Disclaimer: We don't own Psych, nor any places, things, characters, or ideas therein. They belong to Universal and USA Network. We are writing this fic for entertainment purposes only, not monetary gain of any sort!
Summary: Shawn knew that he wasn't psychic. But he just couldn't stop going over and over that day in his mind, looking for a way he could have saved her… Shules.
Warnings: Violence, character death
Author's Note: We apologize in advance for the sadness of this fic, but we both just really felt like we needed to write this, despite how sad it is. Thank you so much for reading, and we really hope you like this. ~PJ
Shawn Spencer had seen people held at gunpoint before. He himself had been on the receiving end of that more than once. But he had never in a million years thought that he would be watching Jules held at gunpoint, and be able to do nothing...
Never had he wished more than now that he really was psychic, and had seen this coming so he could stop it.
It had started out as an ordinary day in Santa Barbara, California. Sunny skies accompanying a balmy 84 degrees, the ocean gleaming like a gem, and the SBPD typically taut with tension as they tried to solve their newest case.
At first glance, James Callister had seemed like nothing more than your everyday speeder, just like anyone else putting on a few extra MPH to get to work on time. It wasn't until he led the police on a high-speed chase that ended in a standoff at his home that they realized he was much more than met the eye.
Shawn slowly raised a glass to his lips, purposefully keeping his eyes from roaming the bar that he'd decided to drown his sorrows in. It was strange to be there for that reason; he'd never gotten himself drunk when he was depressed before. In fact, it had always been his joke with Jules that he didn't need anything stronger to drown his sorrows than Apple Jacks or a glass of pineapple juice...
He slammed the glass vengefully down on the bar and shook his head, feeling a buzz in the back of his skull. Juliet was gone. There would be no more cereal and fruity drinks, not when even alcohol couldn't provide the numbness that he required to escape the loss.
And even the alcohol couldn't keep him from going over that day a thousand times in his head, wondering if there was a way that things could have gone differently; if he could have saved her. He couldn't accept that there hadn't been another way, because the whole thing had started out so absurdly simple...
Shawn had ended up with them as a fluke of timing that day, happening to be in the right place to hitch a ride with Detectives Lassiter and O'Hara right before they were called onto the speeder. As such, he had been awarded a mandatory front-row seat to the showdown.
As it turned out, James Callister was not your everyday speeder. He was a murderer, and he knew that the police were getting close to his trail. He'd decided that he'd much rather get caught and go down on his own property and on his own terms.
...Terms which seemed to include taking as many people out before he died as he could.
He'd already shot Lassiter in the shoulder as he was getting out of the car; and it was by sheer luck that he had missed Shawn when he had frantically tried to get under better cover. Now he was hiding in his house, a merre shadow behind a broken window from Shawn's view. The only clear thing he could see was his gun was pointed shakily at Juliet, his finger starting to squeeze the trigger. But the young detective, for her part, was doing remarkably well; and Shawn felt a glow of pride as she tried to talk him down.
Juliet was holding one hand out, the gun in her other pointed down at a slight angle so it was there, ready to use, but not an immediate threat. "Mr. Callister? My name is Juliet O'Hara."
"Cop!" the man inside the house spat.
"Yes, I am," the blonde said without hesitation. She had paused about a dozen yards from the house, probably understanding that it was a bad idea to push her luck further. "But I want to help you," she went on. "I don't want you to die, Mr. Callister. You'll get a fair trial if you just put down your gun and come out now. I promise you."
"How do I know you're not lying?" Callister demanded, his shadowy outline changing as he moved into what seemed to Shawn a slightly more vulnerable position behind the broken window.
Once more, Juliet didn't miss a beat. "Because I believe everyone should get a chance to tell their story."
"I get a chance to tell my story?" Callister's tone was wavering, as was his gun.
Juliet didn't flinch. "I promise you, you will."
"All of it?"
Shawn felt his breathing ease a bit. "It's all going to be all right," he murmured to himself.
And it really seemed that it would be. Callister's next protest seemed little more than token as he started to waver and Juliet continued to soothe him, promising him that they would be fair.
You go, Jules. Shawn was so intent on watching Juliet work her magic that he nearly missed the arrival of the backup that Lassiter had radioed for while they were still in the car. He vaguely registered the sound of car doors opening, and the explosive bang of a gun; and then as he watched Callister slump over the edge of the windowsill, his smoking gun clattering to the ground. Smoking? Where there was smoke, someone had fired a gun...
Shawn felt his fingers contract so tightly on his glass that it actually cracked. Grinding his teeth, he forced himself to loosen his grip. He didn't need glass cuts to add to the emotional ones that were tearing him apart inside, slowly and painfully.
Eyeing him warily, the bartender refilled Shawn's glass wordlessly. He had obviously taken the broken man's order earlier (his only spoken words since he'd arrived) to heart.
Nodding curtly, Shawn picked up his glass and swallowed. He was beyond even making a face at the burning taste of the drink, lost in the numb haze brought on by drunken despair.
But beneath that despair was a simmering rage that was keeping everything just a little too clear in his head. He'd always thought of his photographic memory and amazing powers of observation as a gift, but now he knew it for what it really was.
"Jules!" he cried, all thoughts of his own safety flying from his mind as he rushed towards her. She was still standing shakily a few feet from the house, and he had nearly reached her when she collapsed.
Shawn threw himself to his knees beside her and gathered her into his arms, and was soon covered in blood as it poured from the bullet wound in her chest. He ignored it, rocking her gently as he started to cry, alternately cursing and praying that she would be okay. He felt a weak flutter of her breath against his neck.
"Shawn?" she rasped, glassy eyes trying to focus on his face. "Is that you?" Shawn tried to control himself, for her sake.
"Yeah, it's me, Jules, I've got you. Everything is going to be fine, just...just hold on. We'll get you to the hospital and you're going to be okay, you have to be okay..." His tears dripped off his nose and made little wet spots on her cheeks. A shaky smile teased her lips.
"You're a bad liar, Shawn," she informed him. "But it's okay. Thank you for...trying to help." She had to take odd little gasps between breaths, and Shawn realized that she was bleeding inside as well as outside, and that the blood was filling up her lungs. He wracked his brain for a way to save her.
"I'm not lying," he told her. "You're going to be fine, I promise..."
"Shawn, you're psychic. You know---"
"No! There can't be nothing we can do! I can't---I can't do it! I need you." Desperately, he let go of her with one hand long enough to reach into his pocket and pull out a small ring. "Marry me, Jules. Please." She tried to smile again, but she was getting weaker, and she could barely mouth the word "yes." Shawn reached for her pale, bloodstained hand and slipped the ring over her finger, then grasped her hand in his. "Now you have to live," he told her. "You can't die, because we have to get married." He felt weak pressure on his fingers.
"I love you, Shawn," Juliet breathed. "I'm sorry..."
"Jules, I love you too! Please, just hold on and---Jules? Jules!" He received no response. "Jules!"
"Kiss me, Shawn..."
He didn't hesitate to obey. He leaned over and kissed her lips, but they tasted metallic, like blood instead of honey like they should have. He ignored it, desperate to give her something to hold onto, to keep her going until medical personnel could get there and save her.
So gradually that he almost didn't realize it, the pressure from her fingers on his lessened, and her chest slowly stopped rising, and she stopped kissing him back. But it was only when her head rolled limply away that he realized the terrible truth:
Juliet O'Hara was dead.
He hated his perfect memory. Hated it. Nearly three weeks had passed, and he could still see her dying face just as clearly as if it was before him. Every detail, every drop of blood and every tear were etched in picture-perfect detail into his ugly memory. He didn't think that he would ever be able to erase the images of that day from his mind.
"More," he croaked at the bartender, who wordlessly obeyed. But the man had barely finished pouring when Shawn snatched the glass away and downed it, the crazy buzz in his head intensifying. For a moment it blurred the images of her death, which he thought was a good thing; but it was only to bring her funeral in to laser-sharp picture.
Everyone cried at the funeral. Juliet's parents, her brother, Gus, Chief Vick, Buzz McNab and his wife, even Lassiter shed a few tears, and Henry Spencer looked a little misty-eyed.
Everyone cried except Shawn Spencer. He stood silently and quietly by Juliet's gravesite, eyes dry, face set in an expression of stone, as cold as the air the October morning chosen to lay her to rest.
He had not cried since Juliet had died. The last time he'd shed a tear was while she was still living, and Shawn wasn't going to change that now. If he dared released one tear, he wouldn't be able to stop the river that would follow.
He had not laughed, smiled, joked, or even done more than execute the most basic functions since his Jules died. But he had not cried. He would not do that, though he knew the depths of anguish he had yet to reach were yawning darkly at the back of his mind, waiting to swallow him when he let his guard down. And, eventually, he would have to.
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust."
Shawn felt his jaw twitch slightly. He hadn't stopped staring at Juliet's casket since the funeral procession had reached the graveyard. And before that, he hadn't stopped staring at her still, porcelain-white face before they'd closed the lid over her, sealing her away from him forever.
His only reprieve was that, if anyone had noticed, they didn't say anything about the ring on Juliet's finger. If he thought about how he'd planned to propose, the wedding that would never be -- or, for that matter, how much he loved her, he wouldn't be able to hang on to his already shaky control any longer.
Growling deep in his throat, Shawn took the bottle from the bartender and waved him off. He was just tipping it to pour more of the liquid into his glass when a hand reached around him and snatched it away.
Shawn spun around, fully expecting to see some drunk behind him. Ready to give the jerk the dickens, he was stopped cold with his intended insults stuck in his throat when he saw Gus standing there, his eyes wide and shocked. "Gus?"
"What are you doing here, Shawn?" There was no disappointment or anger in his friend's voice, only very, very tired resignation. He knew the answer already, but the question was just asked by rote.
Reaching out for the bottle again and then snarling when Gus pulled it out of reach, Shawn glared at him. "Why do you think?" he asked.
"This isn't the way." Shawn's lifelong friend's eyes were filled with a sadness almost as deep, almost as painful, as his own.
But Gus would never understand. He couldn't. "There isn't any other way," he said, but the words didn't hold as much bite as he wanted them to.
"Go home and sleep it off, Shawn. You know she--"
"She what, Gus?" Those words were bitingly hard, tinged with anger and regret and every whiplash of anguish that had ripped at him because of the memories he couldn't banish or even burn away. "She is dead, and I can't stop thinking about her. I can't stop seeing her in my mind. I loved her! I was going to ask her to marry me that night, Gus! I had the ring and everything!" His voice cracked, but he couldn't stop. "Instead of seeing her happy and radiant so beautifully perfect, all I can see is that smoking gun, the blood…" He choked on the words.
"Shawn…" Gus looked stunned.
But his friend wasn't even looking at him. He was lost in his own bitter memories. "I wish Lassiter hadn't killed Callister," he said, his voice dark with suppressed fury. "All I want to do is wrap my hands around his throat and squeeze until his eyes are as glassy and dead as -- as--" He broke off with a cry of pain as the glass he hadn't realized he'd still been holding shattered in his fist. Mingled blood and drink dripped to the floor as the alcohol stung his hand.
And, suddenly, he was finally crying.
"I just want her back," he sobbed brokenly.
Thanks for reading! Despite how sad it is, we hope you liked it!