Disclaimer: I don't own Psych, nor any characters, places, things, or ideas therein. Those belong to the USA Network and Universal Studios. I am writing this fic for entertainment purposes only, not monetary gain of any sort.
Summary: The whole thing was ridiculous. Though perhaps, all along, I had been looking for an excuse to show up on Shawn Spencer's doorstep at 6:30 in the morning with tears on my face and yearning in my heart… Shameless Shules
Pairing: Shawn/Juliet (Shules)
Warnings: Fluff abounds!
Dedication: Another one goes out to jewel of athos, who never fails to make me laugh, have fun, and be inspired to write. Thanks, my wonderful twin sister! I hope you enjoy this.
Special Thanks: Also goes out to jewel of athos, who helped me out with a major portion of this fic. This would not even have been in existence without her amazing, fantastic help. Thanks, sis!
Author's Note: Though this is my first official Shawn/Juliet fic, I have been a die-hard fan for a long time, and have dabbled in writing with the couple before. I really hope you enjoy this story, and thanks for taking the time to check it out!
Apple Jack Tears
This whole thing is absolutely ridiculous.
I nearly stumbled as I got out of my car, just managing to steady myself on the door before I landed face-first on the asphalt. I had been lucky to drive the whole way from my place to Shawn's without being in an accident because I could barely see straight through my tears to drive. The only thing that saved me was the early hour.
It was 6:30 in the morning, and here I was at Shawn Spencer's door, banging to try to get his attention. He wasn't a morning person, but he was who I needed right then. No one else could help me. No one else could possibly allay my fears, soothe my tears, or set everything right again.
Through the glass front door, I saw Shawn making his way through the main room, stumbling over the clutter of furniture, magazines, and clothing scattered about, his eyes still half closed. The muffled sounds of him cursing got louder as he opened the door. "Gus, it's oh-dark-hundred, and I swear, this had better be--" He saw me then, and his words shut off as suddenly as a faucet. "Jules?" His bleary eyes popped open wide as his unshaven jaw dropped slightly.
I opened my mouth to say something, anything, but all that escaped was another sob. Squeezing my eyes shut, I covered my face with my hand and finally managed to garble out, "I'm so sorry I woke you up. I-I--" I half turned to go, wondering what had ever possessed me to do something so thoughtless as wake Shawn up on a Saturday morning at six thirty.
A hand seized my arm, pulling me stubbornly backward through the door and across the threshold into Shawn's home. I put up a token resistance, but the truth was, I didn't want to go. I selfishly wanted the somewhat wacky but definitely familiar comfort Shawn's sense of humor offered me.
For a minute I stood just inside the door, not sure what to do or what to say now that I was here. Shawn just stared at me for a long moment, all signs of sleep wiped away by obvious concern.
The silence stretched uncomfortably, making me more certain than ever that coming to his house had been a bad idea.
"Have you had breakfast?" Shawn blurted when the tension was finally drawn to the breaking point.
I startled slightly. That question had been rather unexpected. "No," I admitted. My stomach rumbled softly at the mention of food.
Shawn smiled, seeming relieved to finally have something familiar to work with. "Come to the kitchen," he said. Reaching out, he grabbed my hand to pull me after him, not letting go once we were standing in front of his fridge. "What do you like? Toast? Eggs and bacon? Oatmeal?"
I was hungry, but nothing much actually sounded good.
"Got it!" Finally dropping my hand, Shawn grabbed two bowls, two spoons, a gallon of milk, then a box of cereal and plopped them all down on the table. "Apple Jacks!" he declared. "The perfect cure for tears."
Despite myself, I chuckled. Shawn snagged a chair sitting against the wall with his foot, tugged it over, and then held it as he motioned for me to sit. I did so, impressed when he actually pushed it in for me. Maybe I had known what I was doing when I came to Shawn.
After sitting down himself, Shawn poured a generous portion of cereal into one of the bowls and pushed it across the table at me, along with the milk. "Here," he said. "Eat."
I poured some milk over the cereal, then picked up the spoon and dug in, not feeling confident in Shawn's quick-fix formula. But after a few mouthfuls, I was surprised to find out that I was feeling better. Shawn smiled knowingly, and we ate in companionable silence until our bowls were empty.
Shawn studied me for a moment, then said softly, "Do you -- want to take a shower? No offense, but you look like death warmed over."
I felt tears prickle my eyes at the familiar idiom, but I nodded slightly. It seemed Shawn had, with his psychic abilities, had sensed my longing for a shower, but my reluctance to be completely alone.
While I was showering, I tried very hard to get a grip on myself again. The water helped disguise my tears and washed much of my stress and sorrow down the drain, allowing me to breathe easier as I stepped out. My jeans were still exactly where I'd left them, but when I started to put on my blouse, I noticed the bloodstain I hadn't seen before. Swallowing hard, I turned away from it, knowing the moment I got home that shirt would be going in the trash.
Going over to the bedroom door, I tapped on it to get Shawn's attention. A few seconds later he replied from the other side. "You okay, Jules?"
"I'm fine. But -- could I borrow one of your shirts? Mine is…" I trailed off, glad he couldn't see the flush on my cheeks or the fresh tears in my eyes.
"Sure thing!" Shawn said. "Just grab whichever one you like."
Embarrassed, I reached for the first thing my hand landed on and pulled it over my head. It wasn't until I went back to the mirror to pull my still-wet hair back when I noticed it was Shawn's Apple Jack t-shirt.
Maybe Shawn was right. Apple Jacks did make everything better.
It took me a couple of minutes to force myself to wander back out, feeling self-conscious as I finally realized how awkward the situation was. I mean, coming to Shawn for help was one thing; but ending up walking out of his bedroom wearing one of his shirts? I was lucky that it was too early for anyone to be up and come over here. I don't know how I'd be able to explain things, let alone live them down if anyone ever heard about this.
Shawn wasn't in the main room, but I could hear him off in the kitchen again, the fridge opening and closing a couple of times. I was just debating whether or not to go in there and talk to him when he came out again, munching on another bowl of Apple Jacks. He grinned. "Feeling better now?" he asked, tilting his head to the side with that look that made my heart melt.
I could feel my chest filling up with a sob again, but I forced it back and managed to make my voice work without sounding too shaky. "Yeah, I am. Thanks."
"Wait." He raised his hands and fluttered his fingers next to his head, and I wondered if he was having a vision about what had happened. I hoped and dreaded that in equal parts. "The psychic forces say that you're not okay, still." His face relaxed into a concerned expression, and he placed his hands on my shoulders. "Jules, what happened?"
I tensed under his touch. In some ways I was hoping he'd had a vision that would show him what had happened, so I wouldn't have to tell him. But on the other hand, I hoped he hadn't, because I didn't want him to have to see what had happened. I hardly wanted to tell him what had happened, but I knew he wouldn't take no for an answer. It was just as well, I supposed. I wouldn't be able to rest easily until it was off my chest.
Shawn set aside his bowl and pulled me down onto the couch next to him, his entire focus solely on me. I saw the determination and support in his eyes, and that made me blink back an entirely different kind of tears.
"Just as I was about to leave the department last night, a call came in. We had a lead on the Conquistadores, that motorcycle gang that was suspected of also running a meth lab somewhere here in Santa Barbara. Lassiter and I joined the group going out to take them down." I realized there were tears welling into my eyes again, and had to force myself to swallow back the lump in my throat before I could speak again.
There was confusion on Shawn's face, but his eyes were still supportive. He gently squeezed her hand, which until then she hadn't realized he was still holding.
"When we reached the clearing in the woods where they'd set up, everything just seemed to -- explode. One of the guns -- I don't know which side's -- set off the lab, though thankfully no one was injured in the blast. But one of them was coming for me, and I realized it was him or me, he was going to shoot to kill, and I didn't even have time to think, I just pulled the trigger, and…" I drew in a ragged breath, once more seeing the image of the burly man with the scruffy beard and skull tattoo falling, a surprised expression on his face, his gun harmlessly firing into the ground. I must have gotten the blood on my shirt when I'd leaned over to see if he was still alive.
"Carlton found me there when it was all over, still on my knees next to the body. I-I've shot people before, but never to kill. And never when it was a kill-or-be-killed scenario." I lifted my eyes to Shawn's, expecting to see condemnation or hatred or something other than the concerned care that was there. "I went to the station, but Chief Vick told me to go home, take a shower, and change before I came back for the debrief." I swallowed hard. "I couldn't go home, though," I whispered. "I-I just keep seeing his face in my mind. And I keep wondering -- what could I have done differently? Did I have to kill him?"
Shawn lurched forward, throwing his arms around me in a tight hug. "Oh, Jules!"
I sat stiffly for a moment, unsure of what to do. Of all the reactions I had expected him to have, this one was so far down the list it was nonexistent. "Shawn…" I didn't know what to say either.
His arms tightened around me. "If only I'd known -- if only I could've seen," he said, his voice thick.
Finally giving in, I wrapped my arms awkwardly around his back and rested my head on his shoulder. More tears were leaking out of my eyes (surely I was close to running out by now?), wetting his shirt, but he didn't seem to mind. "It's not your fault," I replied in a whisper.
Shawn didn't say anything for a long moment, so long I was starting to wonder if he'd heard me. Then, at last, he said, "Still, Juliet, I am so sorry." He didn't seem inclined to let go, so I didn't, either, taking comfort in his warm, solid presence against and around me.
"Thank you," I whispered, satisfied when the words didn't seem to pop our invisible bubble of comfort.
Shawn finally drew away, hanging on to my shoulders as he met my eyes squarely and said, "Jules, if you ever need someone to talk to, a hug, or just a shoulder to cry on, I will always be here. Okay?"
Reaching up, I swiped at the tears still running down my cheeks, only now they were a mix of sorrow and gratitude. "Thank you, Shawn."
Reaching out, he briefly touched my nose with the pad of his index finger before he helped me wipe away the last of my tears. "And, of course, if you ever want some pineapple, or Apple Jacks, if you prefer, I'm here for that, too." His ruggedly handsome trademark smile curled up one corner of his mouth as his eyes sparkled, just for me.
I laughed, this time finding that the motion came without effort. "Speaking of Apple Jacks," I said, reaching for his bowl, "it would seem yours are soggy now." I looked down at his t-shirt, which I just realized I was still wearing. "And so is your shirt."
Shawn grinned and grabbed my hand, pulling me to my feet before he headed for the kitchen. "Come on," he said with a grin. "This calls for fresh Apple Jacks." Pausing in the doorway, he eyed me speculatively, a gleam in his eyes. Smiling again, he leaned forward and kissed my forehead. "You can keep the t-shirt, too," he said. "It looks better on you than me."
Thank you so much for reading this, and I hope you all enjoyed!