Disclaimer: does anyone really think I DO own psych?
Summary: Suggested by Lawson227, this pre-Lassiet entry in my Contrived series takes a look at Juliet getting tired of Shawn's constant put-downs of her partner. Shawn adorers, keep clear.
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"Does that thing ever get in the way of your left eye?"
Juliet looked across the table at Shawn, who was restless and fresh out of Cheez-Its. "What?"
"Not you, Jules. Lassie."
Carlton looked across the table at Shawn. "What?"
Shawn smiled. "Does it?"
Gus sighed. "Can I go to the vending machine?"
"Not yet," Carlton snapped. "You and your friend here still have two books of mug shots to go through."
"We can't think when we're hungry," Gus pointed out. "You should know that by now."
Juliet nodded at Carlton. "You really should."
Carlton rolled his eyes. "Fine. Go to the vending machine, but be back in sixty seconds or I'm putting your photo in here and calling you a dead ringer for the suspect."
"That's racial profiling," Gus protested hotly.
"Does your nose," Shawn interrupted, "ever get in the way of your eye?"
All three stared at him.
He smirked. "I mean, it's got a pretty bodacious curve, and with eyes the size of pies—hey, that's really rhymy—I'm surprised… you don't realize… how much you might not be able to…" he floundered. "Apprise, there ya go, about the—"
"Spencer, shut it and go get your Scooby snack already."
Gus stood rapidly.
Shawn stayed where he was. "I prefer Velma snacks, but I'm serious, dude. Doesn't that hook ever get in your line of sight?"
Carlton gave him an icy glare.
Juliet, trying to keep everyone under control long enough to have Shawn and Gus pick out the damned suspect already, pushed the mug shot album closer to Shawn. "Just keep looking, all right?"
"No, Jules, because I have to know how he can see around it without headaches. It's like in The Jerk. Steve Martin—"
"Navin R. Johnson," Gus supplied.
"Right, Navin R. Johnson. He invented the thingy which—what was it, Gus?"
"It kept your glasses properly positioned on your nose, but had the side effect of making everyone cross-eyed, so he was sued and lost his fortune. But he said he didn't need anything, except—" Gus stopped, cuing Shawn.
"Just this ashtray... and this paddle game. The ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need... and this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need... and these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball... and this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game, and the remote control, and the lamp, and that's all I need. And that's all I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one..."
It was a fairly creditable Steve Martin impersonation, and Shawn was obviously completely into it.
Juliet glanced at Carlton. He was expressionless, beyond giving off his familiar vibe of impatience.
"Are you finished, Shawn?" she asked politely.
"No, there's more. I need—"
"Snacks!" Carlton roared.
Gus ran out.
Shawn only smiled. "I'm good."
Juliet heard Carlton mutter, "Not really," as he went back to making notations from Shawn's earlier ramblings about the man who'd barged into the Psych headquarters and flashed them before stealing their new set of The Office bobbleheads. It matched similar 'flash-n-grab' incidents in the area, and they were pretty sure they had the guy 'on file' already.
"So what about it, Lassaschnoz?"
"Shawn, that's enough." Juliet tapped on the album. "Look and choose."
"He's not in there." It was dismissive. "And I'm entirely too distracted by wondering about Hook over there and how his giant left eye copes. For that matter, how about the women you kiss—if we pretend that you ever kiss any? How does that work? What kind of facial contortions are required to get your lips together without putting her eye out?"
Juliet didn't know about Carlton, but she'd had enough. "How do you see around your nose?" she inquired archly. "Shut up and look at the damned mugshots."
Carlton turned his dark head and gave her a look. Curious, most likely.
Shawn grinned. "Low blow, but I can take it." He peered at Carlton. "How'd you do that, anyway? Get hit by a girl in the school playground back in kindergarten? Surprised you didn't see the blow coming, with peepers that huge."
"Shawn! Shut it already." Juliet got up, pushing her hair behind her ears. "Just look at the photos and we can all go home."
He glanced at his watch. "I'm in no hurry. Lassie, how did you—"
Carlton threw his pen down and leaned back in his chair. "Spencer, you don't ever stop, do you?"
Shawn smirked. "I'm never so safe as when I'm in the police station, right? You know, under your Death Star gaze?"
Juliet was done. She was also glad she'd never given into his incessant flirtations, to save her the trouble of having to break up with his sorry, self-serving ass later on.
"Shawn, I don't criticize people for facial and body features they have no control over, because I think it's mean-spirited and juvenile. But since you're obsessed with Carlton today, let's have a go-round with you. Frankly I'm surprised you can see at all. Your eyes are awfully small and close-set. Isn't that the sign of a shifty, untrustworthy person?"
She heard Carlton snort, but had more lined up.
"And really, how the hell can you see around that Jimmy Durante schnoz?"
"I'd have gone with Pinocchio," Carlton murmured. "O'Hara, it's okay. I can take the childish slurs of this fraud any day."
"You certainly ought to be able to hear them well enough, with ears that big," Shawn rallied.
Juliet leaned across the table and stared at Shawn until he backed away a bit, unnerved. "You're pasty, Shawn."
"Yep. Pasty. Pale and frankly a little bloated." She gestured to Carlton. "Look at him. For a guy who spends most of his days inside, he looks pretty healthy. Of course he runs and takes care of himself."
Shawn scoffed. "Seventeen cups of coffee a day is not—"
"How far can you run without needing an iron lung?"
"Jules, you're missing the point."
"No, I don't think I am. You continually mock Carlton's appearance but really, um, you need to pay a little more attention to your own. How much time and money do you spend on that… that 'hairstyle' which makes you look like you just woke up in the alley behind a bar?"
Another murmur from Carlton: "That would explain the bloated."
"Exactly," she agreed, and barreled over Shawn's attempt to defend himself. "But look at Carlton's hair. He washes it, he combs it, he keeps it neat." She stood back and surveyed her increasingly startled partner. "Looks damn good, in fact, especially when it's a little longer like this. Bet he doesn't spend more than five minutes on it every day."
Shawn mumbled, "I don't spend that much time or money on my hair."
Carlton asked, "Don't you have some pineapple-scented product imported from Australia?"
Not waiting for the denial, Juliet pressed on, "And Shawn, explain something to me. Why are you even concerned about the women he kisses? Are you jealous?"
He stood up, offended. "Am not. Never would be. Besides, nobody kisses him. His mouth's too small to find even if the woman was willing to risk having her eye put out by the New Madrid Fault Line nose."
Juliet took a deep breath. He was just… he was awful sometimes.
Why didn't more people see it?
She began slowly. "You, Shawn Spencer, are an ass. No… I take it back. You're an ass-shoe. Much too low to be as high as an asshat on the ass spectrum. This man here?" She gestured to Carlton without looking at him, maintaining her glare at Shawn. "My partner and best friend? He's damned good-looking, with great hair, a really nice smile and the most beautiful blue eyes ever given to a man, and you are just a jealous ass-shoe. And furthermore…" She stopped, turned to Carlton, whose aforementioned blue eyes were fixed on her in great amazement, and bent down to cup his warm face with hands that were only slightly shaky.
And then she kissed him.
She was dimly aware of Shawn's cry of horror, but then she was quickly overtaken by the rather magnificent sensation of kissing Carlton's warm firm mouth, because whatever surprise he may have felt initially, it evaporated quickly enough for him to put his hands on her upper arms and hold her steady—and there was no sign of him wanting to break the kiss.
But then she didn't either. Her heart was thundering and Carlton tasted so good and his hair under her fingertips was soft and she was just about to sink into his lap when Chief Vick cleared her throat and they jerked apart.
"I can only assume this is a new SBPD version of 'spin the bottle'? Orchestrated somehow by Mr. Spencer here?"
"Oh hell no!" he cried out in genuine distress. "Why in God's name would you think I'd want Jules or anyone else to kiss Lassie?"
Gus wandered in behind Chief Vick, carrying bags of M&Ms and packages of Twinkies. "Who kissed Lassie?"
Shawn put his hands over his eyes, moaning softly.
Vick looked at the three of them, eyebrows raised.
Juliet composed herself (no easy task, and damn if she didn't really really want to straddle Carlton in his chair and go back to kissing him). "Gus, if you were a girl, a really mean-spirited girl with no compassion, empathy or soul, and you judged men purely on their physical characteristics—"
Shawn protested. "Jules, I do too have a soul!"
"And," she continued unfazed, "you had to kiss either Carlton or Shawn for five minutes, which one would you choose?"
"You must be out of your damn mind," Gus snapped.
"Actually, I'd like to hear the answer too," Vick commented. "And I don't even know what the hell's going on in my station."
"Despair," Shawn moaned. "Chaos. Loss of faith in all that's right and holy."
Juliet glanced at Carlton and immediately felt even more flushed than she had before, because the look in his eyes was… intense. She had indeed gotten more than she bargained for in her spur-of-the-moment kiss, and… and….
Yeah. It was good. She smiled at him.
Slowly, he smiled back, and This Would Come Up For Discussion Later.
"Mr. Guster?" Vick prompted. "She didn't ask which man you would kiss. She asked which one a shallow, mean-spirited girl who judged only on looks would kiss."
"You don't judge only on looks, do you, Gus?" Juliet asked sweetly.
Shawn warned, "Gus, don't fall for it. It's a trap."
"Shawn, this whole thing is a trap!" Gus was rapidly caving in under the attention; even Carlton was focusing on him now. "Fine! Fine! She'd kiss Lassiter!" He threw the snacks on the table and ran out.
A moment later, he ran back in, grabbed a packet of M&Ms and one package of Twinkies, and then ran out again.
Shawn was making soft keening noises.
Chief Vick sighed. "Mr. Spencer, can you or can you not identify the man who flashed you in any of those photos?"
He took a shaky breath. "Not today, Chief. I'm afraid my retinas burned out when those two sucked face. I'll have to come in tomorrow if my vision returns and the nightmares aren't too bad during the night." Drawing himself up proudly, he started out of the conference room.
"Shawn!" Juliet called peremptorily.
He stopped reluctantly.
"Just so you know." She tucked a curl behind her ear, feeling the heat of her own cheeks. "I didn't have any problem finding his mouth, and he's a damned good kisser."
Shawn covered his ears and stalked out. Juliet tried not to laugh.
So did the Chief (Juliet didn't dare look at Carlton). "Well, then," she drawled.
Carlton stood up, clearly uncomfortable now. "Chief."
Vick was amused. "Never mind, Detective. Work it out on your own time. But no more games of spin-the-mug-shot-book at the station, okay?"
"Uh… yes. Understood."
Shaking her head, she headed out the door, leaving Juliet alone with Carlton.
For a few moments he only looked at her, and she at him.
She was thinking about everything she'd said about him, all of it true. She was faintly regretting being so hard on Shawn, but the truth was she'd been no more cruel to him than he was to Carlton on a normal day. He exaggerated Carlton's features as 'a joke'; she'd exaggerated his to teach him a lesson. Maybe this would shut him up in future.
Probably not, but supposedly all things were possible.
"You… um… said some interesting things just now, O'Hara."
"About me," he clarified.
"I did," she agreed. "About you being a good-looking man any woman would be happy to kiss."
He flushed. "Not many women."
"That's okay," she said softly, reaching out to touch his arm, and then sliding her hand down to clasp his warm fingers. "Less competition for me."
Carlton's blue blue eyes grew wider, and then darker, and he breathed, "Oh?"
"Yes." She moved a little closer, feeling utterly thrummy.
"Then you should know."
"You have no competition," he elucidated, and after one quick glance over his shoulder through the open door, pulled her close and kissed her again. Arm around her back, one hand in her hair, mouth warm and seeking, he sighed against her lips.
"And flattery," he added with a grin, "will get you everywhere."
She felt all thrummy again—as if she'd ever really stopped since that first kiss—and suggested they go somewhere to discuss it properly.
They never did recover Shawn and Gus's Office bobblehead collection, but in the clichéd grand scheme of things, Juliet and Carlton were both quite satisfied with the outcome of the case on a very, very personal level.
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[Go to YouTube and search for "the jerk all I need stevenmjerk" to hear Steve Martin's impassioned speech.]