Disclaimer: I don't own Psych, or 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 kind.
Summary: It never ceased to amaze me how quickly Shawn could cheer me up, even when I was in the middle of the worst day in my life. Pure Shules fluff. Sequel to "Apple Jack Tears."
Warnings: Fluff and general happiness
Sequel to: Apple Jack Tears
Special Thanks: Goes out to the lovely jewel of athos for her suggestions, beta job, and for being such an awesome twin sister. Thanks!
Author's Note: Thank you so much to the people who read/reviewed/favorited Apple Jack Tears, and to those who hinted for a sequel. I figure I'll make this into a trilogy, with the one after this (entitled Pineapple Dreams) to be up in a few days. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one, and thank you all so much for reading!
Chocolate Chip Smiles
Standing just inside the door of my apartment, my hand still on the knob from where I'd closed it, I felt like I didn't have the energy to move. I just wanted to fall face-first on the floor and lose myself in the blissful oblivion that deep sleep brought me.
A few seconds of standing there managed to help me dredge up a little more energy. Tossing my purse and jacket on the chair, I stepped out of my shoes as I headed across the room and flopped down on the couch. Moaning softly, I rested my arm over my eyes, wishing I kept my pain relievers in the living room instead of the kitchen. But there was no way I was moving from the couch to get them. At least not now.
Stretching out, I let out a soft sigh and felt myself sinking into the cushions, despite the fact that my couch wasn't really all that comfortable. But I was so tired at that moment that even a rock would have felt like a feather mattress to me.
I mentally reviewed my day as I drifted toward sleep. If this hadn't been my worst day ever, it was definitely a very close second. It seemed like everything bad had started when I got out of bed this morning, and then spiraled crazily downhill from there.
But surely things could only get better from here. They certainly couldn't get any worse…
Just as that thought entered my brain, the doorbell rang. Cursing, I considered throwing a pillow -- or something heavier -- at the door, but I knew that wasn't a good idea. Since it was almost eleven at night, I knew it couldn't be a door-to-door salesman (unless they were getting really desperate), and my partner in the Santa Barbara Police Department, Carlton Lassiter, had a habit of banging on doors until someone opened up or he had to kick it down. Strike him, too.
Dragging myself off the couch when the rings of the doorbell started getting louder and closer together, I padded barefoot across the floor to stand on tiptoe and open the door as widely as the chain would allow.
If I hadn't known that voice as well as my own, I would have instantly recognized my nickname, for only one person called me that. Feeling a hint of a smile tugging at my tired lips (how could even my lips feel so tired?), I undid the chain and opened the door widely. "Shawn! What are you doing here?" I didn't want to sound ungrateful, but even though we'd been in a relationship for almost nine months, as far as I knew Shawn didn't make a habit of showing up on my doorstep at eleven o'clock at night, looking as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as he did in the middle of the afternoon.
Shawn Spencer waggled his fingers by the side of his head, twitching his eyebrows at me. "The psychic forces were telling me that you needed something to make you feel better," he said. Then he grinned and held up a container. "Thus, I come bearing a gift: chocolate chip ice cream, a whole gallon of it."
Hanging on to the doorframe with one hand, I reached out with the other and dragged Shawn to my by his shirtfront. Planting a grateful kiss on his lips, I reached for the ice cream. "Thank you," I said fervently.
He held it out of my reach. "Uh-uh. You're still in your work clothes. You can't relax in that. Go change clothes, and I'll get you a couple of pills for your headache and two spoons for this." Leaning forward, he pressed a kiss to my forehead before he headed for the kitchen. He was just as familiar with my apartment as his own, so he knew where to find everything.
Murmuring another thank-you at his retreating back, I went to my bedroom, suddenly feeling a little more energized. It was amazing how Shawn's presence could do that to me. After washing my face in the sink, I exchanged my blouse and pencil skirt for more comfortable gauchos and the Apple Jacks t-shirt Shawn had given me. He was right -- I was more comfortable.
Shawn was waiting for me on the couch when I exited my bedroom. Smiling at me, he held up a glass of water with one hand and two pills with the other. Giving him another kiss, this time on the cheek, I took both proffered items and swallowed the pills with a sip or two of the water.
"There," the psychic said, a satisfied smile on his face. "Better?"
"Getting there," I said agreeably. Melting into the arm he put around me, I took one of the spoons he'd gotten and dug into the container of ice cream, which he had resting on a folded towel on his lap.
For a while we sat and ate in silence, content to just be together. Slowly, my headache began to melt away. The combined efforts of the headache medicine, Shawn's company, and the ice cream were just what I'd needed to perk up my otherwise horrible day.
Finally Shawn spoke up. "Though the spirits informed me that you needed me and the ice cream, they didn't say why," he said, almost conversationally. "And while I am accustomed to obeying the spirits' beck and call at any time of the day or night -- particularly when it pertains to you -- I must admit that I'm curious why exactly you needed this." He paused for a moment, then winked. "Not that I mind being wanted."
I appreciated Shawn's attempt to keep me lighthearted despite the fact I was having to tell him about my awful day. "How long do you have?" I asked, only halfway serious.
Shawn met my eyes squarely, not a hint of humor on his face as he said, "However long you need and want me," he replied.
I swallowed hard at those words. Our relationship had always been lighthearted and fun, but those words had just taken us toward a turn for the very serious. Was I ready for something deeper? Was he?
He was just saying it, I told myself. He was just saying it. But I didn't want him to just say it. I wanted him to mean it, too. Swallowing hard, I yanked my wandering brain back on track, feeling all the depression and anger and aggravation from the day slashing through me again.
Looking at me from narrowed eyes for a moment, Shawn firmly set aside the ice cream and took my shoulders. "Turn around," he said.
"What?" My arms were suddenly feeling very warm, and somewhat tingly… My body always seemed to react that way when he touched me.
"Turn around," Shawn repeated, nudging me until my back was to him. "There." Reaching around me, he plunked the ice cream container on my lap, then settled his hands on my shoulders and began to massage. "Now then. Tell me about your day."
I felt myself melting beneath his gentle touch. "Keep that up and I'll fall asleep," I murmured, my spoonful of ice cream halfway to my mouth.
Shawn chuckled and kissed the back of my head. "Talk. And eat. Not necessarily in that order."
Obediently I lifted my spoon the rest of the way to my mouth and ate the cold, chocolate-loaded goodness Shawn had brought me. It was just soft enough to come out of the container easily without being mushy -- just the way I liked it. "It all started the moment I climbed out of bed this morning," I started mournfully. "I'd forgotten that I'd left my shoes at the end of the bed instead of putting them back in the closet last night, and tripped over them." I held up my bare foot so he could see my bruised toes as evidence. "And then I realized I had overslept, so I just had a cup of coffee and a piece of dry toast on the run…"
Pausing, I took another bite of ice cream, trying to distract myself from the sensation of Shawn's breath ruffling the hair at the back of my neck. Suppressing a shudder, I went on. "Then, when I got to the station, Carlton was waiting with a huge load of legwork for me to do for the cases he's headlining."
"You always get stuck doing the legwork," Shawn said, a distinctly disapproving tone coloring his voice.
"I don't mind when he asks nicely," I replied honestly. "It's just when he shoves it all at me the moment I've come through the door, when I've only had one cup of lukewarm coffee and not even a decent breakfast, that it bothers me." I picked up Shawn's spoon, filled it with ice cream, and handed it over my shoulder to him. A second later, he handed it back with a murmured thanks.
"I spent most of the day chasing down information, backgrounds, the usual things. I was so looking forward to when I could leave…" I mournfully thought of the new turquoise dress hanging on my closet door, which I had gotten specifically for tonight's date. "But then Carlton tied a few last things together, and we were able to arrest our murderer. I wound up staying to help him question the guy and then at least start the paperwork."
"Now I understand how you got your headache," Shawn said softly.
"I had to cancel the second date in a row," I said despondently. "And I got a new dress and everything…"
"We'll go out tomorrow night," Shawn said, briefly squeezing my shoulders a little tighter comfortingly. "Or -- make that tonight, actually. It's almost quarter till one."
I looked at the clock hanging over my TV in surprise. "Wow," I said. "It is." Unbidden, a yawn popped out before I could cover it. "Sorry."
Reaching around me again, Shawn took the ice cream, spoons, and towel and set it aside on the coffee table. Wrapping his arms around me, he tugged me backwards until I was resting against his chest, my head tucked in to the hollow between his neck and shoulder. "You know, Jules," he said softly into my hair, "I think I love you."
My heart sputtered briefly, then picked up its rhythm twice as fast as it had been beating before. I wondered if he could hear it. "I think, maybe, I love you too."
Shawn hugged me a little tighter and rested his head against mine. "Go to sleep, Jules," he whispered. "Just go to sleep -- I'll keep you safe."
The comforting touch of his arms around me, the solid warmth of him behind me, and the soft tone I couldn't ever remembering hearing before in his voice coaxed my eyelids shut, then lulled me into deep sleep…
…When I woke, a long, restful time later, I was in my bed, still wearing my gauchos and Apple Jacks t-shirt, tucked gently under the blankets. Sitting up, I ran my hand through my hair and stretched, only then noticing the folded piece of paper that had been resting on the pillow next to my head. Picking it up, I opened it and smiled when I saw what Shawn had written.
I was afraid you'd wake up when I put you in bed, but you didn't. I hope you were able to sleep late this morning. I'll go in to the station early and run distractions on Lassie so you can sleep a little later. Don't you dare skip breakfast today! And I'll be picking you up at seven-thirty tonight, Lassie's wrath or no Lassie's wrath.
I love you, Jules!
Closing my eyes, I pressed Shawn's note to my chest, knowing I had the goofiest smile on my face. But I didn't care. My sweet, silly, psychic Shawn. I love you too.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed!