BETWEEN YOU AND ME

Summary: Tags to Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark. Each chapter features Shawn and one other character, and each chapter has a separate summary.

A/N: With post mid-season finale inspiration, I wrote a lot of disconnected fics related to Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark. Then when I was looking back at them, I realized they all had a couple of things in common. They all at least mentioned what happened in the episode after the fact, and they all took place between only two people, always Shawn and someone else. I decided that I could lump them together into a mega fic. However, because they were originally separate, they have slightly different writing styles. For instance, one of these will be in first person, directed to another character...so I'm hoping that won't bother/confuse readers...

Chapter One: Promise

Summary: She's hurt, yes, but that it isn't what matters. What matters is that Shawn is alive and going to be just fine.

Sitting in the hall outside his room, she wonders how this could possibly be the hardest part of this entire experience. She's waiting to go in and see him for the first time since it happened, and it doesn't really make sense. The hardest part should have been waiting to find out if he'd live...why does this wait seem just as difficult to endure?

She let Henry and Gus go in first to have some privacy together with Shawn. She told herself it was out of respect for Shawn and his family (everyone who's anyone knows that Shawn regards Gus as a brother), but really, it was just an excuse to put off the moment.

Because as much as she wants to deny it, she's not entirely sure she wants to see him.

She's fiddling with the fabric on the seat of her chair when Henry and Gus step out of Shawn's room. Gus is smiling with pure relief, and Henry looks relaxed and calm – far calmer than he's been all day.

She's more nervous than she's been all day.

It's funny, the way these things work out.

Truth be told, she can't quite pinpoint the source of her nervousness. It may have something to do with the phone call and those three little words that have the potential to make an already awkward situation practically unbearable. It may have something to do with her vulnerability, or the pink toothbrush, or just being so afraid to lose him for good. Or maybe she's just going crazy, because she knows that the thought of seeing him alive should comfort her instead of making her want to run like hell in the other direction.

"Shawn wants to see you now, Detective." says Mr. Spencer, and Juliet is taken quite suddenly out of her thoughts. She can put off the moment no longer, it seems.

She swallows, nods, and stands. She grits her teeth and tries to make her face a mask of nothing before turning the door handle and stepping inside his room.

Then she sees him, and it doesn't matter. Everything melts away, and it's just Shawn, smiling sheepishly at her from his hospital bed.

Just Shawn.

"That's weird. I asked them to send in my favorite detective...where is the Lassinator, anyway?"

Juliet smiles, shakes her head. He makes it easy for her to relax. "Shawn..." she says, sighing his name and it's like the relief didn't truly hit until this moment. It's overwhelming and she's so happy that for a second, it's hard for her to breathe. She doesn't feel the need to keep her distance, not like she thought she would. She walks across the room and stands beside his bed – close enough to reach out and touch her palm to his cheek and...

But she doesn't. Of course not.

Shawn, for the great psychic that he is, is completely oblivious to her wishful thoughts. He follows his joke until the end.

"Just messing with you, Jules. I could never choose between the two of you...it's a complete tie. I suppose I could flip a coin, if you ever need an actual ranking..."

"Ah, I feel so special." she quips back.

And then she sees it. Maybe it's the kind of clues that only a detective can pick up on, but they are definitely present. Shawn's eyes lighten and the lines of his face soften and even the way he holds himself up against the pillows changes. He relaxes, and she's startled to realize that this means he had been nervous too.

She's never really known Shawn Spencer to be nervous, unless it was anytime Gus was in danger, and that was more terror than true nervousness.

She makes him nervous.

That should mean something, but she can't process it. Not right now, because Shawn is speaking again.

"Hey, I just wanna say thanks for getting me out of that mess."

"It was mostly your dad and Lassiter..."

"They figured out the clues, but you passed them along. Exactly what I needed you to do." he says softly.

"Of course, Shawn. I'm just – I'm really glad you're okay." It isn't everything she wants to say – not even close – but it's the most she can do right now.

"Yeah, me too. I really didn't want to end up like poor Ryan."

"Ryan?"

"Oh. I never did find out his real name. You know him as Garth Longmore. But he looked like a Ryan to me. He wasn't all bad, not in the end. I don't...God, it's horrible."

He closes his eyes for a moment, and Juliet knows he's remembering Garth being shot. She wants to comfort him and make the memories go away, but she can't fix it for him – and probably shouldn't try.

Instead, she shifts the focus of the conversation. "Shawn, can you promise me something?"

He opens his eyes and looks at her with interest. "Anything you wish." he grins.

She doesn't smile back. "Never put any of us through this again. Please try to be more careful. I can't handle..." she trails off and silently asks him to understand.

Shawn sobers up immediately. His eyes fall away from her face and onto his bedsheets. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry. Just promise me."

He smiles gratefully, probably because she didn't guilt trip him (well, not much) and she didn't lecture like Henry certainly did. His smile is sincere and warm, and her heart breaks just a bit, but that's not what matters. He's alive and that's all she needs from him.

That and this promise.

He gives her a look, one that – in her mind – seems soul penetrating. His voice is straight and serious and just a tad apologetic. "I promise to be more careful."

"And you don't break promises, right?" she ventures, just to be sure.

He grins. "I break promises all the time, Jules. But you know what? I have never in my life broken a pinky promise, and I don't plan to start now." With that, he raises his hand and holds out his pinky finger.

Juliet grins back, and for this moment, at least, the awkwardness is gone. She holds her hand out and wraps her pinky around his, and it's silly and ridiculous and Shawn, but in all honesty, she wouldn't have it any other way.

A/N: Expect quick updates; I'm going to finish this one off before the new episodes begin. Reviews are always appreciated. :)