well.
“Hi, Shawn!” She exclaims, meeting him and Juliet near the punch bowl. “Long time no see!”
“Yeah, yeah!” Shawn offers a friendly smile. “Abigail, this is Juliet O’Hara, my girlfriend. Jules, this is Abigail Lytar…”
He trails off, but Juliet finishes his sentence for him. “Ex-girlfriend?”
Abigail laughs. “He asked me out every day for a month and then stood me up when I finally agreed to go on a date with him.”
“That does sound like something Shawn would do.”
Shawn gapes at Juliet. “You two are ganging up on me!”
Juliet and Abigail both burst into laughter, giving Shawn a minute to realize that this is probably the best way the two if them meeting could have gone. The one thing he wasn’t excited about in terms of bringing Jules to this reunion? High school sweethearts.
“Well, Shawn,” Abigail says when she catches her breath, “I’m glad to see you’ve settled down.”
“I guess I have.” Shawn grins, slipping an arm around Juliet’s waist. “Uh, I left Santa Barbara after I graduated, but I’ve been back for a couple years now. I started a, um, PI firm… Jules and I work together sometimes.”
Abigail looks a combination of skeptical and impressed. “That’s cool. Juliet, what do you do?”
“I’m a detective,” Jules answers. “Shawn and Gus consult with the SBPD occasionally.”
Abigail laughs. “You’re kidding. Nerdy, D&D enthusiast Gus, who screamed when a ball flew his way during dodgeball, willingly assists with catching criminals?”
“Oh, no, not willingly,” Shawn corrects. “He always whines about me dragging him away from his day job-”
“Shawn, I have a full-time job as a pharmaceutical salesman!” Gus appears beside them, arms folded as he scowls at his best friend. “I have a respectable career, and I don’t need you slandering me by telling all our old friends about your ridiculous escapades. I have a reputation to uphold.”
Abigail smirks. “Word of advice, Gus? Being a private eye is a slightly cooler story than a pharmaceutical salesman.”
Gus has a response to that, but Shawn doesn’t listen, his attention drawn to movement in his peripheral vision. He twists slightly, just in time to see a person fall past the window.
Shawn frowns, leaning down to whisper to Juliet. “Jules, did you see that?”
Her nose wrinkles. “See what?”
“Someone just fell off the roof. Or, since it’s early in the night and I haven’t even had a chance to spike the punch yet, was pushed.”
Juliet gives him a doubtful look, but before she can respond, Gus interrupts.
“Shawn, what’s up? I know that face. That face means trouble, mostly for me.”
“Gus,” Shawn answers, “I am about to become the hero of this reunion.”
Standing in the scraggly grass outside, Shawn looks up to the window, then back down to the empty courtyard, then up again. There is no sign that anybody has recently fallen off the roof.
Gus folds his arms, doubly irritated by the fact that Abigail had followed them down, making it possible that Shawn’s wild goose chase could marr the image of the picture-perfect reunion. “Shawn, there is nothing here.”
“But that doesn’t mean that nothing happened,” Shawn counters. His voice is low, most of his energy focused on looking for clues.
“Yes it does, Shawn! No body, no crime!”
“Not when you can do what I do.” Shawn lifts his finger to his temple, not missing Juliet’s raised eyebrow.
“No body, no crime!”
Shawn rolls his eyes at Gus, but gives his girlfriend a pleading look. “Jules, help me out here?”
“Do you have a suspect?”
“Evidence that suggests a crime?”
Shawn’s eyes roam over the grass. “Not yet.”
“Reason to believe, before you, ah, saw this happen, that someone was going to be hurt?”
“Do you have any idea who the victim is?”
Finally, Shawn spies a glint of metal near a lamppost. Squinting, he sees that it’s part of a varsity pin. He closes his eyes.
The motion of the fall had drawn his eye to the window, he’d been able to tell it was a man, wearing a jacket-
A letter jacket.
He’s only seen one varsity athlete who’d bothered to wear the letter jacket tonight.
“Howie Tolkin. Football team captain, way back when.”
Juliet raises an eyebrow. “And you know this how?”
“My dad made me try out for football, but he beat me in tryouts.”
“No, Shawn. How do you know he’s your victim?”
“Oh.” Shawn realizes that using ‘the spirits’ as evidence won’t really work with Jules any longer. “Uh, varsity pin in the grass.” He gestures to it. “Howie was wearing one earlier tonight. I introduced you, remember?”
Juliet nods. “Alright. Let’s head inside and see if Howie Tolkin is still here.”
Carlton Lassiter would rather be anywhere other than this fucking reunion. He would rather be listening to the mayor give a speech. He would rather be chasing a juvenile delinquent. He would rather be talking to Shawn fucking Spencer.
Oh, dear god. I take it back.
“Carlton, what are you doing here?”
Lassiter braces himself for facing his least favorite person in his new least favorite place. “I’m on a date.”
He doesn’t miss the elbow O’Hara throws into Spencer’s side to keep him from speaking. Admittedly, he’s rather grateful for it.
“That’s great, Carlton! How’s it going?”
“Horribly. Remind me never to agree to let a woman choose the first date ever again.”
Spencer and Guster burst into snickers, but O’Hara looks sympathetic. “Well, you can help us find the football team captain, if you want.”
Lassiter agrees out of lack of anything better to do. They find the guy in under five minutes, alive and well. Carlton cheers up slightly when he learns he’s helped to prove Spencer wrong, but quickly goes back to sulking in a corner.
He gets maybe three minutes of peace before the psychic shows up again. “Punch, Lassie?”
Carlton regards him warily. “Is it poisoned?”
“Well, I spiked it with rum, so, yeah.”
He accepts the cup, and Spencer sips from his own. The detective considers shooing the other man away, but he realizes there’s something they need to talk about.
“It has come to my attention that you are… in a relationship with O’Hara.”
Spencer gets a sickening, goofy grin on his face. “Yeah. I love her.”
Lassiter squints, watching for signs of deception. “I have also been informed that she is carrying your child.”
“Right again, Lassifrass! I’m gonna be a dad.”
He raises an eyebrow. “Never took you for a guy who’d be excited about that, mister my-motorcycle-and-stupid-hair-impress-all-the-girls.”
Spencer leans on the table, nodding slowly. Pensiveness is an odd look on him, Lassiter thinks.
“I don’t blame you, Lassie,” the psychic says, after a while. “A year ago, I never would’ve expected to have kids, to want kids, to be excited about having a kid.” He laughs. “Never would’ve expected Jules to go out with me, either.”
“That makes two of us.”
“Is this the part where you threaten to shoot me if I break her heart?”
Lassiter folds his arms across his chest. “Oh, no. If you hurt her, she will shoot you. But I will dismember you so thoroughly that not one bit of you is ever found.”
Spencer nods, looking solemn. Again, Lassiter is almost unnerved by the psychic acting serious.
“Point taken, Lassie. Point completely taken.”
Henry had spent most of his day debating over whether or not to have Maddie for dinner, so of course, now that he has her here, his phone rings. He groans and sets down the bottle of wine. “It’s Shawn.”
Maddie raises an eyebrow. “I thought he was at the reunion.”
“Who knows.” Henry picks up the phone. “Shawn, do you need something?”
”Yeah, um, there’s a box in the attic. It’s got a key ring in it. I need those keys.”
“What? Shawn, I have no clue what the hell you’re talking about. What box? What keys?”
”It’s complicated, please just find the box. I need it.”
“For what? You’re at a high school reunion!”
”I am at least ninety-nine percent sure someone has been murdered. I just need to find the body.”
Henry groans. “Fine. I will ask your mother if she knows about the box. I’ll call you later.”
”Wait, what? You’re with Mom right now? What are-”
Henry ignores Shawn’s confusion and promptly hangs up.
Juliet laughs as she and Shawn sway to the music. Most of the night’s soundtrack has been dance-y pop music, but as soon as they’d realized the current song would be slow and romantic, she and Shawn had practically raced for the dance floor.
“How are you feeling, Jules? I guess if there really isn’t a dead body we could leave early if you want…”
Juliet shakes her head. “I’m just fine, Shawn. I’ve been enjoying the fruit kebabs and lemonade.” She raises an eyebrow. “I have a sneaking suspicion that something… happened… to the punch.”
He chuckles. “Jules, I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about… but maybe steer clear of it anyway.”
She laughs and leans into him, enjoy his warm arms around her. After a bit more dancing, she frowns. “Shawn, what are your parents doing here?”
“What? Are you serious?”
“Uh-huh.” Juliet squints, watching as they enter across the gym. “Your mom has a box.”
Shawn sighs and kisses her cheek. “In that case, I have to go talk to her, she might be able to help with the-”
Juliet decides to be selfish, just this once. “Wait.”
She gives him a soft smile. “Just finish this dance with me.”
He grins, his gaze so warm and loving that she could almost melt. “Of course.”
After a brief discussion with Shawn over why he had keys to the school and why he needed them now, Maddie and Henry are alone in the halls of Henry’s old school. Maddie is looking around, from the trophy case to the bulletin boards and the graffiti on the ceiling tiles, but Henry seems almost bored.
“Mad, do you think he’s really found a murder at this reunion, or is he just trying to impress Juliet?”
She hums. “Well, I wouldn’t put it past Shawn to find an investigation anywhere he looked hard enough. You taught him that.”
He agrees with a nod of his head. “Well… do you want to get back to our dinner? We don’t have to stick around…”
She smiles. “But you want to.”
Henry puffs up like an exotic bird showing off during mating season. “Well, I was the top dog around here, in my day. What do you say we go exploring?”
Shawn is very, very glad he and Jules had not left early. Now he has two suspects, part of a motive, a time, a place, and a potential victim. He still does not have a body.
His victim, Howie and Eileen’s past third wheel, had been known to hang out in the shop classroom. Shawn heads there next, inviting Jules to tag along. “I mean, I’d be a shitty boyfriend if I left you in a room full of people you don’t know,” he points out. “And you already know my process, so no reason for you not to come with.”
Jules gives him a smile and a kiss on the cheek, and they head for the shop class. What Shawn sees upon opening the door might quite possibly scar him for life.
Sitting in a car in the school’s garage are his parents, and they appear to be kissing as if the world is about to end.
“We have to stop doing this,” Henry groans, five minutes after an incredibly awkward conversation with Shawn and Juliet.
“Right, right, of course,” Maddie agrees, talking too fast. She’s already fidgeting with her hair.
“I mean, I had a hickey all through that dinner, and now he’s actually caught us, uh, making out. This is almost as bad as when he walked in on us as a kid.”
Maddie blinks. “Wait, you mean because of Shawn?”
“Yeah, what did you think I was talking about?”
Again, she messes with her hair. “Well, I mean… I shouldn’t be in town much longer, and we are, well, technically-” she clears her throat- “I suppose what I’m trying to say is, I would understand if you thought we were too close.”
Henry’s responding kiss assuages any of her lingering doubts.
Gus is not at all pleased with the route his meticulously planned reunion has gone, but it could be worse. At least the dead body he had to carry was encased in a mascot costume. And he likes it when he’s the first to come up with an idea, like tonight, when he’d figured out how to get Howie and Eileen somewhere they couldn’t run. Taking a deep breath, he grabs the microphone and taps it a few times.
“Hello, everyone! If I could have your attention for a few minutes, I’d like to announce the king and queen of this reunion!”
The crowd still, chatter turning to murmurs as they wait. Gus sees Juliet and Lassiter on either side of the stage, ready to move. Shawn, waiting in the wings, gives him a thumbs up.
“The reunion queen and king of the class of 1995 are Howie and Eileen Tolkin!”
Howie and Eileen take the stage just as they had for homecomings past, her with a picture perfect smile and him with his arm thrown over her shoulder. Gus goes to grab the crowns, moving slowly to give Shawn time for theatrics. Sure enough, just as he’s raising the gold plastic to place it on their heads, Shawn jumps out.
“Wait! I sense that something is very wrong!”
The murmurs in the crowd grow louder, confused. Howie and Eileen look at Shawn like he’s insane. Still in the shadows, Juliet and Lassiter tense, ready for their signal.
“These two murderers do not deserve those crowns! They killed Peter Coulter!”
Howie glares darkly at Shawn. Eileen plays dumb.
“I haven’t heard that name in years! Not since we graduated-”
“But you wouldn’t have, if not for Peter! If he hadn’t taken the blame, Howie would’ve done time for DUI and manslaughter! So Peter, your adoring little fanboy, took the hit. But when he found out Howie was running for office, he wouldn’t stay silent any longer!”
Their classmates are excited now. Gus spots Abigail Lytar, watching Shawn’s reveal with an impressed yet surprised expression.
“You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about,” Howie growls. “We didn’t frame Peter for anything, and we sure as hell didn’t push him off that roof.”
Shawn blinks. “Well, that was easier than I expected.”
Gus watches as Juliet and Lassiter approach and cuff the murderers, leading them away. He smiles to himself. Little does Shawn know, he’s got one more surprise.
“Well, everyone, that was a lot of excitement,” he says, speaking into the mic once more. “And I think we can all agree that murdering a classmate disqualifies the Tolkins from their nomination. So, that means that tonight’s reunion queen and king are…” he catches Shawn’s eye. Shawn raises an eyebrow. “Shawn Spencer and Juliet O’Hara!”
Shawn grins at him, hurrying back to center stage. Gus hands over the mic.
“Jules? Hon? Oh, you’re busy, alright.” Shawn gives Juliet a thumbs up. She rolls her eyes and continues arresting Eileen. “Uh, am I supposed to make a speech?”
Gus nods in the affirmative.
“Okay. Well…” Shawn looks around the room, then gives Gus an earnest grin. “Burton Guster has been my best friend since we were five.” He holds up five fingers. Gus resists the urge to hide his face. “And maybe,” Shawn continues, “just maybe, if any of you can look yourselves in the mirror and know that you have been half as good a friend to someone else as Gus has been to me… well, you, too, can be considered great. You can be considered an amazing, spectacular person, as well as an absolutely stellar friend. Give it up for my best friend, Burton Guster.”
As the room bursts into applause, Shawn does an ear-shattering mic drop and pulls Gus into a hug.
The room is loud and the hug is tight, so they don’t see Lassiter’s quickly smothered smile, or how Juliet has tears shining in her eyes as she watches Shawn. Even though Maddie and Henry are almost at the front of the crowd, they don’t see how she leans happily into him.
“Oh, Henry,” Maddie murmurs, “we must have done something right.”
Thanks for reading, see you next Saturday!
Chapter 17: What's The Catch?
Maddie prepares to leave Santa Barbara. Shawn and Juliet attend her doctor's appointment.
hey guys! this chap is up early because i'm going to the beach tomorrow. I hope to have my laptop but I honestly don't know if I'll be able to bring it, or if I'll have time to write. Hopefully chapter 18 will be up next Saturday!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon, and although she’d gotten approved to take the afternoon off a week ago, she’d only submitted a generic request for personal time. Now, however, she’s headed for the chief’s office to inform Chief Vick of her pregnancy- despite the fact that she really already knows- and discuss a strategy for work limitations and eventual maternity leave.
“How can I help you, O’Hara?”
She smiles and sets the required medical forms on the desk. “Well, Chief, you may be surprised to learn that I am expecting a child.” She smirks.
“Shocker,” Karen deadpans. Juliet laughs.
“Well, I’ve, ah, actually got an appointment in a couple hours that’m leaving for soon, but I thought I’d go ahead and get the logistics out of the way.”
“Alright, then.” The chief picks up Juliet’s paperwork and looks through it. “You’re due in August?”
“I am. Somewhere around the twenty-fourth. I think I’ll leave work then even if this baby isn’t here yet.”
“So you’d like to work until your due date?”
“I would, yes. I understand that I’ll have to make some compromises, but I hope I’ll at least be able to stay on desk duty.”
Karen nods. “When were you thinking? Around your third trimester?”
“Sometime at the beginning of my eighth month, I think.”
“I’ll pencil that in starting early July. Just let me know if anything changes, Detective.”
“How much leave do you think you’ll want after the baby is born?”
“I’d like ten weeks, if that’s alright…”
Karen offers a smile. “Absolutely, Detective. The early months really are important for getting to know your child. As long as I am the chief of police, this department won’t get in the way of that for any mother.”
Juliet grins. “Thank you, Chief.”
Outside the office, someone starts yelling. There’s a loud crash.
“Well,” Juliet says, wincing, “I think Shawn’s here to pick me up.”
Maddie is trying to pack, but her body won’t follow her brain’s instruction. She’s been in Santa Barbara for weeks; it’s time for her to leave. Hell, she hasn’t had a legitimately work-related event in a week, she’s only staying because she misses her family.
She should have reminded herself, when she soothed Shawn’s nerves about fatherhood or when she accepted Henry’s offer of his guest room instead of a hotel or when she kissed Henry or met Juliet or even just enjoyed this facade of domesticity, that she didn’t deserve a minute of it. She should’ve remembered that she’d chosen to leave them behind, that she’d have to leave again. But she’s gotten so caught up in loving and maybe even being loved once more that she’d lived for the moment and not for the future. But now the future is the moment, and the moment is two hours before her flight out of California, and she hasn’t packed a damn thing. She’s reaching to open the chest of drawers when Henry appears.
“Maddie.” He swallows. “Stay.”
She feels hot anger flash through her, irritation that he’d ask her to do the one thing she’s trying so hard not to. But the anger is misplaced. She’s the only one preventing her. Still, she denies them both.
“Henry, I have to go.”
“Your suitcase isn’t even packed.”
The only effort she’d made to start packing was to organize her notebooks, to fit them with her laptop and a novel into a carry-on. It sits on top of the dresser, mocking her.
“Please don’t make this harder than it already is.”
“Well, maybe you could let me make it easier.” He steps into the room, arms open, a gesture of help. By contrast, Maddie folds her arms across her chest. She never should have let her walls crumble so far, but now she has to build them back up.
“What do you want from me, Henry?”
He swallows. “Maddie, I love you enough to let you go, but… I want you to stay.”
“How could I?”
“Well, you could find a job with a local clinic, or you could keep consulting with the department, I mean it’s working well for Shawn-”
“Henry. I left. I walked away. I don’t get to just walk back in.”
“Why not? Madeline…” he sighs. “Shawn left, too, and I missed him like hell. So when he came back, I tried my best to fix things between us. I still am, and I think it’s working. Can you give me a chance to do the same with us?”
“Do- do you want that?” Maddie’s long-since broken heart slowly begins to beat again.
“Of course, Maddie. I love you.” Henry holds his arms out for a hug. “Come here.”
She does, and he holds her, and it’s the best thing she’s felt in a long time.
Shawn laces his fingers through Juliet’s as they sit in the exam room, waiting for the doctor. “Jules?”
“Are you nervous, or am I the only one?”
She laughs. “Well, I’m certainly less nervous than last month. I can’t imagine why.” She leans into him, and he slings an arm over her shoulders.
The door opens, and Dr. Acursio enters. “Hi, Juliet,” she says, and then, “oh, you must be Shawn.”
Shawn grins and offers a small wave. “That’s me.”
“Well, I’m always happy to see expectant parents in a happy relationship.” She gives them a smile of her own, but Shawn is too busy looking at Jules. He knows he looks like a lovestruck fool. He doesn’t care in the slightest.
Juliet laughs and tucks herself further into him. He kisses the top of her head.
“So, Juliet, how are you feeling overall?”
“Much better than last month,” Juliet answers. “No more nausea, I’m sleeping more than I was at night but I’m not fatigued anymore. I’ve got my energy back.”
“That’s very good, Juliet, we often hear that sort of thing from mothers entering the second trimester…”
The doctor asks Jules more questions, but Shawn stops listening. After all, Jules is still so close to him and why should he listen to her conversation when he could be rubbing a hand gently over her arm and inhaling the scent of her fruity shampoo? I wish she’d worn her hair down today. It’s fun to play with.
Soon enough, Dr. Acursio finishes her exam and sends them down the hall to the ultrasound room. Shawn can hardly control his excitement as he follows Jules. She notices, and laughs. “This is the part you’ve been waiting for, huh, Shawn?”
“Yeah, pretty much.”
She squeezes his hand. “Me too.”
Juliet isn’t sure which she loves more: the sound of her baby’s heartbeat, or Shawn’s soft ‘woah’ upon hearing it. She’s so caught up in Shawn’s hand in hers and the squirming baby on the screen and the heartbeat pulsing from the speakers that she doesn’t even notice the technician frowning at the readouts until Dr. Acursio enters the room.
She tears her gaze away from the ultrasound to look at the doctor. “Uh, is something wrong?”
“Well,” begins Dr. Acursio, so calm and neutral that Juliet is sure she doesn’t have good news, “it seems like your baby has dropped to a lower growth curve than the one they were following at your last appointment. Now, this is most likely just a normal growth fluctuation, but because of the sudden change, we’d like to do a different test. The only reason this gives us any cause for concern is that sudden growth drops can indicate a rare but harmful genetic defect.”
Juliet feels like her heart is in her throat. Shawn’s grip on her hand has tightened considerably. She nods quickly. “Ah, what’s the test?”
“It’s called amniocentesis,” her doctor explains. “I’ll take a sample of the amniotic fluid from an area where the needle won’t bother the baby, and we’ll be able to confirm that there’s nothing wrong, which I’m sure there won’t be. Also-” her mouth quirks up in a small smile- “the test will let us know the gender of the baby, which we can share with you, if you so please.”
Juliet is too worried to even be happy at that prospect. She nods, numb. “Uh, will you do it today? When will we know if anything’s wrong?”
“If you’d like, we can get started right away, you won’t even have to move rooms. The lab work should be back in a week or so.”
A week is far too long for Juliet’s liking, but it’ll be even longer if she postpones the test. “Well then… I guess let’s get started.”
Dr. Acursio brings her paperwork to sign, but Juliet is quite skilled at that. She still has far too much time with her thoughts as she and Shawn sit in the dark room, waiting.
“Our baby’s gonna be just fine, Jules,” Shawn murmurs, beginning to massage her shoulders. “Your heard your doctor, it’s probably just a growth fluctuation or something.”
Juliet sighs. “I should have noticed,” she whispers. “Well, I guess I noted in the back of my mind that I wasn’t getting much bigger, but it never occurred to me… I mean, I felt fine, I didn’t think…”
“Jules, it’s not your fault, baby. You didn’t know. You had no reason to be concerned. You’re doing your best here, yeah? And maybe our kid’s smaller than expected, but I’m sure that’s all it is.” He cups her face in his hands and kisses her forehead.
She whimpers a bit and leans into him. “I just want our baby to be alright.”
Before Shawn answers, the doctor reappears, followed by the ultrasound tech and a nurse. “Alright, Juliet,” says Dr. Acursio, “We’re going to clean your belly with iodine, and then we’ll find a good spot to draw fluid from without bothering your baby. Look on the bright side; you’ll get to see them more on the ultrasound.”
That, at least, soothes Juliet a bit. Seeing her baby still floating happily and feeling Shawn gently massage her shoulders calms her enough that she’s physically relaxed when it’s time for the actual needle part. Shawn winces and looks away, but Juliet barely even feels it, thanks to a numbing agent on her skin.
“You might feel a bit crampy this evening, but if it’s bad pain or lasts for a while, please call us,” her doctor instructs. “And I’m gonna need you to not do anything strenuous- workouts, lifting things, sex- for the next three days. We’ll call you with the test results next week.”
“Thank you,” Juliet murmurs, because she might be upset, but she still has manners. The doctor and her entourage leave, and Juliet dresses again. Shawn offers her a hand as they’re leaving.
“We’re gonna be just fine, Jules,” he assures her.
She takes a shaky breath. “Now if only I could be as certain as you are.”
Chapter 18: (Ups and) Downs
Shawn and Juliet restlessly await the lab results.
apologies for the delayed chapter- I had very little time to write at the beach.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Monday morning, Carlton notices that his partner seems less perky than usual. At first he attributes it to caffeine restriction, but as the morning progresses, he notices she’s less cheery in general. Finally, when Juliet enters the ‘dejected sighs’ phase of being upset, he asks her.
“O’Hara, what’s wrong?”
She’s definitely upset, but the way she slams her stapler hard enough to shake the desk speaks of frustration as well. “Can I get back to you on that?”
“What?” Carlton feels like he’s missing something.
O’Hara sighs again. “I won’t know the lab results until sometime later this week. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Understanding dawns heavily on the head detective. “O’Hara… is something wrong with the baby?”
“I just told you that I don’t know, Carlton.”
“Damn. That sucks… is there any way I can help?”
She shakes her head, her lips pressed into a thin line. He sees her swallow, sees the tears threatening to fall. “Carlton, just- just drop it, please. I know you’re trying to help, but you’re not.”
Carlton nods, feeling like Juliet’s dark mood has spread. He knows logically that there’s nothing he can do and nothing he has done. All the same, when she drops her head into her hands, the heels of her palms pressing firmly into her eyes, a sense of guilt flashes through him, like he’s the reason she’s trying not to cry.
Carlton resolves to never have children.
Wednesday evening, Juliet sits on the couch, trying to finish To Kill A Mockingbird. She’s at the part with the Thanksgiving play, so she knows she’s close to the story’s climax. It’s a good way to take her mind off of things.
Shawn arrives from the kitchen, holding something behind his back. “You look comfy, Jules.”
She’s wearing his shirt and her own academy sweats. “Yeah, well, I’m running out of clothes that fit.”
Shawn raises an eyebrow. “Uh, are you gonna have to go shopping soon? Do I have to come?”
Something about his phrasing sets off some quiet warning in the back of her mind, but Juliet ignores it. She has enough on her plate without picking a fight. “I don’t know, it depends on when I can carve out time. But I could definitely use someone to tell me what looks good and what doesn’t,” she offers.
Shawn chuckles. “Well then, I’ll send Gus.”
Juliet laughs quietly and leans back into the couch. “What’s behind your back, Shawn?”
He grins. “Popsicles!”
“You know that’s right.”
Juliet smiles softly and takes one from him, unwrapping it and beginning to lick. Shawn settles on the couch next to her. “How are you doing? How’s our little guy?”
She shrugs. “Might not be a guy, Shawn. And I don’t know… but according to the books, they might be able to hear a bit.”
Shawn cocks his head, thinking, then moves down to kneel on the floor in front of her. “Can I?” he asks, his hand ready to rest on her bump. She nods.
“Hey, tiny baby,” he murmurs, rubbing gentle circles over her shirt. “Your mom says you might be able to hear a bit of me talking to you, so I thought I’d say hi.” He swallows. “Your mom and I, we’re getting excited for you. We’re kinda just now over the hurdles, just now thinking that we’re actually gonna have a kid. Or at least, that’s where I am.” When he looks up at her, Juliet gives his an encouraging smile.
“Well, uh, you’re kinda scaring us right now, kid,” Shawn continues. “You’re smaller than expected, which is probably totally fine, but we don’t- we don’t know. You might not be fine. And I bet you are, I bet you’ve got some of the Spencer luck and I bet you’re strong like your mother. But we’re still worried about you.” He leans forward, kissing her belly. “I guess it’s just ‘cause we love you so much.”
Juliet is crying now, because of course she is, damn hormones, and her popsicle is beginning to melt. None of that matters as Shawn returns to the couch next to her and she falls into him, kissing him sweetly.
He kisses her back, but she likes the way he pulls her in and holds her close even better.
They’re in the middle of discussing a tip-off about a robbery when the call comes. Lassie is arguing that it could be a prank call, or worse, a trap. Shawn is bored, and being bored is even worse when he’s worrying about Jules. So he argues, of course, because it’s Lassie. And a bank robbery is definitely not boring.
“That bank isn’t even affiliated with the wealthy,” Lassie scoffs. “Who would have such an intense robbery plan that one team member freaks and calls the cops?”
“It could just be someone who’s, you know, a decent human being who knows that stealing is bad,” Gus offers.
“True! Or it could be that there’s a secret vault with more money than you’ve ever seen in your life, Lassifrass!” Shawn bounces on the balls of his feet.
“Spencer, do you even know how banks work?”
The chief interrupts, looking displeased. “Detective Lassiter, working for this department means you assess all threats, even improbable ones.”
“And I have assessed it! I’ve assessed that it’ll waste our time! O’Hara, back me up on this!”
Everyone turns to look at Juliet. Shawn catches her expression in the moments before she answers- she’s got a faraway look in her eyes, and worry written across her face.
“Carlton, we need to at least check it out,” she sighs. “We’ll double-check the safety features, work with the bank’s-” she’s interrupted by her phone ringing; Shawn’s close enough to read the number.
It’s her doctor’s office.
Juliet’s eyes widen. “Ah, I need to take this. Sorry.”
Shawn reaches for her as she heads for the door, be she shakes her head. “I’ll only be a minute,” she murmurs.
She might not only be a minute. She might get bad news and he wants to be there, wants to make sure she’s not hurting alone. And if the news is good, then he sure as hell wants to know as soon as possible.
But he acquiesces.
He keeps listening to the discussion of the robbery, even glances at the transcription of the tip call so he won’t forget, but he’s thinking of Jules the whole time. God, I hope the baby’s okay.
Finally, Chief Vick dismisses them , giving a few orders to Lassiter and then the beat cops outside the office. Shawn sees Jules on the phone, but she hangs up as he starts towards her.
“Jules?” Shawn reads her body language, her microexpressions, just like his dad had taught him, but he himself is so worried that even her physical relief doesn’t relax him. He needs to hear it.
She smiles, giddy with relief. “Shawn! The lab work showed that our baby is perfectly healthy and developing well.” She grins even wider and meets him in the middle, pausing them both alongside a wall. “It showed something else, too.”
Shawn raises an eyebrow. “Yeah? What else?”
She takes his hands in hers. “We’re having a baby girl.”
Shawn laughs in delight and pulls her into his arms, kissing her soundly, despite the fact that they’re in plain view. “A girl! I have no idea what to do with a girl!”
Jules giggles. “Well, I have no idea what to do with a baby.”
He kisses her again, on the cheek this time. “We’ll figure it out.”
“We will.” And then Juliet gasps, a look of shock coming over her face. It’s followed by a gentle smile and her hand travelling to her belly.
Shawn frowns. “What? What happened?”
“I think- I think she’s moving,” Juliet whispers. “It feels all bubbly… just a little more substantial than gas.”
Shawn feels his eyes widen as well. “Woah,” he murmurs. “I guess she really is doing okay.”
Juliet laughs softly and wraps her arms around his neck. Her lips press against his and warmth spreads through him.
“I’m sure she is, Shawn. I’m sure she is.”
hooray, happy shules! hm, let's try a game in the comments- I already have a name picked out, but what do you think they'll name their baby girl?
(again, I already have the name. it's not going to change, this is just for fun!)
Chapter 19: Hard Lessons
As Juliet makes it through month four of her pregnancy, doubts start creeping in.
happy Labor Day! I was out of town for the weekend, which is why this wasn't up on Saturday. But it it a few hundred words longer than usual, so, enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet is happy, no, beyond happy that her growing daughter is alright. And it seems her baby girl can tell, because in the weeks since Juliet first felt her move, she hasn’t stopped. Not even to let Juliet sleep.
It’s taken a bit, but today, Juliet finally realized she could feel the kicks from the outside if she rested her hand on her belly. It’s her lunch break now, and she heads to the Psych office, excited for Shawn’s reaction.
When she gets there, the office is empty, but she settles on the couch with a banana. Soon enough, the door bangs open, and Shawn and Gus rush in.
“Where have you boys been?”
“Actually working, for once,” Gus answers.
Shawn blows through the office like an energetic tornado. “Jules, the auto shop isn’t an auto shop at all, wish I could chat but we gotta- wait a minute, you should come with, there’s a good chance we’re gonna need someone to make an arrest-”
Juliet’s eyes widen at his unceasing chatter. He’s in the zone, there’s no stopping him now. She tries anyway. “Shawn…”
“I’ll call Lassie and feed him a location, wrapped in jokes of course, it wouldn’t be right any other way-”
She stands and walks towards him. “Hey, Shawn-”
“If we hurry we can catch the boss before he leaves for the day, actually, it’s just past noon, we probably don’t need to hurry-”
“Shawn, do you want to feel-”
He spins toward her, bight-eyed and grinning. “We’ve got this, Jules! Let’s go!”
She follows them out to the cars, because what else can she do? A tiny elbow pokes her from the inside, and she rubs at her belly. Suddenly, she’s struck by the image of a young girl, who looks a little like her and a lot like Shawn, waiting on the couch of the Psych office or on a bench at the station as her parents rush around, trying to work. A shiver runs down her spine.
That is not the life I want for my daughter.
Shawn has spent a full week working and only coming home to crash for four hours or so, after Juliet’s already asleep. That continues days after they wrap up the auto shop case, due to a kerfuffle with tracking down payment from their client. Finally, a few days after Juliet’s lunch visit to the Psych office, he makes it home at an earlier time.
Jules is just climbing into bed when he arrives. “Shawn! Are you planning on sleeping past seven tomorrow?”
Shawn briefly feels guilty for always leaving before she’s awake, but he smothers it in humor. “Hell yeah. I’m not even opening the office until noon.”
She smiles up at him, patting the bed next to her. “C’mere, sweetie. I have a surprise for you.” She looks down at her belly, tracing light circles. ”We have a surprise for you.”
His interest piqued, Shawn strips down to his boxers and crawls over the bed towards her. “What’s up, ladies?” he murmurs, stroking her bump softly.
Almost in response, he feels a light kick against his hand. He gapes, forgetting to breathe. “Woah.”
Jules beams. “She’s getting stronger in there, isn’t she?”
Shawn leans over to kiss her lips. “Strong like her mama.”
More weeks go by, weeks of solving cases and feeling for kicks and shopping for maternity clothes. Juliet starts to buy things for her baby, too, but they don’t know where she’s going to go yet, so it’s mostly just clothes and the occasional baby toy.
They go to another doctor’s appointment. Their baby girl is sticking to the smaller growth curve, but she’s growing, and she’s healthy. Shawn, Juliet, and all the doctors are satisfied. Juliet keeps half of the strip of sonograms. Shawn takes the other half to put on his fridge. Juliet looks around his rented apartment- which had previously been a dry cleaner’s- and wonders if this is where she’ll end up raising her daughter. But even that would require moving in with Shawn, and they’re not there yet.
She laughs at the thought. Four and a half months pregnant, and they’re not even ready to move in with each other.
Shawn knows something is changing with Jules. She’s gotten quieter, more practical and work-oriented. Her smiles are still there, but they’re more mechanic… and the soft ones, the ones Shawn thinks might be just for him, have all but disappeared.
It’s just hormones, he reassures himself. Hormones and mood swings and nerves about the baby. God knows I’ve got some of those, too.
One night, when Jules has been a little bit snappish all day- but blamed it on heartburn and aches, of course- Shawn sits next to her on the couch, reaching to put an arm over her shoulders. Without looking up from her book, Juliet turns so he can’t reach her, and curls into as tight of a ball as she can manage.
“Jules, what’s wrong, baby?”
“C’mon, what’s up?”
He sighs. Stubbornly, he decides to push the issue. “Juliet, I want to help you feel better, but I can’t if I don’t know what’s wrong-”
“You want to know what’s wrong?” Juliet is yelling as she stands up, tossing her book to the side. Shawn suddenly thinks that maybe he shouldn’t have pushed quite so hard. Before he can backpedal, Jules continues.
“We’re wrong! You, me all of this!” She gestures around the room, to what, he can’t be sure. “This is not how this is supposed to happen, Shawn! Six months ago, I wouldn’t have given a passing thought to settling down with you, to starting a relationship even as I’m trying to work my way up the ladder of the SBPD. Six months ago, you were lying to me daily with a clear conscience! I am just a few really bad days away from regret, Shawn, and that scares me. It absolutely terrifies me to think of our daughter growing up with a father who’s flying by the seat of his pants and a mother who wanted to make it further than she did.”
Shawn gapes, feeling like he’s been physically struck by her words. Juliet is nowhere near done.
“We are not ready to have a child, Shawn, and I am so fucking afraid of what’s going to happen.”
“I’m scared, too!” Shawn runs a hand through his hair. “You’re not the only one who’s worried, Jules, this isn’t easy for me either, not really-”
“Oh, you don’t know the half of it!” Her voice has risen to a scream, bordering on hysterical. “It isn’t easy!? Of course it’s not easy! I am a detective, Shawn, I have to work hard, and put others before myself, and I like that! I don’t want to jeopardize it! It’s not easy for you? You’re not the one who’s five months pregnant with a baby she didn’t even ask for! You could leave, Shawn, any time you wanted! You’ve got no strings, no obligations that can’t be slipped, you certainly don’t have a career to speak of!”
Shawn glares, anger and hurt blending as they course through his veins. “Really? Is that really what you think of me?”
Juliet wraps her arms around her belly, matching his dark look with an icy scowl of her own. “Why shouldn’t it be? I’ve known you for three years, and you’ve only been even semi-reliable for four months.”
“You still think I’m going to leave? I told you I loved you, I told you I’d be here for you no matter what, and you’re still expecting me to run? Jesus, Juliet, did you ever think that I’m never going to be able to change for the better if everyone keeps expecting the worst from me?”
“How long would it have taken, Shawn? If I hadn’t gotten pregnant, how long before you would have told me your secret? Would you have just let me have faith in you, even as you continued to live a lie?”
“Oh, you had faith in me? That’s rich, Juliet. This, right here? This is not faith. It’s not even in the fucking ballpark!”
“I need you, Shawn! I have other things to worry about than ‘faith’! We’re both running all over Santa Barbara, working twenty-four-seven, we haven’t even been on a date in god knows how long! I am in love with you, whether it’s the safest, healthiest option or not, and I need you here! With me!”
“I am, Jules! I’m not going anywhere, and I’ve told you that a thousand times. Why the hell are you picking now to doubt me?”
“I didn’t choose this, Shawn! It’s just been… building, growing, all these nerves and doubts and fears and honestly I think I might lose it if we don’t figure something out. We’re not ready for a kid,” Shawn,” she repeats.
He shakes his head, almost at a loss for words. “Jules I don’t know what to tell you. I agree that we’re not, but we’ve only got about four months to get ready.”
Juliet drops her head into her hands. “God. Fuck. God, I- I can’t do this, not right now. We need to figure things out, but I don’t have the energy to figure it out right now.”
Shawn steps forward, ready to reassure her, but she sighs and shakes her head. “Just go, Shawn. I- I think you should leave.”
He reaches for her regardless, but she yanks her hand away with a shaky breath. He watches helplessly as she storms into her bedroom.
Shawn can hear when she starts sobbing, but he knows she won’t be comforted right now. After a few minutes, he does as she’d asked, quietly slipping from the apartment.
Something breaks inside him when he pulls the door shut.
did you enjoy it? ;)
Chapter 20: We Blew Things Out of Proportion
I don't wanna do, I don't wanna do this to you
I don't wanna lose, I don't wanna lose this with you
I need to say hey, it's all me, just don't go,
Meet me in the Afterglow
- Taylor Swift, "Afterglow"
expect chapter titles and summaries to be from Lover for a while 😂 I have always loved TS and Lover especially feels like such a shules album
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shawn knows that Juliet gets up at seven and leaves for work at eight-fifteen. She’s not out of the shower until seven-fifteen, and anytime past eight, she’s already too focused on work for any meaningful conversation. With that schedule in mind, he arrives at her place at almost exactly seven-thirty.
It takes him four steps to cross the dew-wet grass to her staircase, which is eighteen steps and two landings, counting the one that puts him right at her door. The whole time, he’s replaying the conversation he’d had with his dad in his head.
Late Last Night
Henry groans as the ringing phone wakes him. He only removes one arm from around Maddie to grab it off the dresser, knocking several other things down.
”Henry Spencer, the hell do you want?”
His son’s voice comes through the phone. “Jules and I had a fight.”
Henry winces in sympathy, though Shawn can’t see it. He knows from experiences that fights resulting in one am phone calls are some of the roughest, the most emotionally draining.
”Shit, kid. What happened?”
Next to him, he feels Maddie roll over. To avoid any concern, he removes himself from under her, kissing her cheek before moving quietly to the living room. On the phone, Shawn explains.
”God, I still haven’t even processed everything… Dad, you know that thing people do where they push down all the doubts and concerns and fears for as long as they can, but it doesn’t work, and eventually everything comes spilling out?”
Henry’s done that himself, on occasion. “Yeah.”
”Well, uh, that happened. Times a thousand.” Shawn stops talking, but Henry just waits, knowing he’ll go on. “Jules and I both said a lot of stuff we didn't mean, or at least, I don’t think she meant it, I hope she didn’t… about each other, about our relationship, about having this kid.”
Henry bites back a groan. The more he hears of this, the less he likes it. “Shawn, can you give me a- a general idea of what sort of things were said?”
Shawn’s voice is bitter. “I’m an unreliable liar, she has no clue what to do with a kid, she needs me to help her through this- how I’m not already, I don’t know- and oh, yeah, we’re doing this in the wrong order and we fucked everything up.”
Henry nods slowly, truly at a loss for words, which hurts, because the whole time he’s been a father, he’s never wanted anything more than to be able to tell Shawn everything would be okay. “Shawn, you’re saying that Juliet’s freaking out because she has doubts in you, and in herself, and in the two of you together.”
”Yeah, pretty much.”
”Look, kid, I know this hurts. I know it does. You have some thinking to do, Shawn.”
”Dad, I’ve been thinking all night!”
”Listen , Shawn. You have a decision to make, now. This isn’t something that will just go away with wine and flowers- and believe me, I’ve tried. Maybe you’re ready to take a stand, to prove that she doesn’t need to worry about you leaving or whatever it is that’s got her so worked up, but you can’t do it just to prove her wrong. You can’t do it just because it’s what you think you should do. So yes, Shawn, you need to do some thinking, and if you’re ready, then show her. If you’re not… well, that’s a whole other problem.”
”Alright, Dad, alright. Sleep well.”
”G’night, Shawn. Love you.”
Shawn knocks insistently on the door, hoping Juliet will actually answer. His arms are already tired from hauling a bunch of crap up the stairs; he doesn’t wanna hold his stuff much longer. Thankfully, the door opens. Juliet’s eyes widen when she sees him.
“Shawn, thank god, I’m so- wait a minute, why do you have three duffel bags with you?”
Shawn meets her eyes, trying to be as serious as he can. “You said you needed me. You said you were scared I was going to change my mind, going to- to leave you. So I’m not.” He drops the bags on the porch for effect… and also because they were really getting too heavy. “I’m moving in.”
Jules gapes at him, and like so many times between last night and this morning, Shawn second-guesses himself. But all he does is plant his feet and lift his chin up, because this is his eighties-movie-style Grand Romantic Gesture. He’s made his decision, and this is him proving himself.
And it pays off.
It pays off, because Jules opens and closes her mouth, and then takes in a shuddering breath- the kind he knows means she’s trying not to cry- and then she steps through the doorway, wrapping her arms around his neck and planting her face in his shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” she mumbles. “I didn’t mean it. Not about you, especially not about the baby. I just…” her words become choked by unshed tears, and Shawn rubs a hand over her back, making soothing noises.
“It’s okay, Jules. I know. I know.”
She hugs him tighter, and her bump is pressed against his stomach, and he feels it when their daughter kicks. To Shawn, it feels like a ‘welcome back’, a sign that he’s doing the right thing.
“Shawn?” Juliet’s voice is still muffled by his shoulder, but Shawn can tell from her breathing that she’s calmed down.
“Can you seriously fit all of your stuff into three duffel bags?”
“Yep. It’s two more than I had when I came back to Santa Barbara.”
Jules pulls back, looking him in the eye. “You’re really ready for this?”
Shawn nods. “If you are.”
“Then come on.” She takes his hand in hers, and picks up one of his duffel bags. “I have to go to work, but I’ll make you coffee while you start unpacking.”
When Juliet comes home from work, Shawn is adding his vinyls to a shelf at the bottom of the TV cabinet, and she can hear a vacuum running in the bedroom. She raises an eyebrow.
“Hey, Jules!” Shawn bounces up from the floor, rushing over to her and giving her a quick peck on the cheek. “Gus agreed to come over and help me move, and I thought we’d surprise you with a super clean house. I even did the dishes!”
Juliet laughs. “Shawn, that’s actually really helpful. I take it Gus is vacuuming?”
“Yep.” he grins. “Also, Gus and I were talking about maybe getting some of my stuff out of the Psych office, because I’ve got a lot of personal crap there and this place is bigger than mine. The real benefit to that would be that we could give you a corner for your office stuff, and maybe use your office room here for the baby?”
Juliet rarely uses her at-home office, preferring to spread her work over the dining table instead of cramming herself into a desk when she’s spent her entire day at one. She grins at her boyfriend. “Sounds like a plan.”
Shawn makes dinner, a grilled chicken salad that he admits Gus had suggested. “I’m good with the grill," he tells her as she changes out of her work clothes, “but if Gus hadn’t explained to me that bell peppers aren’t spicy, all you would have had in the salad part would be cucumbers.”
She laughs as she tugs a stretchy blouse over her head, then smooths it over her bump. “Thank you, Shawn. For everything.” When she looks at him, when she sees the adoration in his eyes, she feels so horrible for having ever doubted him. “I’m really sorry, Shawn. I-”
He cuts her off with a shake of his head. “Jules… you clearly needed to say what you said last night. I’m just glad we’re getting back on track.”
Juliet gives him a somewhat teary smile. “I love you, Shawn. You know that, don’t you? I always will.”
Shawn nods, moving closer to wrap her in a hug from behind, so that he can feel her belly. “I know, hon. I love you too.”
When their daughter kicks, Juliet feels like it’s a message, a reassurance that she’s doing something right.
I put a tiny parallel in there, did anyone find it? Comment if you think you caught it!
Chapter 21: Grinning Like a Devil
Juliet vs Gossip and Shawn vs God
This chapter and next chapter were supposed to all be one but this one kinda got away from me
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet is friends with many of her fellow officers, and almost all of the women at the station. The only one she doesn’t exactly get along with is Lucia Reynolds, with whom she’d gotten off to a rocky start with the whole cupcake incident. Despite Juliet’s best efforts, Officer Reynolds still distrusts her, so of course it’s her who’s across the break room from Juliet, filling a half-full coffee mug and unsubtly gossiping with Officer Jane Franklin.
Juliet sighs to herself as she throws away her muffin wrapper, deciding to confront the issue head-on. She gives Reynolds and Franklin a tight smile. “Afternoon, ladies… I can’t help but notice that you seem to be talking about me, without including me, while I’m also in the room.”
Reynolds glowers and turns to doctor her coffee, but Franklin returns Juliet’s smile. “Sorry, that was rude, wasn’t it? We were just wondering… well, rumor has it you’re pregnant, Juliet.”
Juliet nods in confirmation. “I guess the grapevine has to be right every once in a while. Although, I’d hope anyone working at a police station has enough observatory skills to confirm their suspicions themselves, by now.” She lays a hand on her rather obvious bump, and Franklin laughs.
Reynolds, still sulking in the corner, chooses now to enter the conversation. “Yeah, well, ‘the grapevine’ is also saying you fucked the psychic.”
“And what about it?” Juliet’s retort comes out sharply, the defensive words leaving her lips before she really has time to think. “He’s only a consultant. We’re not breaking any rules.”
Reynolds turns to face her, a cruel smirk playing over her lips. “Makes you wonder how many other girls around here he’s knocked up.”
Juliet’s mouth opens in outraged shock, but before she can give the other woman a piece of her mind, Franklin steps in. “Um, actually, I don’t think that’s the case at all… Lucia, you have to have noticed that Spencer has… calmed down recently.”
Reynolds sniffs. “Ha. Suuuuure.”
Franklin rolls her eyes. “Don’t be mean, Lucia. You know what I’m talking about. He’s stopped flirting with literally everyone he sees.”
Reynolds seems to recognize that she’s been beat. “Whatever.” She grabs her coffee, and her lips curl into a sneer as she leaves the room. “Congratulations, Detective.”
Juliet scoffs. “Oh, thanks so much.”
It’s Friday. Shawn knows it’s Friday. He also knows that Sunday is Easter, because he’d made earlier plans with his dad and Gus to go to the service and then have brunch together. He’d just forgotten about the whole ‘Good Friday’ thing, and about his and Henry’s tradition of going to confession together on Good Friday afternoon. Of course, Henry has now made a friendly phone call to remind him.
”Shawn, we did it all the time when you were little. I know we haven’t done it in years, but I thought it would be, I don’t know, nice to do something together!”
“You’re right, Dad, you’re right. Jules and I are coming for Easter brunch. I might even be able to meet you to help bring your fish in tomorrow morning. I’m only saying no to going to confession!”
”Why!? I know you hated it as a kid, but you’re a grown-ass adult now. Surely you can sit still.”
“First of all, I can’t, and second of all, what is confession?”
”What? You know what confession is.”
Clearly, he’s not getting it. Shawn groans. “What happens there, Dad? What are the rules?”
”You sit in the confessional, you explain your sins and ask for repentance, the priest blesses you. It’s that easy.”
“Exactly, Dad. You repent your sins and swear not to sin again. I can’t do that right now.”
There’s a moment of silence on the other end as Henry figures it out. ”Oh, right.”
“Get it now, Dad? I’m not coming to confession.”
”Alright, fine. I’ll see you at the docks tomorrow.”
Juliet makes it home Friday afternoon and immediately rids herself of her blazer and heels. She knows Shawn will be here, because he closes Psych at one on Fridays, so she doesn’t even bother calling for him before she starts to talk. “God, you won’t believe the day I’ve had.”
Sure enough, Shawn appears from her office, a stack of textbooks in his arms. “Jules, you’re home! What the hell am I supposed to do with five full books on police procedure?”
She laughs and stretches out on the couch. “Shawn, only two of those are on procedure. The other three are Miami Law.”
“Juliet.” Shawn sighs, his expression the defeated one of a man who has been sorting through a cluttered office all day. Why would we- why- under what circumstances would we need three law books from another state that are at least three years out of date!?”
Juliet is kind of enjoying his utter confusion, so she teases a bit more. “Well, I’m pretty sure they’re closer to five or six years past useful.”
Shawn splutters. “Why did you even bring these to California!?”
She can’t control it any longer; she bursts into laughter. Shawn gapes. “You’re baiting me!”
“You make it so easy.”
He joins her on the couch. “You are bad, Juliet O’Hara.” His lips fall onto hers in a spectacularly delicious kiss.
Juliet groans. “If this is going in the direction I think it is, you’d better get me to the bedroom before you do anything else.”
“Really? Hot sex on the couch isn’t something you’re into?”
“What I need right now is for you to make love to me and then let me take a nap.”
Shawn hums into her shoulder; she thinks he understands. “Is this related to what you were complaining about when you came in the door?”
“I wasn’t co-” he bites at her neck, and her rebuttal is cut off by a gasp. “Yes, fine, it’s related to that. I’ll tell you over dinner later. Now get off me so we can get to the bed.”
He carries her to the bedroom instead. Juliet’s totally on board with that.
“So,” Shawn asks, as Juliet is devouring her macaroni, “what crazy thing happened at the station today?”
“I finally let the cat out of the bag, because Lucia Reynolds is a bitch, and she can think whatever she wants to about me, but if she thinks she can be rude about me out loud in the same room, she’s got another thing coming.”
Shawn’s fingers tighten around his fork. “What did she say?”
Juliet shrugs, body language relaxed, face casual. “She called me a slut, she called you a cheater, she acted as pissy as a fifteen-year-old when Jane Franklin took my side.”
Shawn tries for a smile, tries to laugh it off, but his jaw is clenched tight and it ends up being more of a grimace. “Oh, she sounds fantastic.”
Juliet reaches across the table to take his hand in hers. “Shawn, don’t worry about it. She’s never been anywhere near nice to me. I don’t care what she says, I only stepped in to get her to shut up.”
Shawn grumbles. “I still don’t like that people are talking shit about you. Why the hell would they even want to? You’re the nicest person in that place!”
Jules laughs, which is a sound he really likes. “Shawn, everyone’s got to complain about something. I promise you, I don’t mind.”
He gives in with a sigh. “Alright, Jules. Alright. Well, I’m glad you like the mac n cheese.”
Juliet is surprised to find Shawn gone when she wakes up on Saturday, but a note on the mirror (a sticky note, not a lipstick one, thankfully) lets her know he’s gone to the docks with his dad. While this has her a bit confused, it’s a reasonable explanation for his absence. Shrugging her shoulders, Juliet begins to make pancakes.
Shawn arrives just as she’s digging into her breakfast. His hair is windblown, he looks as though he’s been splashed several times, and when he kisses her, he tastes salty.
“Noone told me getting ready to launch was the hardest part of fishing.”
She shrugs and gives a head-tilt. Her mouth is full.
“Oh, hey, pancakes!”
“Cinnamon,” Juliet adds. “O’Hara family recipe. Wash your hands.”
He does, and then joins her at the table. Once he’s begun stuffing himself, Juliet starts quizzing him about his morning.
“I thought you hated fishing with your dad.”
“Couldn’t get out of this one.”
“Did you really finish an entire fishing trip before eight-thirty?”
“Nah. I just had to help him cast off and all that.”
“Why? Did you lose a bet?”
Shawn shakes his head and focuses on his food. His shoulders hunch slightly, and the next bite of pancakes is larger than strictly necessary.
Juliet sighs and sets down her fork. “Shawn, what did you do?”
“I didn’t do anything!” She raises an eyebrow. “Seriously! I was just making up for not going to confession with him yesterday, like we used to do.”
Juliet frowns, downing her prenatal vitamins with milk. “Why not?”
He shrugs. “Going to confession is kinda pointless if I’m not gonna repent my sins.”
Juliet thinks back to her confirmation class, in high school. Her family hadn’t been catholic, but she vaguely remembers a discussion of what constitutes a sin. It only takes her a minute to make the connection. “You didn’t go to confession because having a baby out of wedlock is a sin.”
“Technically, yeah.” Shawn looks totally nonchalant, continuing to drown his pancakes in syrup as if he doesn’t care. Juliet frowns.
His head snaps up. “What? No. What are you sorry for?”
Juliet shrugs. “I don’t want to come in between you and your dad.”
“Jules, I don’t care about confession.” Shawn is staring at her earnestly now, pancakes abandoned. “I’m not super religious, and a lot of so-called sins are super outdated. I don’t care about that. You didn’t come in between me and my dad, because we just went out to the docks this morning instead. And I’ve already mentioned that I’d like you to come to the easter service with us. For me, just going to a service with my family-” he reaches for her hand- “my whole family- is more than enough to celebrate Easter.”
Juliet smiles warmly, reassured by his enthusiastic explanation. “Well, then, church sounds good…” she smirks. “As long as you’re sure we won’t get struck by lightning as soon as we walk in.”
Shawn laughs at her joke, and she shakes powdered sugar over her pancakes, and just like that, their morning is back on.
next chapter is the easter service! I'm not catholic so I'm not even gonna try to write the actual thing but like. everything that happens after
Chapter 22: If I'm Going to Hell, I Might As Well Make It Worth It
The Spencers go to an Easter Service.
The opinions expressed by certain (literally) unnamed characters in this chapter are not mine, nor are they meant to represent the opinions of the Christian community. There's always one or two assholes in every demographic, and I played that up here. I am Christian, I am bisexual, I am religiously tolerant. I'm not here to hate on anyone.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet has grown used to sleeping in on weekends, so it takes her two mugs of decaf tea before she’s functioning, and then, of course, she has to pee. But she’s always had a fairly quick morning routine, so she and Shawn are out of the house with plenty of time.
She drives one-handed, because Shawn likes to hold her hand in his. It’s not a busy road. She doesn’t mind.
“How’s our little girl, Jules?” Shawn moves his hand from hers to her stomach. Instead of adding her free hand to the wheel, Juliet lays it on top of his, smiling at the feeling of tiny kicks.
“She likes it when she gets attention, I think.”
He laughs. “Just like her father.” He’s silent for a minute, and she can’t turn away from the road to look at him, but she thinks she can almost hear his pensiveness. “Hey, have you thought about names at all?”
Juliet’s a little startled by the question. She has, actually, when she’s bored at work or trying to fall asleep at night. She doesn’t know why it hadn’t occurred to her that Shawn would be thinking along the same lines. “Yeah, I’ve thought a bit… I have a few names I like, but none that really feel perfect.”
“Do you want to name her after a relative or anything? Maybe use Juliet as her middle name?”
Juliet shrugs. “I’m not all that keen on namesakes, but I’m open to the middle name being a relative. I don’t think we have to name her after me, though.”
Shawn takes her hand and kisses their intertwined knuckles. “Why not?”
She sighs. “Well… let’s focus on a first name first.”
“Alright, what were you thinking?”
“I don’t know… something that’s not super common, but not so much that there’ll be four girls with the same name in her elementary school classes. It has to be easy to spell.”
“So that rules out Phoebe.”
Juliet snorts. “Yeah, probably.”
“I like the name Annie,” Shawn suggests, “or maybe Carla. We could call her Carly for short.”
“I think you’ve called Carlton that before.”
“Oh my god, I didn’t even think of that.” Shawn makes a face. “Maya?”
“I like Maya,” Juliet agrees. “There’s certainly nothing wrong with it. I just think I’ll know her name when I hear it, you know?”
“I do,” Shawn replies. “So I’ll keep throwing suggestions at you until we find one?”
Juliet laughs as she pulls into the church parking lot. “Sure, Shawn. You do that.”
Henry has, dare he say it, finally gotten used to having Maddie around again. He loves every minute with her as much as he had when she’d first arrived, but now he takes comfort in knowing she won’t be leaving. Still, it feels natural having her by his side once more… so natural that he’s forgotten that Shawn isn’t aware of this development.
“Hey, Gus, Shawn, Juliet,” Henry greets as they meet on the walk up to the church. “Having a good week? Aside from Shawn, because I saw you yesterday.”
Gus begins to answer, but is interrupted by Shawn, who’s wearing a decent outfit and a new expression of shock. “Mom,” he asks slowly, “why- what are you doing here?”
Maddie blinks; apparently she, too, has forgotten that she was supposed to leave. “I decided to stay in Santa Barbara, Goose.”
Shawn’s brow knits in confusion. “But why?”
Maddie sighs. Henry is ready to step in and tell Shawn to save this conversation for after the service, but she answers before he can. “For you and your father, Shawn. I… I love you both very much. I explained to you a while ago that leaving was best for both of us, at the time. But now, well,” she takes a breath. “I suppose I just want my family back.”
Shawn opens his mouth, then closes it again. Henry watches carefully for a reaction, but doesn’t like what he sees; a slight downturn of Shawn’s mouth, and his hand in Juliet’s tightening, almost protectively. His gaze hardens.
“Sure, why not,” he says, but as he breezes ahead of the group, Henry gets the message loud and clear.
I have a family now, and I can’t let you come back and break it.
Shawn had gotten through the service fairly easily by sitting at the opposite end of the pew from his parents. It had gone normally, and Jules had seemed comfortable throughout, so he’ll count it as a win.
He’s still not sure how to handle his mom being in town supposedly for good, but he’ll deal with that later. Right now, he’s introducing Jules to old friends who still go to this church. Every once in a while they run into someone who voices an unnecessary opinion, but Shawn has been good at exiting those conversations.
Now they’re talking to a woman who might have taught his Sunday school class. Shawn is kind of zoning out, but he snaps to attention when she makes a rather snide remark.
“Well, I, for one, am surprised that you don’t have a ring on your finger,” she says to Juliet, faux-casual. “...especially in your condition.”
Shawn stiffens, his arm tightening around Juliet waist. For her part, Jules smiles too wide and replies in the same tone. “Oh, Shawn and I are happy where we are. We love each other, jewelery or no.”
“Hmmm,” replies the woman. “It seems to me that some people don’t quite know the difference between love and lust… but then again, it’s not uncommon for humanity to walk the line between sin and righteousness.”
Alright, that’s it. Shawn calls on his memory to identify the woman’s husband, then gives both of them a once-over until he finds a suitable retort. “Well, love without marriage is better than marriage without love,” he snaps. “Or maybe I’m wrong, I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for why your husband isn’t wearing his wedding ring.”
The busybody gasps in shock, and Shawn smirks coldly. Mission accomplished. Before he can revel in it, Jules is dragging him away, bright red but smiling, which is what he wants.
“Oh, Shawn,” she sighs. “I love you dearly. But now we really need to leave.”
Shawn beams and kisses her a little too thoroughly for a churchyard. If they’re judging, let them judge. “Fine by me, Jules,” he agrees. “Happy Easter.”
Heads up: I feel like this fic is kind of getting stuck on Juliet's pregnancy, which was not really my intention. Expect more time-skips and episode-related chapters soon, and get ready to meet shules' baby girl!
Chapter 23: Tell Me That We'll Be Just Fine
Entering her third trimester, Juliet goes on maternity leave... just in time for Shawn an Gus to take an abnormally risky case.
I'm posting this early bc I'm gonna be away tomorrow morning :) episode tag to 3x04 "Daredevils!!"
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Spring in Santa Barbara warms up pretty fast, seeming to hit summer weather within the first few weeks. So it’s with windows open to gentle breezes that Shawn and Juliet turn her apartment for one into a home for three… and it’s not as hard as she’d expected.
The weeks pass, Juliet’s office looking more an more like a nursery every day. It’s painted a shade of lilac called ‘raspberry ice’. They add a chest of drawers, a rocking chair, a changing table. One weekend in May, Juliet comes home from working a robbery to find Shawn attempting to assemble a crib.
“It’s the one we picked from Ikea,” he mumbles. “I think the instructions are in Swedish.”
The nursery is finished by the end of June, just about two months before Juliet’s due date. She’s in the last few chapters of What to Expect When You’re Expecting by now. One night, Shawn looks over her shoulder, reads for a minute, and makes a choking sound.
“What’s the matter?” Juliet doesn’t look up from her book.
“Uh, are you reading ahead, or?”
“Nope, this is the general overview of thirty weeks pregnant, which is right about where I’m at.”
“Wow,” Shawn says hoarsely. “So… only ten weeks left?”
“More or less.”
“Okay.” He suddenly sounds much quieter, and Juliet turns to face him.
“What’s the matter?”
“I… I don’t think I’m ready.”
She leans over to kiss him on the cheek. “Well, I’m not, either. But we’ve got another couple of months. You don’t have to start freaking out yet.”
He nods and plants his face in her hair. She knows he likes how it smells, and she likes how he holds her. When their daughter turns around inside her, Juliet lays Shawn’s hand on her belly. “She says hi.”
Shawn grins against her hair as the baby kicks. “Hi.” A pause. “Jules?”
“I think I have a name idea?”
She looks at him inquisitively. She’s perused many a baby name book over the past couple of months, still coming up blank. “Yeah?”
“Do you like the name Maisie?”
She thinks for a second, letting the name roll around in her head. “Maisie…” a smile spreads over her face. “Shawn, it’s perfect.”
He beams, moving from behind her to kneel in front of her and talk to her belly. He does it a lot. “Hey, baby girl,” he murmurs. “Should we call you Maisie?”
Juliet giggles as a series of kicks answer him. “I think she likes it.”
Shawn leans forward to kiss her large bump. “Maisie it is, then.” When he rejoins Juliet on the couch, he kisses her on the cheek. “It’s a Scottish name.”
Juliet stares at him, her mouth opening in shock. “Shawn, I have never mentioned to you that my family is Scottish.”
“You told Lassie, when you invited him over for Christmas, because he was lonely and you didn’t want him to be lonely even though he’s mean because you’re just that awesome.”
She sighs, running her fingers absently through Shawn’s hair. “He’s not mean, Shawn. Well… not always. And you weren’t there when that happened!”
“I was. I was eavesdropping. Because you ran off and didn’t talk to me for a week and I was confused.”
Juliet frowns slightly, remembering how she’d dealt with sleeping with Shawn. “I’m sorry,” she mumbles. “I didn’t really know what to do, after everything.”
Shawn puts an arm around her shoulders and kisses her gently. “I know.” Another kiss. “I forgave you for that a while ago.”
She sighs happily and melts into him. “I love you.”
Juliet groans and rubs at her belly, shifting in her seat in an attempt to alleviate the Braxton-Hicks contraction. She hasn’t been doing anything even remotely strenuous, on account of being on desk duty, so it’s probably from dehydration. She reaches for her water bottle, but it’s empty, so she heads for the hall to refill it. Only, her path is blocked by a row of chairs, and a group of grown men acting like children. As she watches, Buzz takes a running leap, and clears all five chairs.
She tries to ask him what the hell is going on, but her voice is drowned out by a chorus of screaming men.
Story of her life.
Another guy runs up, and Juliet steps out of the way. Only, this guy catches his foot on the second to last chair and ends up sprawled at her feet, looking dazed.
“Oh,” Shawn murmurs. “Hi, Jules.”
She gives him a stern look. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Would you believe me if I told you it was for a case?”
“I don’t care what it’s for, you could’ve cracked your head open. Now come on, I looked up the suspect you asked me about.”
Shawn holds up an arm for help. She raises an eyebrow and lays a hand on her belly. He groans. “Right.”
Somehow he does manage to get off the floor and follow her to her desk. One of the other officers yells after him. “You’re whipped, Spencer!”
Shawn throws a grin over his shoulder. “Damn right!” He waves in Juliet’s general direction. “Wouldn’t you be?”
She rolls her eyes, but the compliment does put a smile on her face.
Maddie has gotten her belongings shipped from Seattle to Santa Barbara. She’s found a job at a local women’s clinic, as a counselor for any client in need of help. Now she’s embarking on the more personal parts of her return, such as reconnecting with her family.
Shawn and Gus are working a case this week, so she starts with Juliet. The detective has been on desk duty for a few weeks now, and confessed over a family dinner that she was ridiculously bored eighty percent of the time. So Maddie had offered a nice lunch, one that would get her out of the station for a bit, and Juliet had accepted. Which brings them to this afternoon, at a mediterannean restaurant. When Maddie walks in, Juliet is already sitting at a corner table, perusing a menu.
“Hi,” Juliet,” she greets. “Sorry I’m late; I hope you weren’t waiting long. One of my patients went a bit over the time limit.”
Juliet waves a hand dismissively. “It’s no problem, Maddie. I’ve only been here for a few minutes. Is your new job going well?”
Maddie picks up a menu for herself. “Really well. It doesn’t pay as well, but it’s more laid-back than my old office, and I like that. Besides, Henry and I are lucky to not have to worry too much about money nowadays. Above all, it’s nice to be back home with my family.”
Juliet nods. “I can imagine. I’m glad you’re settling in… has Shawn come around? He won’t talk to me about it, but he’s stopped scowling whenever someone says your name.”
Maddie pauses as they give their drink orders to the waiter, then answers the question. “I think I’m as close to forgiven as I can hope for, right now. I still have a lot to make up for.” She can feel her smile slipping. “Hm, what’s good here? How about the lamb?”
“Too greasy for me, right now,” says Juliet, not commenting on the subject change. “I think I’ll go for the naan with grilled chicken.”
“That sounds delicious,” Maddie agrees. “So, what’s all this about Shawn and Gus chasing another murderer? Is it just them being ridiculous, or is there an actual case?”
Juliet shrugs. “Well, I can’t say too much, but there is some solid evidence. Although, now Shawn and Gus are undercover testing the stunts that someone’s trying to kill Jenkins with. And of course, he’s treating the whole thing like a game.”
Maddie sighs, shaking her head. “So he’s still acting like an overgrown child.”
“He is, yeah, and don’t get me wrong, I need someone like that. I need someone to make me smile and remind me not to take everything so seriously. But there are some things that need to be taken seriously, and Shawn just… doesn’t. He doesn’t seem to care that what he does is dangerous. I- I worry for him.”
“Of course you do, Juliet,” Maddie says, her voice quiet and calm. It’s the tone she uses to soothe clients. “You love him. Worry is a part of that.”
“I know,” she sighs. “I just wish he’d be more careful.” She rubs gently at her bump. “He needs to stay alive for a while longer.”
The evening after his discovery of Dutch’s cancer, Shawn is telling Jules about the case as he massages her back. “But the thing is,” he murmurs, “‘El Diablo’, who’s secretly Louis, got into a crash with another biker when he messed up a stunt- like, legitimately messed up, not sabotaged. So Dutch took his place for his next gig.”
Juliet shifts under his hands, sighing. “Jesus, I’m glad you got Psych started before anyone introduced you to stunt biking. Crime solving may be dangerous, but at least there’s no unnecessary threat to your life.”
Shawn opens his mouth, then closes it again. He doesn’t need to tell Jules about how he’d nearly fallen off a building trying to save Dutch… after all, he’s fine now, and it would only make her worry more. So he stays quiet, leaning down to kiss the top of her head. “Yeah… as cool as stunt biking is, I wouldn’t have met you.”
She doesn’t need to know.
Shawn and Gus are arguing over the pointlessness of killing a guy with cancer when Shawn is reminded that Jules has a way of learning things. Today, that way is Lassie. The Head Detective is giving the Jenkins case file a cursory once-over, and mulling aloud to his partner, occasionally ridiculing Shawn and Gus’ investigative tactics.
“Spencer, I can’t believe you threw yourself off a building,” he scoffs. “Wait, scratch that- actually, it’s exactly the sort of thing you would do.”
Oh, Shawn thinks. This is why people tell their girlfriends things, even if they don’t strictly have to.
Juliet turns toward him, an eyebrow arching. “You did what?”
“I saved Dutch’s life,” Shawn corrects. “His wingsuit was faulty. When he opened his arms, it would’ve ripped, and he would have gone splat.”
“But you could’ve just said that,” Gus points out. “You didn’t have to tackle him to the ground and almost fall off the roof.”
Shawn smacks Gus on the arm. “You’re supposed to be on my side!” He turns back to Jules. “I was gonna tell you last night, but then you started talking about how you were glad I didn’t do dangerous shit like Dutch, so I figured I didn’t need to worry you.”
She gives him a stern ‘we-will-discuss-this-later’ look. “Shawn, we have police work to do. Can you and Gus keep investigating on your own without getting killed?”
Something in her tone makes Shawn wince. He’s in for it later. “Yeah, Jules, we’ll get out of your hair.”
Juliet finds a smoothie with her name on it (literally) sitting on the counter of the Psych office’s kitchen. So Shawn knows she’s not happy, but he’d trusted that she wouldn’t be mad enough to cancel their lunch plans.
“Jules!” Shawn pushes himself away from Gus’ desk, rolling his rolly chair through the doorway. “You came in the back door.”
“Closer to the food,” she jokes. “I guess I didn’t eat as much as I should have for breakfast… I’m starving.”
“Well, you have your smoothie,” he says, “and I can make sandwiches, because Gus insists on having some food that isn’t junk food in the office.” He opens the fridge. “Peanut butter and jelly or turkey and cheese?”
Juliet kicks off her heels and stretches out on the couch as Shawn makes her a turkey sandwich on a bagel. Gus had left at some point, a sheaf of papers in his hand, muttering about legal reference books.
“Jules,” Shawn asks, laying lettuce on her bagel, “are you mad at me?”
She sighs. “I’m not mad. I’m worried about you, and that makes me even more frustrated when you make a stupid mistake. I…” she pauses, trying to think of which issue to tackle first. “Communication is big, Shawn. What if one day you leave out something because you don’t want to worry me, and that one detail is the piece I need to find you when you and Gus are being held at gunpoint by a criminal?”
He frowns as he brings over her sandwich. “I didn’t think of that…”
She takes the plate, thanking him with a quick kiss. “I know. We’re learning together. Would you mind if we texted each other when we’re going somewhere that isn’t home, the department, or the Psych office?”
Shawn brightens. “That’s a good idea!”
Smiling softly, Juliet leans into him. “I just want you to be careful, Shawn. I just want you to be safe.”
He wraps an arm around her. “Same goes for you, Jules. Same goes for you.”
Shawn knows what’s going to happen.
Dutch wants to go out in a blaze of glory, not because he’s trying to be some sort of superstar, but because that’s the only way his family gets paid. It’s admirable, really… but not at all the right solution.
Dutch has one last stunt, a risky one he’s never pulled, one that’s dangerous enough that even his survival instincts won’t save him if he fails. And now it’s up to Shawn to make sure he doesn’t.
He’s on his way down to the tunnel when Jules intercepts him. Her expression is somber and her blue eyes are wide and she shouldn’t even be here, but she is, and she rests a hand on his arm to stop him from moving forward. “Shawn.”
“Jules, hey, what’s wrong?”
“I need you not to do anything stupid. We need you not to do anything stupid.” She takes a breath. “First it was jumping five chairs, and then tackling Dutch to save his life… you’re a lucky man, Shawn, but I wish you wouldn’t rely on it so much.”
Shawn can tell she’s close to rambling, so he leans in and kisses her soundly on the lips. “You alright now?”
“Kissing me-” she blinks as if trying to reorient herself. “Kissing me doesn’t make everything better.”
“Yeah, well, it shuts you up long enough for me to explain. Look, Jules…” he rests a hand on her belly. “Dutch might be willing to die for his family, but I’m willing to live for mine.”
She stares at him, slowly beginning to grin. The next thing he knows, she’s pulling him in for a lengthy kiss. They’re out of breath by the time they break away.
Shawn winces as the intro music begins to play. “Alright, girls, I gotta go,” he says. Before running off, he pauses. “Kick for good luck?”
They wait a second, Juliet rubbing at her belly to encourage their daughter to move. She does, and Shawn feels a tiny elbow (he thinks) against his hand. “I’ll take it. Love you both.”
Later, Shawn will think that his desperate desire for a life with his own family helped him convince Dutch to stick around for his. He’ll think that he was able to convince the biker because it was a father-to-father chat, not just Shawn begging him to stay alive.
Or maybe not. After all, he’s always been good at talking his way out of things.
Still there’s something about the case that makes Shawn appreciate his own family even more. So he hugs his mom when they go to family dinner, and he participates in conversation beyond what’s strictly necessary, and he and Jules stick around for a bit after the meal.
Holding Juliet in his arms and joking with Gus while Maddie and Henry roll their eyes in the background, Shawn realizes that this is as happy as he’s been for a long, long time.
I'm getting serious with the timeskips, y'all. Next chapter is 3x04, and sOmEtHiNg HaPpEnS
Chapter 24: Long Nights pt I
Shawn's Uncle Jack comes into town. Things spiral rapidly downwards from there.
This is up early bc I'm out of town AgAiN- I haven't changed the normal update day.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Juliet’s last trimester seems to pass in a blur. She tours the maternity ward, she and Shawn attend birth classes, and her own checkups get more frequent. Still, it feels like weeks pass every time she blinks. Now, near the end of her pregnancy, she’s lying on Henry Spencer’s couch, mostly on top of Shawn as he massages her aching belly.
Juliet sighs happily. “That feels good.”
“Yeah?” Shawn keeps rubbing gently, and their daughter shifts a bit. “How are you feeling overall, Jules?”
“Well…” she takes a moment to think. “Right now Braxton-Hicks contractions have calmed down, and she’s moved lower, so I can breathe deeper. That’s all good.”
“But you’re still feeling achy?”
“Yeah, pretty much all the time. The sooner this kid gets out, the better.”
Shawn grins. “Only a week until we get to meet her.”
Rubbing at her belly, Juliet sighs. “She could come any time this week, really. I’m officially full-term.”
“That scares me.”
“Really? Last I checked, you’re not the one who has to push a kid out of her body.”
They’re still bantering lightly when the doorbell rings. “Shawn, can you get that?” Henry calls from the kitchen.
“Nope! If I move, I have to move Jules, and I’m legally not allowed to do that.” He quirks an eyebrow at her. “That’s a law, right?”
Juliet smiles and wiggles so that she’s even more cuddled in his arms. “It is now.”
Maddie walks past them with a smile, answering the door to put a stop to Henry and Shawn’s bickering. “Oh, Jack!”
Juliet feels Shawn sit up and tries to tug him back down. “Noooo. You’re my pillow. I’ve actually found a comfortable position; I’m not moving until it’s no longer comfortable.”
“Right, sorry.” Shawn kisses the top of her head. They hear the front door shut, and then Maddie re-enters, followed by a man Juliet doesn’t recognize. Apparently, Shawn does. “Uncle Jack!”
There’s a crashing noise from the kitchen, and then Henry’s voice. “Jack!?”
The Spencer family assembles, all looking shocked. Jack only grins; Juliet can see the family resemblance. “How’s it going, guys?” He holds out a hand to Juliet, and she sits up to shake it. “Jack Spencer.”
“Juliet O’Hara. I’m Shawn’s girlfriend.”
“Nice to meet you,” he replies, before turning to Shawn. “Shawn boy! How’d you get this lucky?”
“I ask myself that every day, Jack,” Shawn answers, cheerfully hugging his uncle. “How’ve you been?”
“I’ve been great, Shawn!” Jack drops his backpack onto the coffee table with a grin. “I’ve been treasure hunting.”
“That’s one word for it,” Henry grumbles. Shawn ignores him.
“Dude, that’s so cool! You’re still exploring and all that?”
“Oh, yeah. As a matter of fact, I’m in town because legend has it that a French pirate by the name of Buchard stashed stolen Spanish gold somewhere in Santa Barbara.”
“It’s high time you stopped letting ‘legend’ dictate your life, Jack,” Henry mutters.
Jack whirls around dramatically to face Henry. To Juliet, it’s becoming abundantly clear that the man is related to Shawn. “Don’t worry, Henry! I know you’ve always doubted me, but-”
“Oh, come on!”
Jack holds up a hand to stop Henry from interrupting. ”But, during a recent expedition to Argentina, I found this.” He gingerly pulls a large, rolled-up paper from his backpack. Shawn immediately drops to his knees to help him unroll it.
“Woah, a map… cool!”
Juliet frowns, leaning forward a bit to see. “What’s it a map of?”
“Excellent question, gorgeous.”
“Sorry. Juliet, was it?”
“Anyway, it’s a map of Bouchard’s journey, from France to a few Spanish lands up to Santa Barbara! This map-” he jabs at the paper for effect-” will lead us straight to the treasure.” he grins at Shawn. “What do you say to another adventure, Shawn boy? For old times’ sake?”
Shawn grins, but then slowly shakes his head. “I can’t, Jack… I’ve got more important things to worry about right now.”
Jack sighs in resignation, and Shawn sits back on the couch. Juliet then says something that, over the next twenty-four hours, she will really, really regret.
“Shawn, go have some fun.”
“Babe, I love you, but I don’t need you hovering for the next week… a day out will give you something to take your mind off things, and it’ll give me time to get things ready at home.”
“Jules, everything is ready.”
She wrinkles her nose. “But it doesn’t feel like it is.”
Still, he looks hesitant. “Are- are you sure?”
She can see the similarities between him and his uncle; she knows they’ll have a great time. And while she, personally, highly doubts that there’s any sort of treasure to be found, this sort of thing is right up Shawn’s alley. “Yes, I’m sure. Take Gus; he’ll love the idea until he has to get dirty.”
Shawn grins, probably thinking about him and his best friend navigating their way through a series of Indiana Jones-esque traps. “Jules, you’re a genius.”
“Juliet,” Henry sighs, “I cannot overstate how horrible of an idea this is.”
“Then why don’t you go with them, dear,” Maddie suggests. “If you’re so worried.”
“Hell no.” Henry folds his arms and sinks into his armchair, apparently realizing he’s been beat. “Fine, whatever. Don’t call me to bail you out of jail.”
Juliet points a finger at Shawn. “Don’t do anything that’ll get you thrown in jail, period.”
He grins, kisses her quickly, and then bounces up. “C’mon, Jack! We’re wasting daylight! Let’s go get Gus!”
Shawn promises to be home by dinner, but around five, Juliet gets a text practically begging her to let him follow up on just one more clue. She agrees, and gets a similar text at seven. This one comes as she’s pacing through a Braxton-Hicks contraction, and battling heartburn, thanks to lasagna for dinner.
Juliet groans and closes her eyes, dropping her face into her hands. This is the last week he’s gonna be able to live life like he’s been living it. Let him have fun.
Sighing, she types out, Be home by dark. And be careful. August on the southern coast of California means light until almost ten o’clock; plenty of time for Shawn to have fun. After an affirmative reply comes through, Juliet settles herself down for some stretches.
Shawn isn’t home by dark, but Juliet doesn’t realize that.
She’s asleep by nine, and stays that way for a while. Then, at some ridiculously early hour, she wakes to kicks in her ribs and twinges of pain throughout her belly.
The twinges aren’t bad, and they’re only occasional, so Juliet figures she just needs some water. She throws an arm out to whack Shawn awake, but hits cold sheets. Frowning, she sits up. “Shawn?”
Juliet checks the bathroom, and the living room, and the nursery, and the kitchen. Shawn is nowhere to be seen and she doesn’t have any new alerts on her phone. Filling a glass of water, as she’d originally planned, she dials his number.
”You’ve reached Shawn Spencer, Psychic Extraordinaire, don’t bother leaving a message ‘cause I already know what you’re gonna say. Yeah, I am that good.”
“Shawn, I told you to be back by dark!” she snaps irritably. “Where are you? Could you not have texted me?” She pauses, sipping water to calm herself. “I’m not going to yell at you over the phone. Call me when you get this.”
Her phone rings almost as soon as she sets it down, and she chokes on her water in her haste to answer it. “Shawn?”
“No, Detective, It’s Chief Vick,” comes the chief’s voice. “I’m sorry if I woke you.”
“You didn’t, Chief,” Juliet answers. “What’s going on?”
”Ordinarily, I wouldn’t call you in at this hour, but we have a situation at the station. A few members of the Spanish government have brought in three of ours whom they’re accusing of stealing Spanish artifacts.”
Juliet groans. “Let me guess… it’s Shawn, Gus, and Jack Spencer.”
”Two out of three, Detective. We’ve got Henry Spencer, not Jack.”
Juliet blinks in surprise. “Well, you should probably start looking for him. I’m on my way in.”
As she’s heading out the door, she curses softly at the feeling of fluid in her underwear. She considers changing, but decides she doesn’t have the time. It’s just some discharge. She’ll deal with it.
Shawn drums his fingers on the metal interrogation table. God, Jules is going to kill me. “Hey, Dad-”
Henry makes a shushing noise. “Don’t say a word, Shawn.”
Shawn lapses into silence for a few seconds. “Fergulous.”
“Shawn, I said no words!”
Shawn scoffs. “Oh, I see how this works. Two weeks ago, we’re playing scrabble, and it’s not a word, and now all of the sudden, it is, just because it’s convenient for you.”
“I cannot possibly have raised you to be this much of an idiot.”
Shawn has a response to that, but the door to the interrogation room opens, and the person he’d least wanted to be here more or less waddles into the room. Shawn winces. “Jules, you should be at home resting.”
“And why am I not resting, Shawn? Who’s fault is it that I had to come down to the police station at two in the goddamn morning?”
“Well, if you wanna be technical about it-”
“I do not.”
Shawn deflates. “I’m sorry, Jules. Things got out of hand.”
She shakes her head. “They always do, with you.”
The door opens again, and Lassie and the Chief enter. “Spencer, what the hell have you done now?” Lassie demands.
“Detective,” Chief Vick corrects quietly, “you know how to conduct an interrogation, and this isn’t it.”
Lassie sighs. He steps closer, holding the back of the chair opposite Shawn and leaning forward, glaring menacingly. Jules and the chief stand behind him, both with their arms folded and their expressions stern. Lassie is the only one to speak.
“Spencer,” he begins, “how did you come to be in possession of this Spanish gold?”
Shawn leans back in his chair, folding his arms behind his head and grinning. “Well, it all started about twenty years ago…”
The interrogation drags on for hours. Juliet steps in one or two times, mainly to yell at Shawn for goofing off when he needs to be taking things seriously, but for the most part, she hovers in the shadows, occasionally correcting Carlton on a detail.
She shifts from foot to foot, not happy to be standing for this long. She can feel more discharge in between her legs, but she can’t exactly do anything about it. For the second time in about a half an hour, her belly tightens painfully, stronger than a normal Braxton-Hicks contraction. Juliet stretches and tries to pay more attention to the interrogation. It’s probably nothing.
Twenty-four minutes later, another one comes, a wave of pain that starts from the top of her uterus and washes over her whole body. Juliet bites back a groan. As the pain clears, several things click in her brain.
The water doesn’t always break all at once. It can be a slow trickle, and it can break hours before labor starts.
Braxton-Hicks contractions originate in the lower back, while labor contractions start from the top. And regular, increasingly painful contractions are definitely actual labor.
Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. Not now. She grimaces and rubs at her belly. “Not the time, kid,” she whispers.
Juliet opens her mouth to say something, then closes it. If she tells Shawn now, he’ll freak out and they’ll never get this investigation closed. She knows she’s got hours before she really needs to be in the hospital, and that’s if she’s legitimately in labor. She can stay quiet for now. It’ll be fine.
Juliet quietly endures another two contractions over the next forty-five minutes. It’s not intolerable, while they’re twenty or so minutes apart, and not lasting too long. The last one has her gritting her teeth and clenching her fists so hard that her nails draw blood from her palms, but still. She’s had worse.
Her next problem comes when the Spaniards take Shawn and Gus with them to dig up more gold. Shawn presses a piece of paper into her hand, with only a few words scrawled on it in marker.
They’re fakes. Love you. Sorry.
“Shit,” she says aloud, just as the van is pulling out of the station. “We have a problem. Well, two problems.”
Carlton groans and turns to face her. “What now?”
She holds up the note. “Firstly, Shawn and Gus are in serious danger.”
“Of course they are,” he mutters. “And secondly?”
“I’m-” a contraction cuts her off, catching her off-guard. She makes a pained noise and leans against the wall, panting through it.
“Oh, god.” Lassiter’s eyes widen. “Are you-”
“Yeah,” she manages as the pain fades. “I’m in labor.”
This was originally the first ~2k of an ~6k chapter, but I decided to split it so I wouldn't be throwing so much at y'all at once. Next chapter coming next SATURDAY!
Chapter 25: Long Nights pt II
Shawn and Juliet are in for a long, long night.
It's taken me 25 chapters to get here, but I've finished the first arc of this story! But don't worry, that doesn't mean I'm gonna stagnate. I have many, many more ideas!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Karen Vick leaves her officers unsupervised for fewer than three minutes to make herself a cup of much-need coffee. She returns to a three-way shouting match.
“Have Spencer drive you!” Lassiter yells.
O’Hara shakes her head, one hand holding her belly. “No, he needs to help you rescue Shawn! And Gus.”
“What are you going to do, drive yourself to the hospital?”
Henry and Lassiter respond in unison. “No!”
Karen thinks she has a pretty good idea of what’s going on. “O’Hara, are you in labor?”
“As far as I can tell.”
“Henry, are you coming with us to track down Shawn and Gus?”
“Not if Juliet’s gonna drive herself to the hospital!”
“I’ll be fi-” Juliet chokes on her words and sits down on a nearby bench, moaning lowly.
“Henry, call your wife,” Karen suggests. “She can go with Juliet.”
Henry smacks himself in the forehead. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
“Because men lose at least fifty percent of their brain function when a woman goes into labor.” She takes a sip of coffee. “It’s a fact.”
Juliet laughs a little, straightening up. “I can call Maddie. It’ll be another twenty minutes or so before the next one.”
Henry and Lassiter rush off to find Shawn and Gus, and Karen should be getting back to work, too, but instead, she stays with Juliet as they wait for Madeline.
“Do you know when it started, Juliet?”
She sighs. “Well… I had some odd twinges earlier, when I woke up, and now that I think about it, I feel like my water probably broke around the time I left the house. But I’ve only been having contractions for the past hour or so.”
Karen blinks. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Shawn would’ve flipped out, and we never would’ve finished the interrogation.”
The chief shakes her head. “Never let it be said that you aren’t dedicated to your job. You definitely need these next ten weeks off.”
They’re only waiting a few minutes before Maddie Spencer rushes into the bullpen. “Hey! I got here as fast as I could.”
Juliet, currently breathing through the end of a contraction, offers a thumbs up. Once she can stand, she and Maddie head for the exit.
“I’ll see you in a few weeks, Chief,” she calls.
Karen smiles. “Good luck, Detective.”
Maddie watches Juliet for most of the ten-minute drive to the hospital. She doesn’t ask her how she’s feeling, or how long it’s been, or any of the questions she knows the doctors will ask. They’re silent for a while.
“I hope Shawn’s okay,” is the only thing Juliet says.
Maddie hopes so too.
They make it into the hospital, and Juliet gives her information to the receptionist. She’s pre-registered, so she doesn’t have more paperwork to do, thank god. Another contraction hits as she’s sitting down in a chair, and she lets out a long moan of pain. “They’re getting closer,” she pants.
Maddie hums sympathetically and lays a reassuring hand on Juliet’s arm. “You’ve got some hard hours ahead of you,” she murmurs, “but you’re so strong. I know you can do it.”
Juliet manages a smile, her eyes filled with tears of pain and emotion. “Thank you,” she gasps as she’s recovering.
It’s another few minutes before a nurse calls her name. Soon enough, she’s in a triage room, with a fetal heart rate monitor, a heart rate monitor for her, and some other device that measures her contractions.
“Alright, Ms. O’Hara, you just need to answer a few questions for me,” says a cheery brunette nurse. “When did you last eat?”
Juliet thinks for a minute. “Dinner last night.”
“Any particular reason why you skipped breakfast?”
“I was working. I’m a cop. I got called in at 2am for an interrogation.”
The other nurse, flipping through her file, looks up, looking incredibly confused. ”Why?”
Juliet sighs, rubbing at her belly. “It’s a long story.”
“Looks like you’re gonna have the next few hours to tell it,” the female nurse says, as Juliet gasps and then groans in pain. “That’s your third contraction in twenty-nine minutes, which means you’re really in labor.”
Juliet groans. “Really? I hadn’t noticed.”
Maddie had been made to stay in the waiting room during the triage process, but one of the nurses who had gone in with Juliet comes out with a smile and invites her to walk with them to room 331. When they get there, Juliet changes into a hospital gown, the room’s privacy curtain closed around her. Maddie folds up her clothes and sets them on the couch by the window.
When Juliet is fully dressed, the male nurse- Chase, his name badge says- comes in with an IV pole. “Alright, Juliet,” he says, “since you haven’t eaten and you’re likely dehydrated as well, we’re gonna give you a nutrient drip for a few hours. I think it’ll help you out.”
Juliet nods and only winces a bit at the prick of the needle. “Thanks.”
“Do you have your phone on you? Do you need to call anyone? Are we expecting Dad to be here?”
Maddie offers Juliet a hand to squeeze during a contraction. This one is shorter, thankfully.
“Um, I hope he’ll be here soon,” Juliet replies, in answer to Chase’s question. “I think he’s in a bit of trouble with the Spanish mafia. They want their gold back.”
The nurses exchange glances. “Did we give her any pain meds?” The blonde nurse asks.
Chase shakes his head, then grins at Juliet. “Are you yanking my chain?”
She sighs and shakes her head. “Nope. I’m a cop. He’s a private investigator. We’ve been in some sticky situations.”
The cheerful nurse, Amanda, finishes hooking up the monitors. “Alright, Juliet, you’re all set for now,” she says. “Dr. Acursio will be with you in a few minutes.”
The first time the doctor comes in, Juliet is a little over 2 centimeters dilated. She’s been in labor for about two hours.
The second time the doctor comes in, an hour later, she’s closer to 2.5 centimeters.
Labor is a slow process, Juliet knows. She knows she’s moving along at a good rate, she knows she and her baby are both handling it well. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a horribly, wretchedly painful experience. With every minute that passes, Juliet feels less and less prepared, less ready to bring a new life into this world. The fact remains that she just doesn’t know what she’s doing.
She lets out a sobbing scream as the pain of a contraction crests and then slowly fades. Maddie rubs a hand over her arm soothingly. “That’s it, Juliet. You’re doing so well.”
“It hurts,” she whimpers, her voice small.
“It’s going to hurt for a while. Do you want pain meds?”
Juliet bites her lip. She knows medicine would help, but… she’s spent her life doing hard things, all by herself, to prove that she can. And she doubts pain meds would help her worry and anxiety that much. “No, I’m good.” She swallows. “I want Shawn.”
“I know, darling. I’m sure he’d rather be here with you than wherever he is. He’ll be here soon.”
“But what if he isn’t?” Juliet whispers hoarsely. “I can’t do this without him. I’m scared.”
Maddie brushes her hair out of her face, then continues to stroke her hand across her forehead. “I’m sure he’s just fine, Juliet. Don’t worry. Focus on this, for now.”
Juliet screams as another contraction hits. Every one feels like she won’t be able to take another, and then she does. The pain is unrelenting, worsening, the worst she’s ever felt.
But between the contractions… between them it’s alright.
Sure, it means time for her to worry about Shawn, to worry about having this baby, to worry about all manner of things she can do absolutely nothing about, currently. But it also means time to watch her baby’s heartbeat, to feel where she is inside her, to remind herself that at the end of this, she’ll be able to hold her baby girl in her arms.
And then the next contraction comes, and the cycle starts again.
Shawn grins in relief when Lassie and his dad show up, just before Andres and his pals decide they have no use for him and Gus. Once the criminals are surrounded, they give up easily, and are loaded into waiting squad cars.
“Spencer, get a move on, you’re with me. You too, Guster, I guess.”
Shawn tries to get in the passenger seat, but Lassie practically shoves him in the back. “I’m not dealing with you right next to me for this car ride.”
Shawn mouths off about being thrown in the barred-off backseat like a criminal, but shuts up when he realizes he doesn’t know the road they’re on. “Lassie, this isn’t the way to the station.”
“We’re going to the hospital. O’Hara’s in labor.”
Shawn nearly jumps out of his seat. “She’s what!?”
“See? That’s why I didn’t let you sit in the front.”
“Since when? How long have we been out here, anyway? Is she okay!?”
“It’s been a few hours, I think. She went into labor near the end of your interrogation, so… about four.”
“Shit! Drive faster! Use the siren!”
“Will it shut you up!?”
“Yes. I will be quiet for the whole car ride as long as you get to the hospital as fast as you fucking can!”
True to his word, Shawn stays quiet for the whole drive, vibrating silently with nervous energy. They get to the hospital, Shawn spits out Juliet’s information in a rush, and they’re directed to the third floor, room 331. Shawn races to the room-- Gus, Lassie, and his dad behind him. He gets the door open, and Juliet’s doctor turns to face him, raising an eyebrow as she gives him a once-over.
“Woah, woah, woah. You guys are filthy. Go wash your hands, and maybe burn that jacket.”
Shawn grimaces. He is, in fact, covered in mud, but it had seemed like an inconsequential detail. He looks over the doctor’s shoulder at Juliet. “Jules?”
She smiles, looking relieved to see him. “I’ll be here.”
Once he’s sufficiently clean, Shawn positions himself in a chair right next to Juliet. His mom and Gus take the couch, but he pays them no mind.
“Jules,” he says, a little breathless. “I’m so sorry, sweetheart. Are you okay?”
“Better with you here,” she answers.
“I’m sorry I didn’t get here faster. I shouldn’t have-”
“It doesn’t matter now, Shawn. You didn’t know. You’re here now.”
“I am,” he breathes, taking her hand in his. “I am. And I love you.”
She reaches for his hair and pulls him into an emotional kiss. It only breaks when a contraction comes, and she lets out a long, low noise of pain. Shawn feels his chest constrict, part of some deep need for Jules to not be in pain. She’s squeezing his hand painfully hard, but he’s so focused on running his fingers through her hair and kissing her forehead that he barely notices.
When it’s over, he stares wide-eyed as she catches her breath. “Jules… how have you been doing this for four whole hours?”
She shakes her head, leaning back into her pillows, clearly exhausted. “Hell if I know.”
Henry leaves first, to track down Jack. Juliet is in too much pain to wave goodbye. Gus goes next, to get food, though he’ll be back. That leaves her, Shawn, Maddie, and Carlton, the latter of whom is looking supremely uncomfortable. When she gives a ragged scream as a third contraction in ten minutes hits, he finally decides to make his exit.
“Um, good luck, O’Hara,” he mutters. “Uh, let me know when she gets here?”
Juliet offers him a tired smile, still panting with exertion. “I will, Carlton. Have a good rest of your work day.”
Perhaps Maddie can tell Shawn and Juliet would like some time alone, because she excuses herself soon after that.
“I love you, Juliet,” Shawn murmurs. She reaches up, stroking a hand along his cheek. Words are too much effort right now, and besides, her throat is sore from screaming.
“How’s our little girl doing?” Shawn asks, resting both hands on her belly. Her muscles ache, but his touch is nice, soothing her as always.
“Good,” she manages, coughing a bit. Shawn fills a small cup with water, letting her drink from it.
“Is that her on the lower heart monitor?”
“Yeah. Nice and steady.” Juliet smiles, laying her hand on top of his. Their daughter isn’t moving much, but the beep of the monitor is reassuring. They have a moment or two of calm before another contraction hits, and Juliet is once again screaming through gritted teeth as Shawn holds her hand and whispers reassurances.
Maddie, Gus, and eventually Henry do return, but more or less, the process is the same for the next few long, painful hours.
Shawn absentmindedly strokes Juliet’s hair, soothing her as the pain of a contraction passes. Sweat is beading at her hairline and creating a sheen over her skin. Her hair, long since removed from its bun, is a mess of blonde tangles mostly gathered to one side, on account of him playing with it. Dark circles are forming under her eyes, and everything about her screams exhaustion.
He’s never seen her look more beautiful. She’s bringing their daughter into the world. If she hadn’t been the most amazing person on earth before, she is now. Shawn can’t stop himself from pressing a kiss to her forehead as his heart swells with love.
She turns to look at him, her eyes glazed, her voice faint. “Shawn.”
“I’m right here, Jules. I’m right here.”
Dr. Acursio enters for the umpteenth time. “Hi, Juliet, how are you feeling right now?”
Juliet turns her tired eyes on the doctor. “Seriously?”
“I know it’s taking a while, but you and baby are both doing well so far.” Kneeling to check dilation, Dr. Acursio smiles. “Keep up the good work… you’re 9.7 centimeters. Almost there, Juliet, almost there.”
Juliet nods, then groans loudly, her face contorting into a mask of pain. Shawn feels her now-routine crushing grip on his hand, but only grits his teeth, knowing her pain is much worse.
“You’re doing so good, baby. I’m so proud of you. You’re amazing,” he murmurs. “So amazing, Jules. I love you so much.”
Her moan morphs into a scream and Shawn feels a pull at his heartstrings. “I’m so sorry, baby…”
“You’d better be. It’s your damn fault I’m doing this in the first place.”
Shawn opens his mouth, then closes it. She’s not entirely correct, but now isn’t the time to argue. “Jules, if I could take all of this pain for you, I would-”
“Oh, just shut the fuck up,” she snaps. “I love you, but right now, you just need to shut your mouth. For once.”
Shawn nods, biting his tongue and kissing her softly on the cheek. He knows she’s just tired and in pain, so he tries not to take it personally. Besides, she’d said she loved him.
Keeping quiet as he’d been asked, Shawn continues to hold Juliet’s hand and play with her hair and occasionally rub a hand over her belly. He thinks she gets the message.
I’m right here, Jules. I’m right here.
When the doctor comes in at hour eleven, Gus and Henry are dozing, Maddie is rubbing Shawn’s back, and Shawn is just holding Juliet, not because she’d told him to shut up again, but because he feels like he’s run out of things to say.
Juliet screams, her voice now almost gone thanks to hours of pain. Shawn winces and holds her close, kissing her hair. Once that contraction passes, Dr. Acursio smiles at Juliet and then begins her examination. When she rises, her smile has grown.
“Alright, Juliet,” she announces, “you’re ten centimeters dilated. It’s time to have this baby.”
Shawn straightens up, half grinning, half gaping. “Already?”
“Shawn,” Juliet exclaims, “it’s been eleven hours!”
He blinks. “Has it?”
She huffs out a laugh and shakes her head. Dr. Acursio calls a few nurses forward, then turns to the rest of the Spencer family. “Only one extra person in the delivery room, please.”
Maddie, Henry, and Gus file out. Shawn keeps soothing Juliet as best he can. Dr. Acursio sets her feet into the stirrups. “Okay, Juliet, have you felt the urge to push yet?”
“No…” Jules looks worried. Shawn gently rubs a hand over her shoulder.
“That’s fine. If you’re not wanting to push after the next few contractions, we’ll figure something out. But for now, just try to take deep breaths and get ready.”
Juliet nods, and turns to Shawn with a smile. “She’s on her way, yeah?”
“Yeah she is, Jules. You’re doing so good. You’re almost done.”
Juliet does indeed start pushing with the next contraction. Her screams get louder and more ragged, but the doctors and nurses assure her she’s doing well, so Shawn does too. He half expects it to be done in half an hour, now that it’s actually time for the delivery. It is not.
Close to two hours later, Shawn can’t tell that anything has changed, but Dr. Acursio insists things are moving along. Juliet is panting through a contraction, still pushing, when one of the heart monitors begins beeping loudly, the alarm overpowering the beep of the heart rate.
To Shawn’s horror, it’s the fetal monitor. Jules is too out of it to recognize the danger,but she does twist toward the sound. “Wha’s happening?”
The nurses and doctors are muttering lowly, but the numbers are right there, clear as day- the baby’s heart rate has dropped. Shawn swallows hard.
“Alright, Ms. O’Hara, we’re gonna need you on your left side, please,” one of the nurses instructs. “That will help increase blood flow to baby.”
Juliet does as she’s asked, and the heart rate goes back up, but not all the way. Dr. Acursio looks at Shawn, her expression dead serious.
“She needs to get this baby out, and soon. Can you help her focus on pushing?”
Shawn nods, his heart in his throat. “Hey, Jules, look at me.”
She stares into his eyes, whimpering a bit as another contraction starts.
“You’re so close, Jules, you’re doing so good. You’re almost done, yeah? Can you focus on pushing and not on the pain?”
“It hurts, Shawn,” Juliet says in a pained voice.
“She’s almost here, Jules. You’re almost done with the pain. The doctor wants you to push as hard as you can. Can you do that? I know you can, Jules. You’re so strong. You’re so brave.”
She nods, and grabs his hand even tighter, her pants turning to screams as she bears down.
“Baby’s crowning,” says the doctor, and Shawn’s heart skips a beat.
“So good, Jules, you’re doing so good,” he whispers. “I love you so much.”
She keeps going, doing just what she needs to, pushing hard with every contraction. It’s only a few minutes later when her screams get louder than ever, and then the doctor is holding the baby and one of the nurses says, “it’s a girl” but trails off, her excitement dropping, and Shawn quickly figures out why.
His daughter hasn’t cried yet. She hasn’t taken a breath.
Even Jules can tell something is wrong. “What’s going on?” she asks, struggling to sit up. “Is she okay?”
Shawn doesn’t let go of her hand, but he can’t answer her, either, instead leaning forward to watch as Dr. Acursio slides a thin tube into his daughter’s mouth. Shawn stares desperately at the tiny, still figure, nearly praying for her to wriggle in the doctor’s arms, to breathe, to scream. He hears a nurse say something about clearing her airway but it doesn’t even register as he watches his daughter.
Dr. Acursio squeezes a bulb at the top of the tube, once, twice, suctioning out fluid.
Shawn and Juliet’s baby girl lets out a beautiful wail, and that seems to remind the rest of her to be alive, too, because she starts to squirm. Relieved smiles spread through the room.
“Alright, let’s get you cleaned up,” Dr. Acursio says to the baby. She turns to Shawn and Juliet, who are holding each other close, Shawn’s arm over Juliet’s shoulders. “We’re going to clean her and do a preliminary exam- length, weight, the usual- and you’ll be able to hold her soon.” She turns to her nurses. “Make sure the placenta arrives in a timely fashion.”
“She’s here,” Jules murmurs, still breathless. “She’s really here. And she’s okay…”
“She’s just fine, babe,” Shawn assures her. “It took her a second to get with the program, is all.”
Juliet laughs in relief, then groans. “Shit, I thought I was done with this.”
“Just the placenta,” a nurse assures her. “Yeah, here we go.” She holds up a disgusting looking piece of tissue. “All there. You’re good!”
Juliet laughs, a little hysterically. “Wow. I did it. I gave birth.”
“To a beautiful, 7.7 pound baby girl,” Dr. Acursio says. “No wonder it took a while, a huge baby like this coming out of a tiny woman like you.”
“You can undo your gown, if you want,” one nurse suggests. “Just off your shoulders and chest, a bit. Skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby is good for you both.”
Juliet nods, undoing the knots, and Dr. Acursio hands the baby girl to Shawn. “There, hold her just like that.”
Shawn holds her like he’s shown, and when his little girl is in his arms, he promptly stops breathing. “Maisie,” he whispers. “Look at you. You’re really here.”
The tiny infant has some thin blonde curls, soft and downy, freshly dried. Her eyes are blue, and Shawn knows all babies are born with blue eyes, but he secretly hopes hers stay that color.
“Look at you,” he repeats. “So perfect.” He looks up at his girlfriend. “Jules, she’s perfect.”
Juliet smiles at them. “I could look at the two of you all day… or night, I guess.”
Indeed, it’s going on midnight. Shawn couldn’t care less, though. “Well, after all the work you did, I guess you deserve to do more than just look.” He hands Maisie to her mom, and another nurse shows her how to hold the baby. Juliet’s smile grows even wider.
“Hi there,” she says, her voice going all soft in a way he’s never heard. “Hi, Maisie. I’m your mama.” She wipes at her eyes, which are glassy with emotion. “I’m your mama.”
Masie makes several gurgling sounds, waving her arms in the air. Shawn tentatively offers a finger, and she grabs it. He feels a lump grow in his throat. “Jules, she’s so perfect,” he whispers hoarsely.
“She is,” Juliet agrees. “I love her so much. I love you both so much.”
Shawn climbs onto the side of the bed, careful not to jostle the two of them. He wraps an arm around Jules and presses a kiss to Maisie’s head. “I love you too, girls. Both of you are so goddamn amazing.”
He’ll have to go get his parents and Gus. He’ll have to leave this hospital bed, leave this room, take his eyes off his daughter eventually. But for now, he holds them both, and it’s the best feeling in the whole world.
<3 <3 <3