Disclaimer: I don't own anything/anyone to do with the show Psych.

Inspired by the little ficlet "When Life Hands You Lemons" I originally posted, this multi-chapter fic was born. After I wrote it and posted it, the ideas came in and so I scrapped the one-shot and am now going to continue with this one. Hope you enjoy this :-)


Part 1: The Smart Acting Stupid

Juliet didn't know why she considered it a good idea. Then again, maybe that was the point. Being herself had only succeeded in hurting her. After all these years she'd finally shut off the considerate conscience in her mind and done something completely reckless.

She kept going over the sequence of events in her mind, as though there was some kind of clue she missed. There was nothing that indicated that she would end up in her current state. At least nothing on her side of the equation. Juliet had never wanted or even planned crossing that line, both for personal and professional reasons, and was certainly never intending to be the initiator. The only explanation she could fathom for her actions was that after everything that happened, being in Santa Barbara had finally made her crack.

For four years she'd been practically friendless. Any attempts to try had been thwarted by mistakes, criminals, lawsuits and reluctantly falling for one of them. Relationships were pretty non-existent and the few she did have went no-where. The recent rejection by Shawn didn't help matters at all in the romance department. Even her thriving career had its setbacks. Juliet had fought hard to claw her way into her current position. Things were a lot better than when she first arrived but it wasn't hard to notice and feel the subtle ways she'd been held back.

Juliet was so sure her life would be better than this. A smart woman was sure to have everything figured out. A sweet woman was bound to be surrounded by people who loved and cared for her. A strong woman would fight and make her dreams come true. That is what she had grown up to believe.

Unfortunately, Juliet no longer believed in the virtuosity of patience. Too many broken dreams had finally broken her spirit enough to numb her.

As she stared up at the ceiling of the motel room, deeming the dull white colour more fascinating than anything else in the world, Juliet gave herself a mental pat on the back for lasting this long. She had remained strong and sweet for as long as she could, which was certainly an accomplishment in her position. Her thirst for control, in a life so out of control, had finally erupted and she let out in the only way that opportunity presented.

She finally stared over at her bed companion. Carlton Lassiter, head detective, also Juliet's partner. A man with a few too many issues Carlton, although somewhat handsome and very dedicated, was a far cry from the person Juliet was looking for in life. She never thought she'd start relating to him more and more each day. On the plus side, it helped her understand the older man better which she believed gained his respect. Still it was kind of depressing that her work relationship had become the most significant in her life.

He was sitting over the side of the bed, not looking at Juliet at all. It was hard to believe that merely ten minutes ago he'd been screwing her with such a furious passion. Whether Carlton would admit it or not, she had felt it. For his own reasons, be it sexual frustration, the job or just life in general, he had needed this too.

"Well, this was…interesting." Juliet finally found the courage to speak up. She reached over and ran a hand down Carlton's back in a sort of apologetic gesture. "How are you feeling?"

Carlton recoiled from her touch, almost expecting the younger woman to jump on him again. "How do you think I'm feeling?"

Juliet couldn't blame Carlton for being a little tempestuous. She had impulsively kissed him, practically bruising his lips with her own. Her partner's initial refusal had only made her more determined. The poor guy never stood a chance when four years of bottled up anger finally released itself.

"O'Hara, why did you have to do this?" Carlton ran his hands through his hair.

"I don't know. I guess I just needed to feel something." She replied, feeling a little silly with her answer.

"So you jump on me, kiss me and make me get this hotel room all because you needed to feel something?" His disbelief was clear in his tone, along with his bubbling fury. "Do you know how much trouble this causes?"

Juliet's edgy side suddenly reappeared. The last thing she needed was to be blamed solely for the last hour of their lives. She loudly snapped at him. "Well if I recall correctly Carlton, it takes two to tango and you weren't exactly complaining!"

Carlton finally turned around to look at her with blue eyes ablaze. "It's not like you gave me much of a choice. You practically attacked me! What did you expect?"

"Screw you." Juliet, suddenly aware of her nakedness, ripped the sheet from the bed and covered herself with it. She vigorously began collecting her clothes from the floor.

"Oh you've already done that, O'Hara." Carlton muttered sarcastically, loud enough for the blonde woman to hear him.

Juliet stood by the bathroom door, actually meeting Carlton's eyes for the first time since there simultaneous climax. "Excuse me but who's the famous head detective who has made a habit of sleeping with his partners. Maybe you should stop criticising me and we'll both agree that this will never happen again."

"That's certainly a given!"

She slammed the door, leaving Carlton in the room alone. The man began gathering his clothes off the floor. He could understand Juliet's side of things, knowing that he could have stopped it at any time. Carlton wasn't so much mad at her but rather at himself for giving in once again.

But it was something about the look on her face. He recognised that look, or rather the feeling behind it. The first step before work and cases became the only outlet. Carlton had seen the perky blonde woman's gradual migration into cynicism, much slower than his own of course. As much as her optimism sometimes irritated him over the years, the head detective admired that Juliet still kept a part of her true, kind self alive in the world of the SBPD.

The bathroom door creaked open and Juliet peeked out with guilty eyes. "Look, I'm sorry. I know I kind of went crazy on you back in the car. It's just that…"

"Save it for when I have clothes on." Carlton covered his naked nether regions with the jacket in his hand, a pointless move as Juliet had seen everything anyway.

"Okay." She replied sweetly. Clearly her anger had left, leaving the sensitive Juliet that everyone knew and loved. "But could you hand me my bra please."

Carlton looked at the offending black bra sitting at his feet. It was supportive yet sexy, much like the woman who wore it. He kicked it with his foot, almost not wanting to touch it.

Juliet rolled her eyes and stepped out of the bathroom with only her bottom-half clothed. She bent down and picked up the bra without a care. It wasn't like Carlton hadn't seen everything she had to offer.

"I would have thrown it to you." The head detective told her with a slight stammer.

Juliet slipped the bra on swiftly. "You know I'm going to need a ride home, right?" She walked back to the bathroom but not before hearing Carlton's last comment.

"She's not even that hot." He muttered to himself, once again loud enough for Juliet to hear.

Knowing that less than half an hour ago her partner had said something very much to the contrary, Juliet felt the need to quip back. "Keep telling yourself that."

The moment the bathroom door shut behind her, concealing her in privacy, Juliet's confidence immediately fell. What the heck had she turned into? As she dressed herself completely she repeated affirmations, vowing that this incident was a one off mistake that would never happen again.

Nothing was going to change.