Disclaimer: I don't own Psych, or any of the characters, or anything related to it, even merchandise. Lyrics: Stay Lucky by Gaslight Anthem.

Note: First Psychfic. Hopefully, this isn't too roundabout and rambling. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy!

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Before Dawn

everybody used to call you lucky
when you were young


Juliet O'Hara has never been more alone in her entire life.

The city's spread out beneath her like a satellite image. It's the darkest, deepest point of the night and as many lights as plan on going out have been extinguished. Santa Barbara is drowsing through its deadest hour, and this might be the last night of her life.

A panicked part of her brain is beating out a frantic mantra in time with her heart beat: They'll save me. They're coming to get me. They'll save me. They're coming –

They're not coming, and Juliet knows it. Those, after all, are the rules. Civilians first. She's just an officer injured in the line of duty, and she knows it; Abigail has been pulled into a mess that she never signed up for and saving her is right. That's why she joined the force. That's why she's fought, every damn day, to get where she is. To protect and to serve. For people like Abigail.

It'll hurt them, though, she's sure of that. They won't want to make that choice, but they'll have to. That's why the rules are there – sometimes, crap like this happens, and you need to be reminded that your friends' lives are not your job.

She wishes she could stop thinking that they're coming for her. She wishes she could get rid of that last, pathetic shred of hope. It's keeping her anxious, making her shiver, making her scared, and she needs to resign herself to this. It is happening, and she is going to fall, and she is going to die and that is simply the fact of it. She always swore she would not die frightened.

For a single second, she's glad it's Abigail that Yin took. It makes it...easier. It quiets the angry part of her that wants to scream it should be me and reminds her that there are duties that people owe other people that rules have nothing to do with. It should be Abigail. It needs to be Abigail. They'll tear themselves apart, otherwise. All of them. Carlton and the Chief, they'll never be able to look at themselves straight on in the mirror; they'll have betrayed their creed. And Shawn...Shawn will never be able to look at her again. She'll become a living, breathing reminder of the worst choice they ever made, and Juliet would rather die than see the people she loves not able to meet her eye.

The voice in her head is quieter now. Good. It should be Abigail. Juliet knew what she was signing on for. She's brought this on herself.

The huge hands of the clock tick one minute forward, and the echo of the sound makes the chord holding her up vibrate, and terror streaks through her like electricity. She doesn't want to die. For all her posturing, for all her rationalisation, for all her certainties and all her rules and all the things she thought she knew, Juliet does not want to die. Not here, not like this, not when –

It's out of her hands now.

The air's cold and the height is dizzying and down below a single car is winding towards the clock tower. If there's sirens on top, she can't tell.

Juliet draws a deep, shuddering breath through the gag, and the clock hands tick on one more minute. A bitter eruption of hilarity bubbles against the back of her throat, and she half laughs, half sobs, as she thinks –

At least it's going to be a hell of a way to go.