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for against all odds (take a look at me now)

5/13 c18 44smuffly
This story was so much fun to follow. You really put Shawn and Jules through the wringer but, in doing so, you worked through their issues in a way that really helped them in the end. This last chapter was lovely, with Shawn so desperate to stay by Juliet's side, and any other interactions necessary (and delightful) but an interruption to that final moment when everything is absolutely right with the world at last. What did I love most about this epilogue? I loved Vick's hug. I loved Lassiter's acerbic wit ('Yeah, he's up for citizen of the year.') I loved the smoothies and Gus, and 'Last of the Mohicans' (clever!) You even threw Dobson in there for good measure. But most of all, I loved the ending. It was perfect. What more can I say? Bravo!
5/13 c18 theinvisiblereaderguy
I don’t think you could have completed this story any better than you did. It was truly a wonderful fic that painted shules in a new light for me. I do hope we get an epilogue type chapter down the road if you are up to it. Keep up the good writing and have a good day!
5/8 c17 smuffly
Second to last chapter? Oh no! I hope you have more 'chapter' stories in mind because this one has been such a treat to follow.

I recognised the Batman riddle! Lucky that it was a Val Kilmer film too. And I liked the sneaky way you played with it. Clever, to use Shawn's dad this time as his 'guide' - it did seem fitting, and very much something that Henry might say.

I love the careful way Shawn tries to reassure Juliet, so that she knows what's going on, and the way he calls her 'sweetheart' because he just can't help himself. And yay! Here's the blindfold! Well played, Shuuuliet, well played...

I could feel how tightly Shawn was controlling himself, trying to keep his terrible fear at bay. You did such a great job of describing all these obstacles, making each one different and challenging, letting the tension build as he gets closer to his goal. I knew that he would have to make it to Jules, of course, but I was on tenterhooks until he did! And he's still trying to restrain himself, even now... my heart bled for him when he made his apology. But then I felt like cheering out loud when Juliet began to speak!

I knew it. I knew you would have to go there. You've taken them on such an emotional journey, there was no way you could leave it to run its course as it does on the show. I'm so glad you made the decision to 'fix' it here. And you did it beautifully. I could feel the shift between them and the joy that followed. Juliet's speech was short, sweet, heartfelt and perfect. And the idea that, even if they die now, she would die feeling safe - I totally get that. The kiss on the knuckles, too... love it. And then they're out, and the chapter ends in such a wonderful way! They've made it through the maze, in more ways than one, and they're free and clear on the other side at last.

If you can't tell, I really loved this chapter!
5/6 c17 theinvisiblereaderguy
I’m both sad and happy to see this story ending. I think I’m mostly happy though because they get their happy ending and shawn’s mind saved the day once again!
5/1 c16 smuffly
A chapter of two parts. I loved the way you contrasted Juliet and Shawn's thoughts at the beginning. In different ways, they have both arrived at the same conclusions - they need each other so much that it eclipses everything else. And they missed a vital opportunity to set things straight. Reading about Shawn's determination to get through to Juliet if (no, let's say 'when') they do see each other again, I felt like shouting at him: 'It's okay - she knows!' As you put it, she is finally convinced that 'the best parts of Shawn were never an illusion at all.' There is some beautiful summing up of their relationship in this chapter, picking out all those moments from the show that mean so much to anyone who is invested in their story. So - we know that the next chance they get to talk freely (without any bombs etc) is going to be a doozy (and may not involve much talking at all).

With that clarified, and a nice use of Gus to lighten the mood, time to move on to the clues... (Oh, loved the Galavant reference too. I don't get to watch it here but I wish I could. And Shawn's faith in Lassiter is touching.)

It was fun to watch Shawn's mind at work during this first part of the challenge. Yours too, of course.
As the writer, you didn't just think of solutions - you thought of possible solutions for him to work through and reject, and all of them were viable. Shawn should be extremely proud of himself (and I'm sure, when this is all over, he probably will be!) - all that time hanging out with Gus the safecracking legend has clearly rubbed off on him.

I absolutely loved both of the puzzles you used in this chapter. Having written a CSI:NY story that involved a lot of puzzles too, I know how hard it is, and how nerve-wracking, to put them in and hope that they don't seem too simple or, conversely, too far-fetched. These were great. The tattoo clue made perfect sense and was very interesting, as well as a satisfying payoff for his observation in the previous chapter. It was a neat twist that he actually had to get out of the room before he could begin the actual 'maze'. The second bomb clue totally reminded me of the classic scene from Princess Bride, so I knew that was what you were going for and it worked a treat.

You also make a very important point in this chapter about Shawn and Gus, that I was talking about with my friend today. We were watching 'Meat is Murder...' and got to the scene where Uncle Burton suggests that Gus (who he believes to be the psychic), is slowed down by Shawn (i.e. the non-psychic) and should work alone. But the truth is completely the opposite. They are both vital to the success of Psych, and really can't do without the other. As you put it here: 'That's why they - not him alone - were Psych.' It's only by conjuring Gus' voice in his head, then combining it with his own skill set, that Shawn is able to find the calmness and the ability to work his way logically through the first two obstacles.

I can't wait to find out what you have in store for him next!

Also, kudos for managing to post during such a busy week. Colour me impressed.
4/24 c15 smuffly
Oh my word. Oh my WORD. My heart was aching for Shawn in this chapter. You're right, of course - after all that's happened, there can't be a simple fix for the way he hurt Juliet, and everything she says is well thought out by you. I could feel her pain as well, and her urgency. But this was so hard to read (because you wrote it so well). They are both opening up to each other in ways they never did before, and it's so full of emotion... but then she's taken from him before they can reach a resolution? Oh my word...

Comparatively, the chapter starts off with a 'lighter' tone - Shawn is trying to appear optimistic, and you even throw in the reference to Gus, which brings a smile. But Juliet's silence is the turning point and we, along with Shawn, can feel the mood change as both of them struggle to fix things before it's too late. The looming deadline has forced them into it, and their desperation is palpable. But how can Shawn answer her question in a way that will set things right? No wonder he is shocked when she says it. It's almost an unwinnable situation for him. I like the way you made him angry at himself, not her. He's owning the fact that it's his fault, and trying so hard not to hurt her any further. His 'not forever, right?' is heart-breaking. At first, it seems as though his honesty isn't making any difference, but then you lead us through the part of the conversation where Juliet seems to be softening, and it's hopeful... until you use that very hope to show how much Shawn REALLY hurt her, and precisely why she is so upset. It's not just the psychic lie, as she says. It's the shattering of her whole perception of him, and the fact that she now has to re-evaluate how much of that is genuine. The way that Shawn is speechless - almost paralysed - from this point on is so telling. He sees and understands her point. She has been having to rethink their whole relationship, really, from the moment they met. No wonder she needed time. But she's already worked out some very important things, like the fact that he's a good man and she loves him, so the hope is still there. And then... and then it's about to turn around, with the air cleared and everything before them...

And then Arthur takes her away.

Oh my word.

(And sneakily, in the midst of that, you drop another clue...)

This was an excellent chapter. I can't wait to see what happens next.
4/18 c13 Lauren
This is still amazing! I really want to know what Jules is going to do with the blindfold she pocketed in the car. Great job!
4/17 c10 Lauren
Ok First of all I’ve read many of your fanfics and I intend to read the rest. This is one of the best ones in my opinion every chapter makes me want to keep reading so well well well done for making such a good story
4/17 c14 smuffly
Another exciting chapter!

I thought the part about Lassiter was clever. Shawn knows how much he cares about Juliet and recognises that this will play into the criminal's hands (for which Lassie would never forgive himself, if anything did happen to her), but Juliet has faith that he will somehow make the leap and see what's really going on. I can't wait to see how that plays out, and who is ultimately right.

I also love Juliet's faith in Shawn's plans - which makes it all the more poignant later on when he recognises that the only way out for her is if he sacrifices himself.

Bearing in mind the 'break-up' setting and all that Juliet has been thinking about, it's so lovely to see their closeness and care for each other in this whole scene. She's very, very aware of him, which is evident in the way you have written the chapter, such as the way she tries to help him 'take it down a notch' when he is fizzing with adrenaline (I do love 'fizzing' Shawn, for some reason). And his concern for her safety shines through, especially at the end.

The nod to Yin is very effective - of course she would be reminded of that, and you make the link in such a subtle, moving way.

Your use of humour in this chapter is well balanced too. I enjoyed the joke about Arthur's name (poor Gus), and all the Val Kilmer movie references - kudos for including so many in one chapter, and really making them fit the narrative in such a great way. I remember 'Thunderheart' (not my favourite either) - don't think I've seen the others but, as you say, it didn't matter. The meaning came through anyway. And thanks for the summary at the end.

The whole chapter is great, but the most moving part was the very end, which caught me totally by surprise but, when I thought about it afterwards, made so much sense and was exactly the right way to go. Shawn confesses that he is not a psychic, in order to save Juliet. Of course he does. It's perfect. Though I doubt things are going to go well for him in the next chapter, I can't wait to see how Juliet reacts to THAT!

PS I'll take all the extra chapters I can get, thank you very much!
4/11 c13 smuffly
Using a scent as the clue is such a good idea! A lot of memories attach themselves to smells, so that rings true, but it's also something that wouldn't be totally obvious to Shawn, because it's often a subconscious thing, so it makes sense that he wouldn't think of it straight away (especially given his current condition). You've also managed to link it all to the bombs that began the story. That's really nice 'tying together' of case details! Kudos to you!

The Looney Tunes dynamite flashback with Shawn and Gus was hilarious. Typical Shawn - once he gets hold of an idea, Gus had better watch out because he's scarily persistent, as his dad attests. And it's rather alarming that adult Shawn does know what nitroglycerin smells like... which implies his persistence won out! In classic cartoon style, I'm picturing Henry arriving home to pineapple 'snow', two boys covered in soot, Shawn with his hair standing on end... ground zero for their experiment. "Shawn...? Shawn!"

I loved your 'fix-it' nod to 'Feet Don't Kill Me Now' (also linking back to your previous fic on the subject). Because they really DO work well together the rest of the time, and it's nice to see Juliet acknowledging it here.

For some reason, I really liked your neat little observation in this sentence: "Shawn's head bobs quickly, too many times to properly be called a nod..." Your characterisation in this chapter, of his speech patterns and his behaviour, is particularly good. (You're always good at Jules, of course.) And it's so interesting to see Juliet witness the way he really goes about putting things together - and acknowledge that it's not an easy thing, even though he isn't psychic. Some great little touches with Juliet too, like the fact that she knows the penal code (and the way Shawn smiles at that).

Info dumps on Psych are never boring, and you certainly managed to make this one fun, so don't worry! I really enjoyed this chapter and I'm sorry for the late review - as usual, I read it eagerly straight away, but couldn't quite get to the commenting part until now. Looking forward to the last four chapters (but a little bit sad that it will be over soon).
4/9 c13 2itsfridaysomewhere
great chapter!
4/2 c12 44smuffly
Once again, you are definitely managing to find the right balance between relationship matters and the tension of their current situation. I'm particularly loving your use of 'touch' in this story, and the way you use it to express both their overwhelming need for each other and their comparative restraint in the face of that need - Juliet's because she can't get past the big lie and the way it's coloured everything, and Shawn's because he is trying to respect that (even when she isn't aware of his actions). After the way Shawn took care of Juliet back at the safe house, I was really glad to see that the very first line of this chapter showed her threading her fingers through his, both to stay connected and to gain some comfort from his touch. Your little nod to their promise about protecting each other was a lovely detail as well. And congratulations on the tricky logistics of getting Shawn out of the car and into the warehouse in a convincing manner.

Your description of their destination is intriguing, and I know you are dropping clues - I can't wait to see where they lead.

Good to see Juliet fighting back, as of course she would, and that revealed something interesting about Hernandez - in spite of his smug manner, he's not really in control and he's nervous. That means there's a probably a big boss lurking in the wings, along with the answers to the riddles...

Loved the references to the Princess Bride (of course) and Juliet's memory made me think of your other fic about the way they shared movies - the one that grew out of their phone conversation in 'Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead'. I don't know if that's intentional, but I 'dig it'.

Shawn, waking up, is hilarious - the line about the harps is so funny and the nod to Father Westley was perfect. And I liked the way his 'normal' behaviour reassured Juliet, for a moment, at least. Then, when she falters again, feeling guilty, he tells her in no uncertain terms that she is not to blame, and that was a strong moment (possibly my favourite in the whole chapter).

Great build up to the last line, and now I am definitely wondering why the firearm is so important...

This chapter may have been a bridge but it was a valuable and very enjoyable part of the story. I'm loving the weekly treat of your updates! Well done for managing to post in such a busy week.
4/1 c12 2itsfridaysomewhere
Great chapter! Thank heavens he is awake, Juliet alone with a half-dead body was making me nervous lol. I'll have to read again to find any clues lol
3/25 c11 itsfridaysomewhere
it definitely wasn't convoluted, but them i kept thinking for juliet to look at her surroundings so she could text lassie! oh well. hopefully he will find them soon. can't wait for next chapter!
3/25 c11 44smuffly
Actually, in a contained way, this chapter is full of drama, from Juliet's flashback to her sneaky attempt to send a message right under the nose of Hernandez. I certainly felt tense!

I liked the way we saw Juliet's point of view from the wedding here, and it was really clever to make that the moment when she saw the snake tattoo - no wonder she didn't make the connection straight away!

Her bitter comment about trust is an interesting one. Because she IS learning more than one lesson. Hernandez has turned out to be a villain but Shawn, who she doubted because of the lie, is actually proving himself so worthy of her trust, and I love the way she tries to think how he would react - or DID react - in a situation like this one. (I also love the gentle, tactile way she keeps checking on him, echoing his own response when she was unconscious.)

I think you were absolutely right to let Juliet find her own technique, rather than trying to stall like Shawn. He acts instinctively most of the time but she is a trained detective and this chapter is all about the way she analyses the whole situation, planning her response accordingly. She comes across as strong and resourceful, in spite of her fear for both Shawn and herself, which is very much in character. I liked her flat refusal to blindfold herself, for example! And the way you tracked the clues and revelations as she worked through them made total sense. I don't know the whole picture yet, of course, but what you revealed here seemed right to me in terms of both clarity and amount of information. It definitely felt as though Juliet was following a train of thought all the way through, and you interspersed that very well with her actions and the conversation with Hernandez. Nice foreshadowing of worse things to come for Shawn and Jules, by the way! You're very good at sustaining a level of anticipation for the next stage of the story.

Some great details in this chapter, as always, like Juliet's nod to the fact that Shawn's phone is never on silent, and her acknowledgement that, even though he isn't psychic, what he achieves is amazing. Also, her neat little character 'sketches' when she is trying to work out who to text. Loved that! (And it connects us back to the rest of the group again, briefly, reminding us that they are not alone.)

This was an excellent chapter. However much it may have frustrated you, I think it turned out very well indeed. Not convoluted at all!
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