Alright, I thought that this would be good where it ended in the last chapter and that all the readers would make up their own ending. But apparently I was wrong, and so here's the resolution of a sort.
The weeks slowly turned to months, and before she knew it, it had been almost a year since Jules had last seen Shawn. She'd long ago accepted the fact that he was long gone. That he would never return.
That wasn't to say it didn't still hurt.
She couldn't pinpoint exactly when she stopped hoping Shawn would come home, but then again a lot of things in life were like that. You couldn't exactly pinpoint that moment when things went wrong and changed forever. She was numb to the emptiness now, and had been for a while now. She was able to go through the motions and act like she was bouncing back. She could pass the old psych building and not have to stop to catch her breath. The place was a clothing store now. It seemed so strange to her.
She often dreamt of Shawn, though those dreams were fading. She couldn't see his face in perfect clarity. It bothered her.
Jules woke to the shrill sound of the phone ringing. She threw the covers off and made a mad dash for the phone, reaching it just as it rang the fifth time.
"Happy Birthday Juliet!" As always, she felt disappointment when it wasn't Shawn's voice on the other side of the line.
"So what are you doing today?" her mother asked eagerly. "Did your chief give you the day off?" Jules could imagine her mom twirling the phone cord around her finger, listening intently to each of her replies.
"No, I have work. They're probably going to try and surprise me, and Carlton will let me take lead on a case or two, maybe." And Shawn will still be somewhere else. Maybe thinking about her, maybe not. Either way, he wasn't here to spend her birthday with her.
"Oh well, I'll let you go, then. Have a great day, Honey!"
"Thanks, Mom. I will."
"Bye Mom." The line went dead with a little click, and she went to get ready. As she was getting ready to leave, she hesitated for a second, her fingers lingering on the locket. She only wore it on special occaisions, not wanting to lose it or damage it. Deciding that today was special enough, she fastened it around her neck and tucked it beneath her shirt.
Everyone at the station wished her a happy birthday as she passed, and Buzz had even gone and bought a cake for her. Needless to say, it was gone within the hour. She found a small pile of presents and cards sitting on her desk, most of them gift cards to store they knew she liked, and another package of pineapple chapstick, which she'd remarked offhand she was running low on to Lassiter. It was good to know he listened to her at least some of the time.
"O'Hara, I've got a present for you." She turned to find the Chief standing behind her, stoic and unsmiling. A dead giveaway that she had a case. She stood and followed the chief and her partner into the small office and took the file that was handed to her.
"Does the name Miguel Cortez mean anything to either of you?"
"Of course. He's the asshole who always gets away," Lassiter replied almost instantly. "He's got countless charges of assault against him, as well as one for murder."
"Not to mention he's a drug dealer," Jules added.
"We've recieved an anonymous tip saying that Mr. Cortez has a small business running in an abandoned warehouse-"
"So original," Lassiter snorted, earning him a glare from Chief Vick.
"-and I want you to find him and bring him in. We have reason to believe that he's armed and dangerous."
"Should we go undercover? Wouldn't it be easier to get in if we pretend we're some junkies looking for a hit?"
"I don't think that will be necessary," the chief said. "Just be careful."
Thirty minutes later, they were sitting in an disguised car, just across the street from the warehouse. Jules was peering through a pair of binoculars, trying to see if she could get a glimpse of anything. So far, nothing was happening, and she was getting antsy.
"O'Hara, if you don't stop fidgeting, I'm kicking you out of this car right now." She tried to keep still, but her thought kept turning to Shawn, making her squirm. She knew that if he were here, he'd be able to tell her what they should do. Or, at the very least, he would lighten the mood, or annoy Lassiter just to make her laugh. She handed the binoculars to Lassiter and stared out her window.
Sometimes she missed him so much it hurt. She felt like her chest was empty, like it would swallow her whole from the inside out. She would give anything to have even one minute with him. Sometimes, when she was working on a case, she would close her eyes and pretend like Shawn was next to her, chatting breezily and giving her instructions. Imaginary Shawn would hold her hand and kiss her and tell her that he loved her.
Imaginary Shawn wouldn't leave.
"I've got movement. Let's go." Her eyes snapped open as Lassiter started the car. He focused his sights straight ahead, and therefore didn't see the car. There was a horrific screech of tires and gravel flying and then suddenly the car was airborne. They were tumbling over and over and Jules could hear a woman screaming. Distantly, she realized it was her own voice screaming as everything faded out.
There was pain everywhere, and everything was pain. Oh God, she was dying and Shawn wasn't there with her. She tried to move her hand to grope at her neck for the locket. But it wouldn't move.
Her vision was fading, and suddenly she was flying. There were faces all around. Strangers and friends. Even Shawn, in perfect clarity. That was how she knew she was dead. Or maybe not. Maybe she was still just dying. Everything was flashing from brightness to darkness every few seconds. She was cold all over.
Everything faded out again, and she knew she had died.
It was bright and much too uncomfortable. Everything was white. her entire body felt stiff and cold, with the exception of her right hand. Turning her head, she realized there was a man holding her hand. She couldn't see his face, just a mess of brown hair. With her left hand, she first ripped the oxygen tube that rested just below her nose, then reached out to touch the man. She had to know...
His head snapped up as soon as her fingers made contact with her skin. His eyes were red and bleary with sleep, and she could tell he hadn't shaved for a few days. His hazel eyes roamed her face for a second before resting on her own blue eyes.
"Am I dead, then?" Her voice came out as a hoarse whisper, her throat thick.
"What? No! No, of course not, sweetheart. Why would you think that?"
"What are you doing here?" Hurt flashed across his face, and then it was gone. His mask went up, but she could see how much it killed him inside.
"I could leave, if that's what you want." She shook her head frantically, ignoring the stabbing pain she felt in her head and neck.
"No! I meant how did you find out?"
"I heard on the police scanner that Detectives Lassiter and O'Hara had been injured in a car wreck," he said solemnly, pressing her hand against his warm lips. "I had to see if you were okay." He pressed his forehead against hers, and she closed her eyes. "Besides, you didn't think I would let you celebrate your birthday without me, did you?" He slowly pulled back, taking her hand again.
"Lassie? He's fine. He's in another room just down the hall. Nothing but a couple of minor bruises and cuts," Shawn replied. "You got the brunt of the impact..." He gently stroked her face, secretly pleased by the fact that she was allowing him to do this. The last time he'd seen her, she'd been furious at him, and would have never let him anywhere near her.
"How bad is it?"
"It was touch-and-go for a little bit, but the doctors said you should be fine." He knew better than to tell her that he had been standing right there when her heart had stopped. He wouldn't tell her how he panicked and fought to get to her, but lost. He wouldn't tell her how broken she looked, lying on the gurney.
He remembered that terrifying moment when he heard her name over the police scanner. He'd been passing through and decided to check up on Gus and his dad. Henry had been furious at him for not contacting him, but eventually calmed down enough for Shawn to enjoy the visit a little. he hadn't realized how much he missed his dad. When he left, he headed straight for Gus's place, eager to see his lifelong best friend. They'd been playfully bickering again like the old days when a voice, barely audible, can on the police scanner. He'd turned it up and listened in horror as he heard the news.
He and Gus had been one of the first people there. The car, completely flipped onto its roof, was unsalvageable and he wasn't sure if it was his mind playing tricks on him or not, but he could have sworn he saw a mess of blonde hair from beneath the overturned vehicle. He'd screamed her name over and over as Gus held him back. When the EMTs finally got both Lassiter and Juliet out of the car, he almost broke down. He caught a glimpse of the locket, and then he had been running towards her, grabbing for her hand.
"I'm her fiancé!" He'd yelled when they tried to push him away. "Please, let me be with her!"
He was honestly surprised when they allowed him in.
He remembered the horror her felt when that shrill whine started. He'd heard them yelling "Code blue!" and then they were blocking him from her. He remembered how he'd fought almost savagely to get to her, to help her in any way. He remembered the shaken relief everyone felt when her heart started beating again.
"Shawn?" He realized he'd begun to cry silently. Shre reached out to touch his cheek, and he gently crushed her to his chest and cradled her there. She stiffened for a second, then moaned as it aggravated her wounds.
"Sorry!" he apologized quickly. "I'm so sorry. I just... I love you so much. I don't want to lose you." he squeezed her hand as the pain faded, and she was left feeling as though she'd run a marathon. Her eyes drooped, and she fought her heavy lids. She was still partially convinced that if she fell asleep, Shawn wouldn't be there when she woke up.
"Sleep, Jules," he whispered, carefully climbing into the bed with her. "I'll be here. I promise. I'm never leaving again. Just sleep." As her eyes slid closed, one thought ran through her mind.
Maybe he is psychic afterall.