AN: I dedicate this chapter to everyone who read this story and enjoyed it; especially to those who have left and will leave me a review. Writing these stories wouldn't be half as fun if no one else enjoyed them! Thank you!
It figured, that after the awful day she'd had, the smoothie shop would be closed. She glared at the sign saying the shop would be closed at five before checking her watch.
"It is 4:59! Not 5:00! You shouldn't be closed yet!" She ducked her head to see into the building better, face pressed against the glass as she squinted. When she didn't spy anyone inside, she let her forehead hit the window with a clunk. Of course. Of course she couldn't even get a pineapple pick-me-up when she needed one.
"Looks like someone really needed a smoothie today."
"You have no idea," She answered absently, her mind too busy trying to work past her disappointment to pay any attention to random strangers walking by on the sidewalk. She blinked the tears back, wondering how ridiculous it would be if she started crying again. It was just a smoothie, after all.
But that wasn't all. She was tired, depressed, frustrated, angry, and heart-broken. And she couldn't get her dang smoothie!
"May I suggest the Smoothie Shoppe on Maine Street? They have a passable pineapple smoothie. Not awesome, but not awful."
Juliet froze. That wasn't just a random stranger talking to her. And this wasn't a daydream. Slowly, she turned away from the window, her eyes falling on the one person she had wanted to see, needed to see.
He was staring at her, his eyes roving her face, studying her hungrily.
She couldn't move; she was too shocked. He was standing right in front of her; the bruises were gone, and his eyes…well, they were wary, like he wasn't sure how she would react to seeing him, but they were so much better than the last time she had seen him. They sparkled again.
With something that could have been classified as a squeak, she flew across the distance separating them and threw herself into his arms. He staggered back a step when they collided, his arms wrapping around her securely. She buried her face in his neck, something inside of her relaxing when she heard him chuckle and smelled that wonderful scent she had imagined earlier.
"Shawn! Shawn, I missed you so much!" She whispered, wrapping her arms around him even tighter.
"I know. I missed you too, Jules."
They were silent, reveling in the knowledge that they were in each other's arms. After a few moments he pulled back, much to Juliet's disappointment, though he kept one hand on her back. The other moved to cup her cheek.
"You saved me, Jules."
He stared deeply into her eyes, completely serious.
"If it hadn't been for you, I would have…been lost. You saved me. I wanted to run, I did run, I just couldn't…" His jaw worked furiously as he tried to control his emotions, as he searched for the words he wanted to say. "What Yin said, it made sense; and it's very hard not to believe it. In some ways, I still do."
Juliet shook her head vigorously, opening her mouth to convince him Yin had lied, but Shawn put a finger on her lips, halting the words she would have said.
"But you…you didn't let me go. You made me see what I was missing, you kept me involved. With every phone-call, you showed me the truth, you kept me connected. I didn't want to listen to you. I saw the messages, but I didn't listen to them, not at first. But I missed you so much, that I figured hearing your voice, even if you were yelling at me for deserting you, would be worth it. But you didn't yell, except that one time," he sent her a crooked smile, eyes lighting up, "and even then, I loved the sound of your voice, loved how passionate you were.
"It was so easy to imagine you talking to me, and even when you didn't say anything, I could just listen to the sound of you breathing. I wanted to come back, just to get a glimpse of you, but I knew it was selfish, so I stopped myself." He pulled her into his embrace again, kissing the side of her neck before pulling away again. "Until you told me about the Kein case. And I realized that this was my one chance to come back and give you something that you needed, even if I couldn't see you. I thought it was better that way, that I couldn't hurt you if you didn't see me. I thought for a moment you were going to say something, that you had figured it out; but you didn't say anything and I wasn't sure. Maybe you had figured it out and were just letting me come back when I was ready.
"I should have figured that you did know," He said, shaking his head. "I'm sorry; sorry that I was wrong, that my quick return did hurt you. And I'm sorry, that I left you for so long."
Juliet blinked against the tears that welled up in response to Shawn's words. "How did you know?"
"Your voice has become one of the most important things to me," he said with a shrug. "Anger, happiness, humor, sarcasm, pain…forced enthusiasm…I can tell what you're feeling just by listening." He ducked his head and she could see how much her pain had upset him. She should have known she would never be able to fool him.
He forced in a breath, meeting her gaze again. "Please, please forgive me."
She didn't even need to think about it. The pain that was ever present when he was missing had vanished the moment he had enveloped her in his arms. She placed her hands on his neck, leaning even closer to him as she spoke. "There is nothing to forgive. You came back; that's all that matters."
He shook his head, mouth turning down at the corners as his eyes dimmed. "No, Jules; I know that I hurt you, and I am so, so sorry."
This time it was her who placed a finger on his lips. "No Shawn. You have nothing to apologize for, absolutely nothing."
"Are you sure?" They were even closer, his lips brushing against hers as he asked.
"Positive." And with that, they closed the distance, their lips meeting in a sweet kiss. She had missed this, missed him. Her life hadn't been complete.
He pulled away, whispering in her ear, "Please, please tell me you know that it was David Naughton, not David Newton, from An American Werewolf in London."
Juliet threw her head back in laughter. When Shawn had left, it was like he had taken all of the good parts of life with him. Her own life had been dull and gray and she hadn't really laughed since he left. There was nothing to laugh at.
It was fitting, really, that the sun was shining. Because Juliet's life had just burst into colors. Shawn pulled her in for another kiss, and Juliet couldn't help but notice his eyes. His beautiful, sparkling green eyes that were shining straight at her.