Things Like Fathers

Summary: Shawn gave her the gift she hadn't let herself want. A relationship with her father. This birthday, Juliet has a lot to be thankful for. Tag to "In For A Penny." Juliet POV.

A/N: School takes a lot out of me, but now it's break and hopefully I can fall back into a writing habit. "In For A Penny," provided some pretty good inspiration for now.

In the end, my father leaves again. I can't be certain that he'll fly straight now; he's not the kind of man to change quickly or easily, but I can at least be certain that he loves me enough to want to.

For now, that's enough.

And Shawn...

He'd done everything that I'd asked him not to. He pushed and pryed, and though he's made a lot of questionable decisions in the past, never had any of them felt like such a betrayal.

I hadn't wanted to see Frank. I wanted to pretend he didn't exist because he hadn't seemed to for so long. It could have been easy that way, no confessions or complications.

But now, now that I know how much my father had cared and still cares, how he'd watched my birthdays from a quiet sideline...I can't blame Shawn or Frank for trying to do what they thought was best for me.

I don't know if I can ever thank Shawn enough for the gift I hadn't let myself want. A relationship with my father, damaged but mending.

The Psych office is a mess when the party ends. Cups and plates that never quite found their way to the trash linger on the desk and tables, but for right now, even that tiny OCD part of me doesn't care to clean up.

Shawn returns from outside, having followed the bouncy castle movers out in an attempt to discuss future discount prices, something he had cleverly referred to as, "Frequent bouncer miles."

He only glances at the surrounding mess before he lets his eyes catch on mine, and he crosses the distance between us almost instantly. "I throw a pretty good party, huh?"

I smile. "It was great, Shawn."

"The least I could do, Jules. I know I sorta forced you into seeing your father," he says, lowering his eyes, voice slightly apologetic.

"Hey," I say. "It worked out for the best in the end, and...I'm so lucky to have a boyfriend who goes to that much trouble for me." I finish, grabbing his hand and pulling him closer to me.

"I just wanted you to be happy, Jules. I always want that, and I just thought this would do it..." he pauses as though debating whether or not to continue. "You know, you weren't around when I first came back to Santa Barbara and saw my dad again. The way we were, the way we fought...I didn't want anything to do with him."

I squeeze his hand just slightly. It's moments like these that I know, with certainty, that our relationship really is something more. It's his willingness to share these important things with me, completely unprompted, that reminds me just how much we've let each other in.

"It's been, what, five, six years now?" Shawn continues. "I've been able to go to Dad for...everything. To watch the baseball game on television, help with a case...he's the one who understood my clues when I was shot, he's been around for my birthdays and for Christmas. I just wanted you to be able to have things like that. To have somebody to turn to."

"Well, I've already got one of those," I say, and I kiss him. Is it possible for me to love this man more? "But thanks for giving me another somebody."

"Anytime, Jules," he says with seriousness, but after a second, it's gone. "It really is too bad about the bouncy castle, though. I was trying to keep it for another day..."

I laugh into his chest. This man is too much. "It's okay, Shawn. I'm sure we can make our own entertainment."

"Oh, I don't know how we can top th -"

"Shut up, Shawn." I say, and when I kiss him again, he's never seemed so happy to oblige.

A/N: Admit it, you wish you were her. Reviews are love!