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Late Night Cliché

Was it possible?

Shawn Spencer rolled over in bed, regarding the bright red numbers with eyes that were far too awake. Even he knew that at this hour calling Gus would be out of the question, especially since all he could ask of him was a Tim Allen marathon. There was no way he could tell his best friend of his suspicions, of his worries.

He had chalked it up to his own subconscious when his eyes had drifted to Juliet just as Abigail said "perfect." And he had given plain old bad luck the credit when his "STUD" t-shirt got stolen at the laundry mat. But when every substantial date he'd had in the past two years ended either in disaster or a gun being held to his head -- Shawn sat up and took notice. The final straw had been Ashley Bramford. All he'd done was flirt with her and he'd ended up having to talk her down from shooting someone on an oil rig.

How could he be this bad with women? How could he possibly have not had one "good" relationship in over two years? It wasn't self-sabotage. Shawn was certain that despite his devilish good looks and ability to pull of a long con on the entire city of Santa Barbara, he was not deep enough to subconsciously be ruining his own life. And since he would have spotted a stalker ruining his life he was left with only one option.

The universe was actually speaking to him. What it was telling him was something Shawn had joked about for just as long as his current dry spell. He'd even made an effort or two. But they were always met with smiles and good-natured laughter or -- his favorite -- "that would be a mistake." So what did the universe want? Did it want him to go over to her house with a mariachi band and serenade her or cover her desk in flower deliveries tomorrow? How would that be any better than what he called "the close-talking debacle of 2007"?

He sighed, rolled over, and grabbed the phone, deciding to call Gus anyway. Tim Allen always did shed some much needed perspective on things.

A muffled scream filled the room. It wasn't fair! It was one thing to worry for a coworker's safety, to help him out despite the fact that said help violated the law, to be mildly attracted to said coworker, or to be slightly jealous that your completely romantically inept partner's love life was more lively than yours. It was entirely different when sleep wouldn't come because of all of the above.

Juliet flipped over and began violently hitting her pillows. It just wasn't fair. The last descent date she'd had was bowling with Zeke … or Sal … or Steve? She really couldn't remember. Not that it mattered. The second Shawn showed up all of what's-his-name's appeal had worn off. And since him -- nothing. She'd never had a dry spell this long. Sure, she was quirky, but she was also attractive enough that most men didn't notice that until they actually made it on the date. How had this happened?

She rolled onto her back and glanced at the clock. There was no one for her to call this late. No, there was someone, but he was the source of the problem. She reached for the remote control, deciding to lose herself in whatever B-movie was showing at this time of night. A quick look at the listings and she smiled.

Five minutes later the phone rang and she cursed the horrid timing as she muted the television.

"Hello?" she moaned.

"Oh," Shawn's voice made her jump. "Sorry," he said quickly, "I must have hit the wrong button. I meant to call Gus."

"This late?"

"Says the woman who answered on the first ring."


He sighed. "I was going to ask if he wanted to come over. I couldn't sleep." Almost as an afterthought he added wryly, "The spirits are especially rowdy tonight."

"Hm. I don't think Gus would come over just because the spirits were keeping you up."

"I didn't think he actually would."

"But," Juliet faltered, then hurried on, "when it's this late and you can't sleep, it's always nice to hear another person's voice -- to know you're not alone."

"You have lots of sleepless nights?"

"Whenever I got sick as a kid and couldn't sleep I'd make my mom stay up with me."

Shawn let out a laugh and Juliet glanced at the TV. "Wait, hold on," she said and turned up the volume. A moment later, when the laugh track was winding down, she muted it once more and picked up the phone. "Sorry, it was my favorite part."

"You're watching Home Improvement?"

"You seem surprised. Didn't the spirits tell you?"

"No, but I was going to invite Gus over to watch a Tim Allen marathon."

"Nick at Nite's showing nothing but Home Improvement until dawn."

"Yes," Shawn sighed. She heard springs creaking and then the familiar laugh track. "That's classic," he laughed.

Part of her wanted to hang up, to stop this movie cliché in its tracks; but, she supposed, as long as Shawn didn't say it, it would be okay, it wouldn't mean anything. And it really was nice to hear someone else's voice.

AN: There's no second chapter coming so you should just get that review out now.