|Hallway Shrink, Five Cents
Author: brightblue PM
When Madeleine meets Juliet... Post-ep for Ghosts. SPOILERS abound for that episode. Shules-ish, because how could I not?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 2,022 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 24 - Published: 07-28-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4430955
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
DISCLAIMER: They are not mine, sadly. Steve Franks rules!
SPOILERS for episode 3x01 Ghosts!
Well, of course, saddened by the lack of Juliet in this episode and excited about the episode in general, I thought up this little ditty. I wanted Ma Spencer to meet our Jules. This was a quick piece, just for fun. A little Shules to break up all the angsty fallout from the episode (I'm due for some fluff, right?). On a personal note, I am technically a psychologist (though not a clinical one) and when some people find that out, they decide to spill their darkest secrets to me. This was built from that premise.
Enjoy! And hooray for the return of Psych!
Hallway Shrink, Five Cents
"Excuse me! Doctor!"
Madeleine turned at the sound of her title. There couldn't be that many doctors in the SBPD bullpen, after all. She frowned at the sight of a blonde detective hustling to catch up with her.
The pretty woman came to a skidding halt next to Madeleine, taking a moment to collect herself. Then, with a cheery smile, stuck her hand out and said, "Hi, I'm Detective Juliet O'Hara."
Madeleine knew where this was going immediately. Still, she accepted Juliet's handshake. "Nice to meet you, Detective O'Hara—"
"Juliet," Madeleine amended with a smile. The enthusiastic expression on the detective's face was rather endearing. "How may I help you?"
Juliet looked around the hallway suspiciously. Deciding it was safe, she corralled Madeleine into a quiet corner. Taking one last glance around, she began, "I believe you met with my partner, Detective Carlton Lassiter?"
Madeleine nodded. "I did. However, I am unable to discuss any of our conversations with you, Juliet. If you have any questions, you'd have to ask him yourself."
Madeleine moved to leave, eager to return to her ex-husband and son who were undoubtedly doing a messy, superficial job of patching up their relationship in the Chief's office.
Juliet, however, was undeterred and blocked her exit. "I understand. Really, I just wanted to add something for the record. I know that the cat show incident was a bit…uncalled for. However, the thing with the ice cream truck was my fault. How were we to know about the second scooper? I don't think it's fair that Detective Lassiter is being held completely responsible. I mean, yes, he has been a bit stressed out lately, but that's understandable if you knew what he was going through, which you probably do now, and--"
"Juliet!" Madeleine cut off the woman's rant. Juliet's hand flew up to her mouth, realizing she may have said too much. "It's nice of you to want to defend your partner but it's really not necessary. The Chief just signed off on my report clearing him for active duty."
Juliet let out a sigh of relief. "Thank you."
Madeleine smiled warmly. "There's no need to thank me. Detective Lassiter is lucky to have such a concerned partner."
It was true. Madeleine was rarely approached by other officers out of concern for their colleagues. She realized this was more out of caution and protocol than lack of compassion, but it was still refreshing to see worry for one's partner expressed so openly.
"Did Carlton say that?" Juliet brightened.
Madeleine hesitated. "I really can't discuss our sessions, Juliet," she finally replied, leaving things a bit open for interpretation. Something told her Juliet needed the positive reinforcement. Though Carlton didn't exactly express such a sentiment as she implied, it was clear he respected and even grudgingly cared for his partner. Even if he did refer to her "annoying" tendency to be a "smothering Susie Sunshine."
"Right, of course," Juliet nodded, looking considerably more confident.
Madeleine made another attempt to go, but Juliet stopped her again. Anxiety had crept into the detective's pretty features. Madeleine sighed. People always wanted to spill their souls at the most inconvenient of times. She hoped that Shawn and Henry were at least still talking to one another when she returned.
"Can I ask you a quick question?" Juliet fiddled with her necklace.
"Five cents please," Madeleine replied wryly.
Juliet's brow furrowed for a moment, then she grinned. "Oh, I get it! Lucy from the Peanuts? Good one."
Madeleine shrugged, "A bit dated, but usually effective. Now what would you like to ask me?"
The detective chose her words carefully, checking again that no one was listening. "I know you're here to do the psychological evaluations for active duty clearance. But do you ever work with officers on…relationships?"
"You'll have to be more specific. Relationship is a very vague term."
Juliet looked mildly distressed. "But the relationship is very vague."
Madeleine bit back a smirk. She liked this woman. "I'm sorry, Detective O'Hara, but I'm not quite sure what you're asking. Are you talking about your own relationship with someone? A coworker?"
Juliet's cheeks pinked. "Maybe."
"Juliet, if you're having trouble with someone in the department then you really should bring it up with the Chief. She can either help you and this coworker work through it, or bring in someone for outside mediation if the situation warrants it. Okay?" Madeleine offered a final warm look to the detective before turning to leave. She hadn't heard any yelling from the Chief's office so things appeared to be going well with her boys…
Juliet caught up to her again. "But what if the working relationship is okay? It's more to do with the personal relationship? Or where the personal and professional relationships may potentially…intersect?"
Madeleine's heart warmed at the detective's expectant expression. People tended to talk around subjects when they were all too aware of its deeper truths. "Juliet, I wish I could work with you on this problem but, unfortunately, my time with the department is over. I would be happy to refer you to some excellent therapists in the area if you needed someone to talk to about this."
"That's okay," Juliet said, a little dejected. "It's not really a big deal. I was just…" She gestured lamely.
"Looking for some easy answers?" Madeleine supplied.
Juliet nodded. "Exactly."
Madeleine regarded the young woman. She was undoubtedly beautiful, with a warm, friendly demeanor. She probably made a good contrast to Detective Lassiter's harsh personality on the job. She wondered if their partnership was the relationship in question. Perhaps the young detective had some romantic feelings for her superior? That would certainly mean the "intersection" of personal and professional relationships. It was hard to imagine this bright creature before her in a successful romantic relationship with the dour man she counseled earlier, but stranger things were known to happen. Carlton Lassiter did have some intriguing hidden depth to him, as well as those bewitching baby blue eyes. It wasn't hard to see why a woman would be interested in him.
"Well, if you change your mind, here's my card," Madeleine pulled a business card from her pocket and handed it to the detective. "I'd be happy to help set you up with someone in the area. Sometimes it helps to have someone objective listen to your problems."
Juliet twisted the card in her hands, still clearly a little troubled, but resigned to Madeleine's response. "Thank you for taking the time to talk to me."
"My pleasure," Madeline replied, very anxious to return to her own family drama. Before she left, however, she heard the unmistakable sounds of Shawn and Henry bickering (though, she was happy to note, not heatedly) approach. Juliet seemed to notice this, too, and stuffed the card in her pocket. Madeleine watched with interest as she subtly ran her hands over her blouse and hair, checking that it was all in its proper place.
"Mommy dearest! Trying to avoid us, I see!" Shawn bellowed as he approached. Madeleine tsked at her son's over the top greeting. She would've responded but was too busy watching the shock overtake Juliet's features: her eyes went wide, her cheeks paled, and her mouth dropped open. Obviously, the detective knew her son and was surprisingly embarrassed at talking to his mother without knowing it. Interesting.
Then, before Madeleine could speak, Shawn noticed the young detective. "Jules!" He beamed at her. She had recovered well from the revelation and managed a tight grin in response.
Shawn threw his arm around his mother, smirked at Juliet. "I see my two favorite ladies have met."
Madeleine had to bite her lip to keep from grinning. A new theory on Juliet's earlier remarks spun in her mind. Behind her, Henry made a distressed sound. Juliet's cheeks burned fuchsia.
"Oh!" Juliet could barely look Madeleine in the eye. "I didn't realize…Mrs. Spencer…"
"Dr. Spencer, actually," Madeleine corrected the flustered detective. Juliet nodded furiously.
"Right, of course, Dr. Spencer," she corrected, choking a bit on the Spencer part. Shawn looked between the women with interest.
"So, obviously, you two have been talking about me," Shawn preened. Juliet looked like she might be sick.
"Don't be silly, Goose," Madeleine batted her son's arm away from her. Shawn pouted, slightly embarrassed at the use of his nickname. Madeleine pinched his cheek for good measure. "Contrary to what I may have led you to believe, the world does not revolve around you."
"Ha ha," Shawn huffed, shuffling his feet. Henry groaned.
"Juliet, have you met my ex-husband before?" Madeleine stepped aside so the two could acknowledge one another.
Juliet recovered her smile and extended her hand to the retired officer. "Not officially. It's an honor to meet you, Mr. Spencer. I'm Detective Juliet O'Hara."
"Likewise, Detective," Henry said, shaking her hand. Shawn watched over these proceedings with an exaggerated wistful expression on his face. Madeleine wondered how her son got to be so dramatic.
Shawn clapped, suddenly giddy. "Well, now that you've officially met my parents, Jules, are you interested in joining us for dinner?"
Juliet gaped, and then scrambled for a response. "Um, I would really like to but…I'm swamped right now. Lots of paperwork."
"Next time then," Madeleine said, offering the detective an out. Juliet smiled gratefully and nodded. Seeing an escape, she hurriedly said her goodbyes and rushed off to her desk. Shawn trailed behind her, yammering in her ear and gesturing wildly.
"Interesting," Madeleine stated aloud, looking to Henry for his response. Henry just rolled his eyes. Madeleine observed her son as he chased the detective around the bullpen. The warm, eager look on his face was undeniable puppy love. Juliet was more guarded. Her face screamed exasperation but her body language said something different. She was subtly leaning into Shawn as he stood next to her, didn't shy away when he touched her, and even swatted him on the arm a few times. And once, when Shawn was busy spinning in a circle beside her, Juliet allowed herself to smile, affection warming her cheeks.
"I really thought I taught my son better than this." Henry shook his head at his son's flirtation. "He looks like a doofus. He's going to scare her off. And messing with a detective? Shawn's just asking to get his ass kicked."
Madeleine smiled, suddenly recalling all of her son's failed first dates. Maybe he just hadn't dated the right girl yet. "I don't know, Henry. I think he's doing all right."
Henry snorted. "And you call yourself a shrink."
"And you call yourself a detective." Madeleine nudged his arm. They shared a look.
Together, they stood watching their son's elaborate mating dance. When it abruptly ended a moment later with Shawn stapling his shirt to a case file and Juliet threatening him with a permanent marker, the parents let out a tandem, "Oh, brother."
Grandchildren were obviously not in Madeleine Spencer's near future.