She Love's Him?
For detective Juliet O'Hara, it had been a very long week.
She'd been given her first undercover assignment and almost had her head lopped off in the process. And that's not to mention the trust-fund babies, death by toaster, and "ghost". No, all of that was just an added bonus.
This was most definitely the type of week that could only be soaked out in a ridiculously long and extremely hot bath. The type of bath that included wine, chocolate, and candles to be exact. And though she'd never tried it, baking soda. Normally the blonde was strictly bubble bath and oil beads, but as Interim Chief Vick had suggested it, Juliet figured that it couldn't hurt to try.
The older woman may have been rough on her the past week, but the blonde respected her immensely. Not only as her Chief but also as a woman. And so, she'd accepted the tip graciously. It was the closest thing to friendly that they'd ever been.
Flipping on the lights as she walked into the kitchen, Juliet set the bag of 'supplies' she'd picked up on the way home on counter. She missed her cats running to greet her arrival, but she would pick them up tomorrow. Right now, all she wanted to do was put her purchases to use. Her phone, however, seemed to have something else in mind.
The red light on her answering machine was blinking like crazy, and though she longed to ignore it, she just couldn't. The blonde knew that if she were to walk away from the little flashing light, it would be all she could think of during her bath. And that was out of the question.
The screen next to the continually flashing light told her in tiny digital numbers that there were twelve messages. She'd only been gone for a little over a week, and the machine was acting like it was going to explode.
Rolling her eyes, Juliet used one perfectly manicured finger to press the button that would play back the messages. As her mother's voice spilled from the machine about, 'some nice young man' she should meet, the blonde inspected the soft pink polish on her nails. It was just one more reminder of her time at the sorority, and therefore it would have to go. It would be one of the first things she did after getting settled in the tub.
Saying 'thanks but, no thanks' to the prospect of a nice young man, Juliet erased her mother's message vowing to call her tomorrow. There was no way she was going to get caught on the phone with anyone tonight. Even if it was her mom.
The next nine messages were an assortment of advertisements, pleas for donations, and more matchmaking attempts from her mom. As it turned out, the nice young man's name was Eugene. Now, she wasn't normally a name snob, but "Eugene" just didn't bode well. And anyways, she wasn't in the market for a boyfriend. Juliet O'Hara was happy with her cats and the occasional bowling date.
Tempted to just hit the erase button and let the last two messages disappear forever, Juliet couldn't let her conscience go long enough to press the button. For all she knew, one of those two calls was extremely important and she just couldn't risk it. The woman would never be able to live with herself if she missed an emergency simply because she wanted to take a bath.
Instead of pressing the button that would get her into the tub sooner, the blonde poured herself a glass of orange juice. Taking a sip of the bitter liquid, Juliet about choked as her partner's voice came out of the speaker. She'd given Carlton her home number their first day together in case something was wrong with her cell. This however, was the first time he'd ever used it.
"O'Hara? It's Lassiter. I just want you to know…" As usual, his tone was completely serious and deadpan. There was no hint of emotion or anything else for that matter. He didn't even seem to possess the hesitancy of one calling someone's home for the first time. It was odd really. But it was also… strangely comforting. "I understand if you come in a little late tomorrow."
Lassiter's message didn't end with an, 'I hope you're ok', or even a formal good bye. The only thing that let her know he'd hung up was a quiet click at the end of the message.
Rolling her eyes, Juliet couldn't help but laugh to herself. As heartless as the message was, the woman knew that her partner meant well. And more importantly, that he cared. He wouldn't have called if he didn't.
To anyone else, the recording would have sounded cold and uncaring. But to Juliet… It was proof that her seemingly emotionally stunted partner could feel. And that despite outward appearance, he did care for her.
So… the message wasn't life threatening. But it did make her feel a little better. And that was worth the extra minutes. Waiting for the next message to start, the blonde took another drink of the orange juice. Once again she almost choked, but this time it was out of laughter instead of shock.
"Juuuules…" Doing his best impression of a ghost, Shawn's voice echoed through the same voice modifier Alice Bundy had used to haunt the sorority. She had no idea how the psychic had gotten his hands on that particular piece of evidence. But she was sure that there was a very angry Detective Lassiter out there right now.
Juliet could hear the man pulling off the headset through the machine. Though it had amused her, she was glad she wouldn't have to listen to it anymore. Juliet knew it was just some cheap piece of equipment bought at Radio Shack. But after almost being killed to the sound of it, she had no desire to hear one ever again.
"I just wanted to see how you were and I was also wondering if you wanted to come over for DiGiorno. I know you said I could bring you Chinese tomorrow but… It's tasty. Plus, Gus locked me out of his place. And he moved the fake rock with the spare key inside."
Trying to stop the smile threatening to take over her face, Juliet couldn't help but marvel at how much Shaw could get out in one breath. And of course, he wasn't finished. "I know what you're thinking. Why didn't I make a copy of the key when I first found it? I have to be honest with you… I didn't think that… That Gus would man up and move it."
Chuckling softly, Juliet shook her head. She'd known Shawn Spencer for a while now, and she still couldn't figure him out. He seemed almost too showy to be true. But then again, he hadn't failed to come through in the end. Not once.
"Aaaaaaanyway… Now I am all alone with some delicious DeGiorno and a fresh pineapple. As soon as I hang up this phone, I'm gonna slice this baby up and pop it on the pizza." In the background, Juliet could hear an array of crashes and bangs that sounded like pots and pans in the hands of a two-year old. "If you're interested, feel free to come by my place in a half hour. You can find my spare key in the key pineapple outside my door."
As a loud crash echoed through the man's kitchen, the blonde could just make out something along the lines of, 'that wasn't supposed to happen. Gotta go Jules.' And with one more metallic crash, his end of the line went dead and the message ended.
Thinking about the name, Juliet couldn't remember the first time the psychic had called her by it. It felt so natural coming from him that she'd never thought to object. It was strange. They'd barely known one another for a year, and their relationship was purely professional. (If you could call what he did professional anyway.) There was no real reason that she should be so comfortable with him that he was able to give her a pet name.
Or was there?
Thinking back to Lassiter's message, the blonde recalled, with perfect clarity, the man's brisk greeting of "O'Hara". In their time together, her partner had never once referred to her as anything other than O'Hara, Detective O'Hara, or some variation thereof. Carefully rolling the juice glass between her hands, Juliet thought that the formality should bother her somehow. After all, they had been partners for a year now. She should have been upset by the fact that he refused to use her given name. But for some reason, she wasn't. She was honestly more confused by the fact that she didn't care than anything else. Tapping her fingers along the sides of the glass, Juliet realized that there was actually an informality in the formality that she kind of liked.
It wasn't Jules but… It was nice.
And she liked it.
Downing what was left of the orange juice, Juliet pondered the word "like" and how it pertained to the two men in her life. Yes, she liked them both (for very different reasons), but did she I like /I one of them? As something more than a partner or a psychic?
Looking into the pulp-coated bottom of her empty glass, the blonde pictured the faces of both men in her mind. Both were attractive in their own right. Carlton, with his piercing blue eyes that showed more emotion than he cared to admit, was handsome. Whereas Shawn, with his spiky hair and his boyish grin, was simply cute. Manly or sweet, Juliet had no problem looking at either.
Their personalities, however, were another story all together. When it came down to it, Carlton wasn't really a very nice person. And Shawn, though about as friendly as they came, was borderline insane. Even for a psychic.
For the most part, it seemed like her partner merely put up with her because he was forced to. He always seemed to hate going to lunch with her. And whenever they were driving, he would ask her to not speak. It wasn't until he'd come busting into Wispy Sunny Pines tonight to save her that it seemed like he might actually care about her.
Shawn however… Shawn was almost too forward and too flirty. The majority of the time she didn't know whether to take him seriously or not. Juliet had met guys like that before, and the relationships (friendship or other wise) had never ended well. But the look on his face as he took the axe out of her hands tonight was so honest. So real. With the wooden handle of the weapon clutched in her hands, she felt about as insane as Alice Bundy looked. That intoxicating mixture of terror, anger, and adrenaline didn't begin to subside until Shawn had looked into her eyes. There was definitely something underneath his obnoxious façade. She just wished she could see it more often.
When it came down to it, Shawn and Carlton were both attractive men who seemed to possess hidden depths. The most disturbing part was that she found herself wanting to find out what they both had to offer. Walking across the kitchen to place her empty glass in the sink, Juliet remembered telling Carlton she was uncomfortable with inter-office romance. That had been their first day together. But as that applied to both Shawn and her partner, she wasn't so sure anymore.
Maybe it was the way they came to rescue her tonight. Or the way she felt when they said her name. In the fairytales, there was only one knight in shining armor, but after tonight... Juliet found she had feelings for both of hers. Whatever that meant. She, however, was not prepared to contemplate the implications of that thought anymore tonight. She'd been through enough mind-boggling stress for one week.
Sighing deeply Juliet knew that the time would come when she would have to confront her feelings about the two men in her life. And she knew that it would not end well for anyone involved. Therefore, she would avoid it for as long as possible. Picking up her grocery bag of de-stressing bath supplies, Juliet had one last thought on the subject. Flipping off the kitchen light and heading upstairs, she whispered to the empty house, "maybe I should give Mom a call about Eugene after all."
Squeeka Cuomo's Notes
- In case you're wondering where the baking soda and Digiorno came from, I'll tell you. This was written based off of deleted scenes that you can find on the Psych DVD's. You can find them along with Scary Sherry: Bianca's Toast.
- Katie, thank you so much. I was pretty worried about this fic so, I'm glad that you were able you find something worthwhile in it.