Disclaimer: Psych isn't mine, I don't own this bizniz and I'm not making any money off it. Lyrics: Everything You Wanted by Kele. Title is the title of an Editor's song.
Note: First attempt at a Psych pairing fic. I'm not overly familiar with season 3 - 5 so I apologise for any canonical errors. I hope it's alright, though, and I hope I'm not playing them too out of character, and I really hope I'm not relying too heavily on bad plot ideas. Please enjoy.
In This Light and On This Evening
i know the time for us has passed
but you must know one thing
i could have given you everything you wanted
everything you needed
It happens sometime after the incident with Yang. Things between Shawn and Abigail are going well, and Shawn is noticeably bouncier (as if anyone had thought that possible) and Juliet feels so very, very stupid.
Not that things got weird, or anything, after that first week or two. Which she's grateful for. It's just...she knows. She knows how much of an idiot she must have looked. And every time he looks at her now, that's what he's going to see.
Lassiter notices that something is off with her, but gets it totally wrong.
!It's perfectly understandable," he tells her, when they're sat in the car on the way back to the station, and his tone is just a little bit condescending. "I mean, I didn't get like this after my first encounter with a serial killer, but I think we all know I'm made of harder stuff – well. What I'm saying is it's perfectly fine to get a bit spooked by things like this."
But you have to get your head back in the game hangs unsaid.
She almost tells him, then. He'd never approve, of course – he'd snort and make some derisive jibe about her choice in men, or some unintentionally insulting comment about how she isn't supposed to be thinking like a woman. But he'd also say something unintentionally flattering, like Shawn is an idiot (because he thinks it anyway) or she can do better (because anybody must be better than Spencer, right?). She wants to hear that, right now, even if it's by reading a meaning where there isn't one.
One day, Abigail comes with Shawn to the station to pick up a cheque, and Juliet tells Lassiter he has to take her out for a drink after they wrap up for the day, or she's going to explode.
They sit in Tom Blair's at a corner table, and he is staring at her just a little too apprehensively.
"What?" she demands. "What?"
"You're...drinking a lot there...O'Hara." He cautiously picks his way around the words, like he's trying to make it clear he doesn't want to offend her. It doesn't work.
"Oh yeah? I can't drink what I like?"
Lassiter holds his hands up defensively. "You can drink whatever you like," he says, quickly. "It's just...this is about Yang, right, O'Hara? And you are...you are getting over it?"
Juliet stirs the ice at the bottom of her glass around with her hair clip. Her cheeks feel hot. She doesn't want to answer.
"I almost punched Spencer today," he says, suddenly and brightly, and her stomach does a weird twisting/flopping thing.
"Again?" she says.
"I pulled it on purpose, and he ducked." Lassiter sounds remorseful. "But still. Felt good to swing at him."
Juliet looks sideways at him. "What do you have against him?" she hears herself ask, even as the muffled part of her brain that hasn't been drinking mixers for the last two hours tells her she doesn't want to go down this road.
Lassiter rolls his shoulders in one of his typical, disinterested shrugs. "He's an idiot."
Something behind his eyes catches her then. Lassiter, she reminds herself, is not stupid. Lassiter, she thinks, is Santa Barbara's head detective and he makes a career out of noticing things other people don't. And Lassiter spends more time with her these days than anyone else (that's pretty lame, isn't it? Your partner at work sees you more than your friends, your family, your – anyone else), and he knows how she gets when she's spooked about a crook.
She feels his hand on her shoulder, and he squeezes. She isn't going to bring it up, and she knows that he sure as hell isn't, either. But the gesture's enough.
She leans against him. She feels his body stiffen as she moves, the same instinctive resistance she encounters whenever he lets her hug him. He relaxes after a few seconds (as usual), and slips his hand a couple of inches down her arm. He waves the waitress over and orders a couple more drinks. It's the first time she realises he's been drinking, too, though she's probably much further gone than him.
"I can't believe that perp today thought he could hide out at his mom's house," Lassister scoffed, as the waitress set their drinks down (another rum and coke for Juliet, another double bourbon for him). "Like that's not the first place we're going to check. The guy only moved out last month, half his stuff was still there."
He shakes his head like he can't believe – even after all the years he's been doing this – how stupid some lawbreakers can be. Juliet sips her drink, and the ice bumps against her lips.
At some point during the evening, both their jackets' and Lassiter's tie come off. Her arm has somehow found its way around his waist, and he's tracing circles on her shoulder, just under the hem of her shirt-sleeve. The world's buzzing and so is she, and Lassiter's laughing a lot more than he normally does when they spend time together off duty, and his shoulder seems like the most perfect place in the world for her to rest her head. It's so relaxing, just sitting here with him, arguing the merits of tazers over batons, swirling the melting ice around the bottom of her glass. Lassiter is so familiar, and so steady, and so gentle with the way he runs his fingers absently over her arm that she barely thinks about Shawn at all.
When they call out closing time, he's far too many flags to the wind to trust himself driving her home. He won't spring for a taxi, and she's only got a few coins left at the bottom of her purse, so after a little bit of complaining, he walks her home. It seems like the most natural thing that they make that walk hand in hand, or that he wraps his arms protectively around her when she stumbles, and pulls her against him.
The night air is balmy, but there's a chill breeze off the sea that hits her heavily, mingling with the alcohol in her blood and sending heady, potent thoughts spinning through her brain. Lassiter's hand is much bigger than hers, she thinks, but she's not so delicate he has to hold it like it's a broken bird.
She hadn't thought she'd said it aloud until Lassiter harrumphs and says, "Sorry for trying to be sensitive to our size difference."
He laughs, though, and she squeezes her hand. He squeezes back, because at the end of the day, he knows she's no broken bird.
When she turns around to say goodnight after unlocking her front door, he kisses her. Kissing him back is instinctive, just like winding her hands up his chest to his neck, or leaning into him when he gently (more gently than she'd have ever expected of him, even if it's tinged with the clumsiness of non-sobriety) wraps his arms around her. When the kiss ends, another one begins, and they're cautious at first, mapping each other out through lips and breath. It's bizarre, it's insane – her partner's mouth moving uncertainly against hers; two of Santa Barbara's finest making out on a doorstep at one in the morning. When they do break apart, it takes a good few seconds for the haze to clear and for them to realise exactly what's going on.
A look of horror crosses Lassiter's face, so Juliet makes herself laugh. "I guess we had more than we thought, huh?" she says, raising her eyebrows. It's a way out, and he takes it.
"Yeah!" He sounds grateful, relieved. "We must be pretty blasted. I mean, I would never – not with you, anyway. I don't mean it that way!" he added quickly, tripping over his own tongue. "But you're my partner. I don't see you as a woman, Ju – O'Hara, I see you as a detective, and I'm sure you see me the same way."
Juliet's nodding along so enthusiastically that she almost misses the fleeting, crestfallen expression that ghosts over him. Wait, she thinks, who...who is he trying to convince?
"I'd better go inside," she says, apologetically, half opening the door. "Thanks for walking me home. And, you know, taking me out. Cheering me up."
He gives her a flat-handed wave and a trademark tight smile. She tries to focus properly on him, but he's all business again; the openness of the night has gone. But there's still something there, something she can't put her finger on, that makes her remember...
Does Lassiter -?
But the thought gets lost somewhere between its beginnings and her waking up in the night dry-mouthed, and she doesn't remember it in the morning.
She decides to like she's forgotten all about the kiss, too, and so does Lassiter. There's maybe five seconds of awkwardness when they first see each other at the station the next morning, but Juliet quickly diffuses it with an offer of coffee. Everything's fine after that, and when Shawn has to interrupt their next meeting with the Chief to take a call from Abigail, Lassiter's hand brushes her shoulder after they leave the room.
She catches him looking at her sometimes, when they're supposed to be keeping their heads down and finishing up their paperwork, but she can't recall why a part of her thinks that's significant.
She brushes it aside, keeps her head up, and carries on.
And Lassiter still sneaks glances at her, occasionally, when he thinks she isn't looking.