Juliet O'Hara had not smiled all day.

This was unusual for her. She was generally known as the more upbeat half of the team, with Detective Lassiter making most of the more pessimistic comments. Some even went so far as to call her the heart of the SBPD, particularly since she'd been promoted from her previous position as a Junior Detective. She dealt with murder a lot in her line of work, and there wasn't much that she couldn't cover up with an easy smile. Most days, she was the one who kept other people smiling.

Today was not one of those days.

People said that detective work hardened you over the years; let you see the worst so often that the worst began to seem like the norm. But nothing could ever have prepared Juliet for the body of a tortured young girl, hardly older than twelve, tied up in chains then slit open multiple times, only to be eaten alive by rabid, starved dogs.

Juliet was not smiling today. Instead, she was shaking. Both physically and mentally.

She hadn't even been to the actual crime scene yet. Lassiter had volunteered to go alone, probably trying to protect her in some way. She appreciated his concern, and one look at the photos in the thick manila case file on her desk told her that she wouldn't have lasted a minute on site without revisiting the egg white omelet she'd had for breakfast. There had been so much blood…too much blood splattered in too many places…too much blood of a girl much too young...

"Jules?" The voice from behind made the young detective jump, but she relaxed when Shawn Spencer moved into view at her side. "I think you're seizing."

"What? No, I'm fine," Juliet shook her head and moved the case file aside.

"Are…you sure?" Shawn took the recently vacated space on her desk as an invitation to sit. "Cause your knuckles are turning white."

She automatically released her grip on the armrest of her chair, but her mouth remained a grim slash across her face. "Did you need something?"

"Yeah, I had a very profound vision this morning. You were unusually weak and vulnerable, and you were looking for a shoulder to cry on and potentially fall madly in love with in your weak and vulnerable state. I figured I'd offer up myself for the benefit of the greater good and all." Seemingly from nowhere, Shawn presented Juliet with an open tub of sliced pineapple. "I chopped it up before I got here, 'cause something tells me you wouldn't be too steady with a knife right now."

Juliet looked into his eyes, and though he was smiling impishly, his expression was sincere. With a slow, stable hand, she reached forward and took a slice. Sweet and tangy all at once, it made her forget about the gruesome images she'd seen, if only for a moment. A moment was all she needed. It steadied her shaking world.

And for the first time that day, looking into Shawn Spencer's eyes and nibbling at pineapple, Juliet O'Hara smiled.


There is truly nothing I love more in the world at the moment than Shawn Spencer and Juliet O'Hara.