DAMAGING WORDS

Summary: What she wouldn't give to sink right down into the earth and never remember this moment. Abigail's name rings in her ears, and it slices her open. Words like knives. Words like bullets. She wants to cry and scream, but she won't. Spoilers for Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark.

A/N: Because that conversation between Shawn and Juliet was both amazing and traumatizing at the same time.

Shawn calls and she picks up, heart racing. It's all Juliet can do to keep the tremors out of her voice.

She clings to his clues, even though she has no idea what to make of them. She also clings to the sound of his voice. It's a relief and a terror to be talking to him now. She doesn't know if she'll ever get another chance to speak to him again...but no, she can't even think about that terrible possibility.

"Listen, before I go...I have to say one more thing..." Shawn says, and he sounds more serious than she is used to him being. It scares her.

She doesn't want him to hang up. She wants to comfort him, let him know that she's there. She just wants to hear his voice, forever. But she knows that it'd be dangerous for him to stall. The most she can do is let him say this last thing...

"Of course, Shawn. What is it?" she asks, fear and pain obvious in her voice.

She's listening harder than she's ever listened in her life.

And then he says it. The words that haunt her, taunt her, make her stomach flip and bring tears to her eyes.

"I need you to know that...I love you."

She's stalled, she's shocked, she's overwhelmed.

This might be it. If there was ever a moment to tell him. To just tell him...

She swallows and musters up her courage and strength. "Shawn...I think that I l-"

"Goodbye, Abigail."

She nearly drops the phone in horror and disbelief.

A cold feeling settles in her stomach and it makes her sick. She swallows back the words that she had been so ready to give him, just two seconds previous. She should have known better. She let her guard down because she is so afraid for Shawn, so terrified that this may not end well. She is so open and emotional and it's because of him.

It's always because of him.

Goodbye, Abigail.

God, she didn't know that two simple words could break her heart so thoroughly.

She didn't know it could hurt this much.

What she wouldn't give to sink right down into the earth and never remember this moment. Abigail's name rings in her ears, and it slices her open. Words like knives. Words like bullets, ripping through her skin and tearing her insides apart. She wants to cry and scream, but she won't.

Shawn is everything.

Her broken heart is nothing until he is safe.

She'll deal with it later.

Juliet knows that the home-stretch is no time to fall apart, not when everything is on the line.

Her next step is to call Lassiter and pray that he can make some sort of sense out of Shawn's clues.

She's still got a non-boyfriend to save, after all.

A/N: Reviews are great and much appreciated.