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raspberry preserves

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“Shawn?” Juliet calls. Fucking shit.

“Don’t come in here!” Shawn replies, desperately trying to think of a single solution to this absolute clusterfuck. “Do not come in here!”

“You know that’s just gonna make me want to come in there?” she says, her voice growing louder.

Shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit. Shawn grabs bowls and utensils, sticks them in cabinets, the fridge, the dishwasher, anywhere. “Uh. Please don’t?”

“Shawn,” Juliet repeats, this time as a warning. “What exactly are you doing?”

Shawn sticks the last bowl on top of the fridge- hopefully, Juliet won’t be able to see it without the extra two inches that her heels give her- and turns around, hiding his hands behind his back, just as Juliet enters the kitchen. Her eyebrows go up as she surveys the countertops and the floor. “I really hope that that-” she points to the tiny piles of flour littering the counter- “is flour.”

Shawn sighs. “It totally is, but Jules, you were supposed to be at work until eight!”

Juliet snorts. “And you thought you could clean this all up by eight?”

“I would’ve had two whole hours!” Shawn exclaims. “I totally could’ve done it!”

Juliet squints, scrutinizing Shawn’s face. Usually he likes it when she stares at him, because it means that he can stare back (and God, he could stare at her all day), but this is her Interrogation Stare. “Where’s Gus?”

Shawn sighs. “He’s taking a shit upstairs. Hence the fan, hence the ‘not hearing you come in.’”

Juliet wrinkles her nose. “So… what were you two trying to make?”

“Red velvet cupcakes with raspberry preserve filling,” Shawn tells her, pulling bowls back out of their hiding places. At her arched eyebrow, he says defensively, “What? It’s Valentine’s Day! I wanted to surprise you!”

“And that was sweet, but babe, when was the last time you baked from even a box mix?” Juliet asks, fighting to hide a smile.

“Uh…” Shawn knows the answer, but it’s much too embarrassing.

“Two years ago,” Juliet says. So apparently, she knows the answer, too. She walks towards him and slings her arms around his neck. “I really do appreciate the sentiment,” she murmurs.

Shawn sets the bowl on a counter and leans down to kiss her. Her lips taste vaguely fruity- must be new lip gloss, he notes. She pulls him down even further, deepening the kiss, and he twines his arms around her waist and hoists her up. Her legs reflexively wrap around his waist, and then- “Not on the counter!” she exclaims, pulling back briefly. “New skirt!”

“Ah! I forgot, sorry,” he says, panting. “Looks real good on you, babe.”

She grins. “Thanks.”

“Okay, but where, if not the counter, because I am really not as strong as you-”

“Am I interrupting something?” Gus asks from the doorway. Shit. I really thought I’d hear the vent turn off. Jules slides off of Shawn and straightens the aforementioned skirt, blushing.

“Dude, if the kitchen is a-rockin-”

“Don’t finish that sentence,” Gus says. “I’m guessing that the cupcakes are a no-go, then?”

“Y’know, making them might be fun,” Juliet says slowly.

“Okay, well, you make them without me, because I am sick and tired of Shawn ‘sampling’ everything,” Gus says, grabbing his coat.

“Ew!” Jules responds.

“Babe, I literally put my tongue-”

“Bye!” Gus says, cutting across Shawn’s sentence. The door slams behind him, and Shawn turns back to face Jules.

“What? I was just gonna say in your mouth,” Shawn says, as it slowly dawns on him that maybe Gus has been scarred enough.

“Yeah, okay,” Jules replies. “Did you preheat the oven?”

“Did I what?"

“You’re hopeless.” Jules smiles and walks over to the oven.

“Am not!” Shawn protests. “I made the batter and the preserves, you know. Gus just made the frosting and bitched.”

Juliet sticks her finger in one of the bowls and then licks the preserves off in a way that makes Shawn shiver. “Wow. Shawn, this is actually pretty good.”

“Don’t sound so surprised. Also, can you do the finger lick thing again?”

“How about I do that after we get these in the oven? And then we’ll have, like, fresh cupcakes, right after we…” Juliet trails off with a grin.

Jesus Christ, that’s smart. How did I get so lucky? he wonders. “Juliet O’Hara, you’re my dream girl.”