A/N: As usual, I don't own Shawn, Jules, or Psych. There's also a momentary Biblical allusion in here, and I feel completely confident saying that I also cannot claim ownership of The Bible.
Hope you enjoy these babies feeling things they're not ready to feel! Let's get these kids some pancakes, shall we?
Juliet's not quite sure how they got here. It's been a weird night.
All night, the air has felt charged with some kind of tension, excitement, almost, and not just because she can still feel her heart racing a little from watching The Shining. (Scary movies really are awful, how does anyone find those fun to watch?)
She can feel Shawn's eyes on her as she fixes her hair into a ponytail, pulls on her jacket, trying her best to look unflustered.
"You ready?" she asks, turning towards him.
"Can I drive?" he responds.
"On your bike? No way."
(It's a little tempting, though, she has to admit, the idea of riding on Shawn's motorcycle with him, but right now, it's probably the bad idea to end all bad ideas, after the evening they've just had, in which she somehow found herself snuggling into him on his couch, the gesture thinly excused by her fear of the movie. No, now is decidedly not the time to ride his bike with him, the idea of having to wrap her arms around him like that, tempting as it may be, is much more than she feels ready for.)
He shakes his head. "Not on my bike, it's too chilly out there. We can take your car."
"You want to drive my car?" Now she's just confused.
"Well," he shrugs nonchalantly. "I know where the pancakes are."
"Shawn, I didn't just move here," she says, "I know where to find pancakes."
"But not the best pancakes," he argues, and he looks so determined that she almost laughs.
Instead, she just raises her eyebrow at him.
"Come on," he says, "don't you trust me, Jules?"
Not anymore, she thinks, idly, a response to a different question than the one he's asking. And I don't trust me, either. Not right now, not when I'm pretty sure we both want something we shouldn't have.
She sighs, hands him her keys, trying not to dwell on the feeling of the brush of his fingers against her palm as he grabs them.
They head out to the car, and she tries to ignore the thrill that's running through her. They've left his house, but she can still feel something, a shift in the air of some kind. She wonders if Shawn feels it, too, if he's still reeling from her hand in his as he'd pulled her up from the couch, like she is, or from the way he'd brushed her hair back during the movie.
She thinks back to that moment, how her breath had hitched as he leaned that close to her, hoping for...something, though she couldn't quite articulate what. She'd prayed he didn't notice how uneven her breathing had been, though his face had been so close to hers she was sure he could feel it, as surely as she could feel his.
He hadn't meant to brush her hair back like that, she was sure of it. She had seen it on his face—he had been as surprised by it as she was. And that had given her pause, stopped her from giving over to the sudden impulse she'd had in that moment, which was to lean forward and press her lips against his, finally transform this dance they'd been doing around whatever this was into something concrete.
But then he'd pulled back, and so had she, confused by his hesitancy—it wasn't like Shawn to be hesitant—and even more confused by the way she could still feel his fingers, where they'd brushed against her forehead, the contact resulting in an ache she couldn't quite place. His hand had lingered in her hair for longer than it should have; he'd taken his time to sweep the unruly lock behind her ear, then let his hand drop just so, until it was almost cupping her cheek.
That was when he'd looked shocked and dropped his hand, like he'd been caught, somehow, but she wasn't sure what it was that flashed in his eyes, surprise mixed with…fear? Maybe? And yet something about his gaze in that moment, before he hastily cleared his throat and looked away, seemed to match the yet-undetermined ache she felt, the feeling that had come when she'd first felt the burn of his fingers on her face, and which was now settling somewhere deeper, in her chest.
It's not like they haven't touched before; Shawn dances around the station offering fist bumps to practically everyone, after all, and Juliet has been the recipient on several occasions. It always means nothing—Shawn even offers Carlton fist bumps on rare occasions, though he usually responds with an eye roll and never takes him up on them. And there have been other moments, here and there, Shawn leaning over her as she looks something up for a case on her computer so that his arm rests against her shoulder, or an elbow in the ribs to get her attention so he could mutter a one-liner or pass her some funny note during long briefings; and once, when she'd stopped momentarily to pull her heels off before chasing a suspect through a field, and he'd reached out and thrown his arm around her, catching her when she almost fell over—yes, there have been plenty of times they've touched, and it's not like she's oblivious, she's noticed them, but they were…different. They were different than today.
She can't decide exactly what made today feel so different. Maybe it's that it was just the two of them, alone together, no watchful eyes like there always are at the station. Maybe it's the way he'd been so gentle, his movements so much more intentional than a casual fist bump or elbow to the ribs. Maybe it's that he's not really teasing her anymore, shifting his tone away from the flirty one he used to use into something decidedly more real. Or maybe, if she's actually honest with herself, it's the fact that she wants it to be different, or at least she thinks she does. She's felt the walls she put up to keep Shawn away crumble away over the last several weeks, starting with the very first night he'd called her and disappearing in quick succession afterward, every joke he'd made just for her or knowing glance at her at work when they'd spent hours talking the night before like a trumpet blast at Jericho.
The walls are nearly gone altogether now, but she's not sure she's ready for them to be. She's still decently new here, and she's just starting to get to be lead detective on more cases, and the thought of trying to navigate the way things are shifting at work with the complication of dating a consultant makes her palms start to sweat.
(Not that they weren't sweating before, seeing as she's now sitting next to Shawn as he drives her car, which suddenly seems much smaller than the saleswoman at Volkswagen had boasted when she'd bought it, but still.)
She shakes her head slightly to clear it. No, this isn't a good idea. They're not ready. She's not ready. She may like him—how much, she's not sure, but certainly much more than she'd ever imagined she would and, frankly, much more than she's willing to honestly think about right now—but they can't go down this road, not now.
(Even if that road, with its kind hazel eyes and amused, mischievous smile is incredibly tempting at this particular moment.)
She'd pulled her hair back into a ponytail before they'd left his house, hoping that would make the feeling of the burn of his hand against her skin dissipate. It doesn't help much, though; she can still recall with perfect clarity the feel of his fingers in her hair, on her cheek, and she wonders how she managed to memorize the way it felt in a matter of seconds.
Juliet is too distracted in the car to notice where they're going, at first, and it's only when they're pulling close to the Psych office that she realizes which diner Shawn must be taking her to.
But there it is, sure enough, and it's all coming back. You're in my seat. Her first case, first real taste of detective work. First time pulling your gun? It's funny how her hands are shaking more now, on returning here with him, than they possibly could have that day.
She wonders if Shawn is remembering it too, their first meeting. Although, knowing him, he's probably just thinking about the crawling snake he left unfinished.
She tries to keep her face neutral as they enter the diner, not wanting to betray her memory of this place, in case he doesn't remember.
"You wanna sit at our spot?" he asks.
He nods, gestures to the end of the counter, and she almost laughs. Okay, so he is remembering their first meeting, just as she is.
"Of course, we can't exactly both sit in our spot, and technically the stool was mine first, so it's still kind of my spot, but you did claim it…" Shawn is rambling, but she doesn't mind. It's kind of endearing, how much thought he's putting into it.
Endearing? Oh, this is hopeless.
"I mean, I guess technically we could both sit in our spot at the same time," he continues, winking at her.
She blushes but rolls her eyes at him. "Shawn."
Now that she looks at it, the stools are too close together, anyway. It wouldn't be any better—any safer—than the couch had been, and it's a really bad idea to get that close to Shawn. Especially now, when he's been so sweet, and she's no longer at all sure of her ability to spurn his advances, seeing as she's already struggling to remind herself of the reasons this whole thing is a bad idea at all.
She points towards an open booth along the wall, and he follows her without hesitation. "You've got to get the boysenberry pancakes," he says as they slide in across from each other. "It's the only choice."
"Boysenberry?" She asks. "Not pineapple?"
Shawn gives a heavy, dramatic sigh. "They don't have pineapple pancakes here, and it's lame, and I've asked about it a hundred times. I even told them I'd circulate a petition in the community but they still won't add them to the menu."
She shakes her head in sympathy. "The world can be so cruel."
He laughs. "The boysenberry pancakes will knock your socks off, though, Jules. I promise."
They do. The pancakes are thick, bursting with berries, and it's too rich for this time of night, but she indulges anyway. They come with a thick berry compote, which will probably stain her lips, she thinks, but she can't worry about that right now, not with pancakes this incredible in front of her.
Shawn watches her as she takes her first bite. "Unbelievable, aren't they?"
She merely sighs in contentment in response and he nods. "Pretty much."
After a while, the pancakes get the best of her, though, and she puts her fork down. Shawn's nearly finished his, and she wonders for the millionth time how he and Gus are possibly able to eat as much as they do. She watches him for a second, something endearing about his excitement over something as simple as pancakes.
After a moment, he looks up at her. "Uh, Jules," he says, "you've got a little stain from the boysenberry, right here." He lifts his hand to his own lower lip to show her.
"Oh, thanks," she says, rubbing at it. "Did I get it?"
He shakes his head, amusement in his eyes.
She rubs at it again. "Now?"
He shakes his head again, but the look in his eyes changes. He clears his throat, looking almost nervous. "Um…let me?"
She nods, mutely, and her heart is racing a million times a minute as he reaches forward, leaning across the table slowly, almost hesitantly, before rubbing the pad of his thumb back and forth along the side of her bottom lip and against the corner of her mouth, gently.
It feels like an hour passes before he pulls his hand away, and Juliet is almost certain she doesn't breathe once during that time. She stares at him, knowing that any hope of not looking completely flustered is a lost cause.
Shawn stares back at her, his eyes wide, his face as flushed as hers feels, his mouth hanging open just slightly, like he's shocked at the intimacy of his touch, shocked that she's letting him be this close.
"There," he says gently, his voice hoarse, barely a whisper, his breathing almost ragged, "got it."
"Thanks," she whispers back, hearing the unevenness of her own voice. She tears her eyes away from his, forcing herself to look down at her plate; it's too much, it's not enough, she's not ready but she is.
Pancakes? she thinks dazedly, as she feels Shawn's knee brush up against hers under the table. What was I thinking?
A/N: There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this piece (it might be one of my favorites I've written so far), and thanks so so much for reading. As always, any feedback is welcomed and appreciated!