AN: A short one-shot that grew into a long one-shot! :D I hope you enjoy!
Shawn's eyes slid open, his dull gaze traveling from one end of the basement to the next.
He looked at the figure in front of him, a spark re-entering his lifeless eyes as he smiled. "Jules…" He sighed.
"No?" She asked, looking at him expectantly.
"You have to give me a clue."
He smiled again. They had been at this for some time. "You don't know?"
His eyes suddenly drooped, blackness covering his vision for a moment. He tore himself away from the darkness with difficulty. Juliet shook her head, a worried frown crossing her face as she peered down at him.
"You need to hang on, Shawn. They're coming."
He shook his head, his cheek scraping against the concrete floor he was lying on. He reached out a hand to touch her face, but just like every other time he had tried to touch her in this basement, she disappeared.
"I don't want to," He said to the empty room. "Not without you."
The door at the top of the stairs opened some time after that; hours, days, he wasn't sure. Two pairs of feet descended the stairs, attached to two men that obviously had nothing else to do. They stayed with him; for hours, maybe days, he wasn't sure. They left him after they took some pictures, dropping him on the floor again, one arm awkwardly twisted under his body, the other clawing at the floor as he tried to control the fresh pain they had created.
"They didn't stay as long as the last time," Juliet commented as she sat on the floor beside him.
"N…no? I must…must have become boring…to them," he responded, his breath hitching in agony.
"Do you know what they want?"
"They…they were using me as…leverage. To make you guys stop…stop investigating. I wish…it would have worked. Then you…you wouldn't…" He couldn't finish the sentence.
"I'm sorry," She said, looking at him in sympathy.
"Why, Jules? Why…?" He faded off, his face twisting with sorrow.
"I only know what you know. After all, I'm just a figment of your imagination."
"Why did you have to die, Jules? I could have dealt with anything, but you…not that…"
"You have to."
He shook his head, tears falling from his eyes. "No, I don't."
She sighed. "They're coming, Shawn. You have to fight. Don't give up. Just because my life is over doesn't mean yours is, too."
"It's been…too long, Jules. And I've told you before. You…you are my life. I don't have a reason to hang on anymore."
"You have Henry and Gus; and what will Carlton do if you're not there to annoy him?"
"You were the only thing…that mattered to me," he insisted, as his eyes fluttered closed. When he opened them again, she was gone.
Sometime later, a water bottle was thrown down the stairs, landing on the floor in front of him. He didn't have the energy to reach for it. He didn't see the point. He wasn't going to last much longer, anyways.
"You should drink it."
Shawn looked at Juliet, another smile crossing his face as he saw her. She was so beautiful. "I'm not thirsty."
She snorted. "Liar."
"Would I lie…to you?"
She just tilted her head at him, cocking an eyebrow, and he gave a raspy chuckle. "Never mind."
More time passed, and they sat in comfortable silence. The door opened again and the same two men walked down the stairs. Juliet glared at them, yelling at them as they repeated the cycle; picking Shawn up off of the floor, they taunted him in Russian and broken English as they laughed at the pain they caused. They took another picture and dropped him on the floor again.
"I'm sorry, Shawn. I wish I could stop them."
"I told you to fight!"
He caught a glimpse of her, her lips pressed into a thin line and her eyes flashing in anger, before the darkness overwhelmed him. For seconds, minutes, hours…he wasn't sure how long. When he finally found his way back, however, he knew it was time.
She wasn't there. He needed to see her again. He couldn't let go without seeing her one more time.
"P…please," he begged. "Please…" He blinked, and when he opened his eyes again, she was there, lying on the floor beside him. Her blue eyes stared into his, and he could see she was pleading with him to hold on. Didn't she understand that if he let go, he would see her again soon? That by holding on, he would continue to be separated from her?
He could feel her phantom breath falling across his face, and if he concentrated hard enough, he could recreate the smell of her perfume. His breath hitched as he started to weep, mourning the loss of such a beautiful life, the loss of a love, the loss of a life shared with her. The sobs shook his body, and he watched as she started to cry, too.
She reached out her hand, placing it on the floor beside him. Shawn slowly moved his hand to cover hers. For one moment, one brief, joy-filled moment, he could feel her. And then he felt nothing else.
When Shawn opened his eyes the next time, it was to whiteness; bright whiteness that burned his eyes. He shut them, scrunching his face against the pain that spiked in his head. He could hear a beeping noise, and it slowly dawned on him that it was a heart monitor. He was alive.
No…no, please. I just…I just wanted to be with her again.
He opened his eyes and smiled, but it was a sad smile. He supposed it was better to at least have her as a part of his imagination than to not have her at all.
"Jules…" He rasped, his mouth not working quite right. She was sitting by his bed, leaning towards him and resting her head on her hand.
"Took you a while to wake up," She said.
The sadness that he saw in her expression made him catch his breath. "I know. I'm sorry."
"Was never…your fault."
She looked at him thoughtfully, tilting her head to the side. "Pineapple smoothies?"
"No," he said, snorting softly.
"Then what is it that you can't live without?"
He opened his mouth to answer her when the door handle started to turn.
"Don't go. Please," He begged her.
"I'll be back soon," she said, gifting him with another one of her beautiful smiles before she disappeared again.
The door opened, and Henry walked into the room, his eyes growing wide in surprise when he saw his son was awake.
"Shawn!" He hurried to his side, hand reaching out to clasp Shawn's limp fingers. "What…what's wrong, son? Are you in pain?"
Shawn shook his head, unable to stop the tears that coursed down his face. How could he explain to his father that the physical pain didn't even register to him? That the agony that made him wish he had died came from her absence?
"Why? Why didn't you…leave me? She's gone…"
Henry blinked, comprehension filling his face. "Shawn, she…she wouldn't have wanted you to die."
Shawn covered his face with his hand, sobbing as his father gave him the confirmation he hadn't even realized he was searching for.
She had left him here, alone, to exist in a world that no longer made any sense to him. Not without her.
His father gripped his hand even tighter.
It wasn't like he had believed the men when they had first told him she had died. He had denied it. He would have been able to feel something if she had really left him alone, wouldn't he? But they had shown him the article in the paper. The proof had been right there, in front of his eyes. He had seen the picture, seen the words, "Detective killed in an explosion..." They really had been true.
She was gone. Oh god, she was really gone!
His father carefully wrapped his arms around Shawn, comforting him as his wails filled the room.
He woke up later that night, a small noise startling him out of the fitful sleep he had fallen into. It wasn't his father. He had sent him and Gus home, wanting to be alone again. If they were there, then he wouldn't be able to talk to Juliet when she reappeared.
He turned his head to see her sitting in the chair again, her head resting near his hand, eyes closed. He could swear he could feel her breath against his arm. The tears he thought he had finished with returned, falling silently down his face as he studied her. He had never imagined her with injuries from the bomb, but that was how he was seeing her now.
"Are you trying…to torture me?" He asked quietly. "It isn't bad enough that when I imagine how you died, that I see…" His throat closed. "Now you have to appear to me…like this?"
He studied her, his heart clenching as he saw the wounds on her face and arms, easily able to imagine all of the injuries she had suffered before her death.
She stirred slowly, her eyes blinking open and falling on him before she shot up. "Shawn!" She breathed, smiling at him joyfully through the cuts and bruises that marred her face.
"How long will this go on?" He asked, before she could speak again. She looked at him in confusion, and he clarified his question. "How…how long will I see you? Will you…you always look like this? Because…I liked remembering you...without your injuries."
She pulled back, still staring at him in confusion. He closed his eyes for a moment, frustrated. He didn't know how to ask those questions any clearer. He opened his eyes and saw her mouth part as something clicked in her mind, saw her lips tremble as she shook her head. She leaned towards him again.
"Shawn, did those men ever tell you why they took you?"
"Yes. It was about the case…you were working. But Jules…you asked me that already." He saw her try to blink away the moisture in her eyes, but a tear still fell down her cheek.
"They were members of the mob that Carlton and I were investigating. Remember I told you that there has been a recent growth in crime, and that we suspected a small pocket of transplants from the Russian mob?"
"Do you remember that I took lead on this case? It was a great opportunity to test my skills, according to the Chief. Remember?"
He nodded again. It had been a huge opportunity for her, and he had been so proud of her.
"They took you to make us back off in our investigations. They sent pictures to the department every day. And somehow, they must have figured out you are my fiancé, because they started to target me even more by sending the pictures to my house."
He shook his head in confusion. "Jules…I don't understand. How…how do you know this? You didn't know this…before."
"I got too close to their operation, Shawn, and they got angry. The building I was searching with Carlton and a team of officers blew up."
Shawn's face scrunched in pain, and he turned away from her, closing his eyes. He wasn't sure he wanted to know the details of what had happened. It was so hard to imagine her being hurt, being killed…
It took him several seconds to realize someone was touching his hand, gripping it tightly. He looked down, his brow furrowing when he saw Juliet's soft hands clasping his.
But that wasn't possible. Every time he had touched her before, she had disappeared. How was she still there? He didn't understand. He dragged his eyes back up to hers, his breaths coming faster as he started to hope.
"It was at the point where the Chief felt that I was in danger, and she decided to announce that I didn't survive the blast; it would give me a chance to finish the investigation without their attention. At first, she wanted to take me off the case; she thought it was too dangerous, too close to home, but you were still missing and I couldn't-"
She stopped talking when Shawn pulled his hand away, shaking his head fervently. "No. My father…he would have…have said. Stop, please," He asked, covering his eyes to block her from sight.
"He doesn't know yet, since the investigation is still on-going. Only Carlton and the Chief know. I shouldn't even be here, but I had to see you. I'm sorry; I'd been watching you sleep and I fell asleep, too. Sorry about that."
He stared at her, still shaking his head and refusing to believe. She couldn't be alive. She couldn't be.
She smiled, and slowly reached out to touch his face. He watched her move, his eyes closing when he felt her fingers brush against him. He burrowed his head into her hand, his eyes opening as he stared at her in wonder.
He could feel her. She was here!
They stayed like that, for hours, maybe days. It didn't matter to Shawn. All that he cared about was that she was here, with him, alive.
She stood from the chair and gently climbed on to the bed, lying beside him. Her blue eyes stared into his, offering him comfort and reassurance. He touched her cheek, his hand sliding down her neck and to her side before he pulled her closer to him. He tunneled his fingers through her hair and buried his face in her neck, weeping again as reality sunk in. She wasn't dead. She wasn't some image his mind had created out of grief. She was safe and alive.
"It was you," He whispered into her ear, answering the question his hallucination had asked earlier. "It was always you."