Finished! How wonderful it is to have a story done and edited beforehand... :) Read, love, review :)
Shawn perched on the edge of the hospital bed, fighting the urge to roll his eyes at all the doctor's questions; the same ones he'd been asked a dozen times by the paramedics that came for them on the road.
On the way in the hospital, Henry had brushed off assistance from the nurses, claiming only a few cuts and a sprained ankle as something he could take care of himself. Instead, he promoted his son's list of injuries, unable to decipher Shawn's frantic signals for him to shut up.
So now Shawn had to deal with the never ending stream of Doctorese, the language where no word was below a dozen letters and everything always came with a horrifying description of 'what could happen if you don't listen to me.'
"Now, your father mentioned that you blacked out after the crash and probably have a concussion," The doctor said, whose name tag declared him as Dr. Bryan Miller.
"Blacked out, fell asleep; it's very hard to tell the difference when it's 2:30 in the morning." Shawn winced as the man moved on to examining his arm.
"It also looks like you may have a fracture on your olecranon," Dr. Miller continued.
Shawn furrowed his brow. "My what?"
He gave a slight smirk. "You broke your elbow, kid."
"I've got to start watching Bones more often with Gus," Shawn muttered.
"Alright, we'll set you up for an X-ray of that arm in just a moment. Sit tight and I'll be right back."
"Look forward to it," Shawn said sarcastically as he watched the doctor leave the room, only to be replaced by his dad who was leading someone else into the room.
"Lassie!" Shawn called out as the Head Detective stepped through the threshold.
"I just have to wonder how it is that whenever I'm able to settle down for a nice relaxing marathon of COPS, you Spencers are always ruining it." Lassiter growled, grabbing his notebook from his pocket. "Now give me your statement of what happened so I can go back home."
"We're fine, by the way," Shawn cheerfully added with a grin. "Look! I broke my elbow! And my dad sprained his ankle, which I think is rather…"
Shawn trailed off when he heard his name called, not angrily by Lassiter who he'd successfully aggravated, but in concern by a voice that he had least expected.
He leaned to the side and looked past Carlton, staring in numb surprise. "Jules?"
"Shawn!" Juliet entered the room, concern highlighting her face as she halted a few feet in front of him and looked him over. "Oh, my gosh, what happened?" She shook her head, "Well, I mean, I know what happened, but – are you alright? You look terrible."
Shawn worked on blinking away the shock, shaking his head as her movements became fluttered, unsure of what to do. "I'm fine, Jules. No need to fret."
He focused on Juliet's worried face for a moment before his eyes slid past her, doing a slight double take when he suddenly noticed Henry and Lassiter were watching them. He cleared his throat.
Henry jerked in a breath. "Oh, right." He turned and tugged on Carlton's sleeve. "Come on."
Lassiter blinked in confusion. "But I didn't get his—"
"You can take mine. Let's go grab a coffee." Henry looked back at Shawn. "If you need anything, just say the magic words." He hinted, not so subtly.
Shawn forced a grateful smile until Juliet's back was turned. He then switched expressions, jerking his head toward the door as he mouthed at his dad, "Just get out of here!"
Henry turned to leave. Juliet watched him go, and then looked back at Shawn, biting her lip.
Shawn watched her eyes trace the cut along his temple and count the other minor cuts and bruises that showed. He smiled convincingly, "Jules, it's fine, really. It looks worse than it is."
Juliet nodded, playing with her thumbnail. "I know…I know, it was just a shock when I heard, I guess…and of course Carlton didn't give many – well, any details, really…I'm just glad you're okay." She shifted and then gave an upset sigh as she finally settled on giving him a hug.
As much as he didn't want to ruin the moment, Shawn couldn't help his sharp intake of breath as she accidently jostled his throbbing arm, sending a sharp pain through his elbow.
Juliet instantly jumped back. "I'm sorry! I—"
"No, no, hey, it's okay." Shawn bit back a wince, trying to change her concerned expression. His gaze was able to work a small accepting smile from her and his lips twitched up in response, pleased.
Then he just couldn't hold it in anymore. "So, what happened? I thought you'd left with Declan already on your super-duper extended vacation."
"I called it off." Juliet shook her head. "Which, I guess turned out to be okay because I was home when Carlton called about the accident."
"Oh…so Declan…" Shawn started.
"…Went on without me." Juliet finished with a slight shrug.
"Oh," Shawn said again, not sure what emotion he should show on the outside. "I'm sorry."
She shook her head. "Oh, don't be. I'm kind of glad I didn't go now."
An awkward silence came between them as they both bobbed their heads, not sure of what to say next. Shawn's mind blanked, unable to think of anything.
Fine. You don't want to think? Then do something.
Shawn bit his lip as his father's voice repeated in his head.
He cleared his throat. "Um, Jules?"
She perked up, eager. "Yes?"
"Alright, ready for that X-ray?" Dr. Miller entered the room then, glancing up from a clipboard in his hands.
Really? Shawn thought, deflating as Juliet started to retreat out of the doctor's way.
"Um, I guess I'd better go then." She said, pointing with her thumb toward the door. "I just wanted to see if you were okay… I'll see you at the station, if you're up to it." She nodded, then toward the door.
For goodness sakes, Shawn, it's been five years. Have you ever said how you feel?
As much as he hated to admit it, his dad's echo was right. Something had always stopped him, whether it was timing, a situation, or himself.
But not this time. Declan was far too close of a call. It was now or never.
"Um, no, wait, Jules," Shawn called out, making sure she had stopped before he turned to Dr. Miller. "Uh, can, can you give us five minutes? Please?"
The doctor looked at them both and then gave an agreeing nod, backing out of the room.
"Thanks…" Shawn said, and then looked to Juliet, who was waiting for him to speak. His stomach folded nervously as he suddenly realized he now had to say something that summed up the past five years and made at least some coherent sense. "…Uh…"
Juliet gave a slight smile and Shawn wondered if she just felt sorry for him as he fumbled for words. He gave his head a slight shake, trying to clear it.
He carefully stood, holding his left arm close to him in an invisible sling as he took a few steps toward her. "I…uh…Jules, you…um…" Shawn paused, giving a slight humorless laugh. "You know, I've been waiting to say this for years, and now that I finally got my chance, I realize that I am totally unprepared. I have a speech thought up for nearly every occasion, except for this one. Well, I suppose I could tweak the 'First Man to Land on Planet Pluto' speech since that's now out of the realm of possibility, given Pluto's current state—"
"Shawn." Juliet re-grabbed his attention. He froze, watching her expression as she suggested, "Why don't you just say what's on your mind?"
Shawn glanced down and let out a breath, "Okay…" He shifted as he nodded, psyching himself up as he turned his gaze back to Juliet. "Okay."
And then he kissed her.