Chapter 12: The Proposal
Shawn knocked gently on the hospital room door with the back of his knuckle.
"Sweetheart?" he whispered.
Juliet opened her eyes, turned her head towards Shawn, and smiled. "Shawn!" she said hoarsely, a goofy smile spreading across her face.
Shawn walked over to her and knelt down beside her. "How are you sweetie?" he asked.
"I have a bit of a headache…and the pain meds are making me feel a little loopy," she said, "…but otherwise I feel fine. How about you?"
"Well, I can't use my left arm for a while, which sucks, because I'm probably gonna lose all that muscle tone that I've been working out so hard for. Then my left arm will get all puny, while my right arm will hulk out doing everything that my left arm usually does. I'm going to be lopsided, Jules," said Shawn with a silly frown.
"Lopsided or not, I'll still love you Shawn," smiled Juliet.
"I love you when you're loopy," said Shawn. Juliet giggled. Shawn put his free hand on her stomach. "The doctor says the baby is doing ok?"
"The baby is fine," she assured him.
"Oh, Jules! I am so so so so sorry! This is all my fault!" cried Shawn.
"Shawn, this is not your fault. If anything I can thank you for saving our lives," she said, indicating herself and the baby inside her.
"But Jules, if I hadn't been freaking out about this…" he rubbed her tummy, "I might have caught on to Felix earlier. If I would have realized even a few hours earlier that Felix was after the ring, I could have prevented all of this!"
"You don't know that, Shawn. Unfortunately, it is just part of our jobs…putting ourselves in danger. Besides, no one said you couldn't freak out. I am certainly doing my share of that too."
"Really?" said Shawn, surprised. "What do you have to be afraid of? You are so mature and put together. You are the strongest person I know. You are going to be an excellent mom!"
"Well, aside from the fact that I am going to be pushing another human being out of me in eight months…I don't know what I'm doing! I am not prepared to be a mother. And I have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. How am I supposed to protect our child from that? I am scared to death!"
"Jules, I have no doubt that you are going to be the best mother in the world…not to mention, bad-ass! Our little Starfish couldn't be in better hands having the SBPD's most beloved homicide detective as a mother."
Juliet rolled her eyes when she heard Shawn call their child "Starfish" again, but smiled bashfully as he continued.
"He or she is going to have the entire police force looking out for him…or her. Having me as a father, on the other hand…?"
"Shawn, don't even say it!" Juliet interrupted, frowning. "You are wonderful to me, and that alone tells me that you are going to be wonderful to our child. The other day…when I said those things…I didn't mean to make you feel like I didn't trust you. I was just…scared…I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be taking on too much of the responsibility on my own."
Shawn looked disappointedly away from Juliet. He still couldn't help but feel guilty for Juliet's fears. If he hadn't been such a screw up…? If he hadn't lied to her…? Maybe she wouldn't be so afraid if he could have been more trustworthy? "Jules, do you really trust me?" he asked.
"Of course, I do, Shawn!" Juliet's face flushed red as she tried to hold back tears long enough to say what she was going to say. "You…you took a bullet for me today…for us." She placed a hand on her stomach, and Shawn placed his hand on hers. "You risked your life to save ours. How can I not trust you?"
"I would die if anything happened to you or the baby, Jules," Shawn stated sincerely. "You have to know I would never allow you to do this on your own."
"I know," responded Juliet. "You've proven that to me." She paused briefly, turning her hand around to intertwine her fingers with Shawn's. She squeezed his hand. "You lied about the psychic thing… I understand that the lie started before I met you. I understand that there were a lot of risks to telling me. Even so, I wish you had told me. It hurt to know that you couldn't trust me with your secret, and…I guess with my own insecurities, I couldn't be sure that you weren't lying to me about everything else. I've been lied to and disappointed by the men in my life too many times…but, that is in the past now. You are not my father or my brother. It's not fair for me to take out my own insecurities on you. I know that your love for me is genuine, and that I can believe you when you say that you are going to be there for us. You were there for us today, without any hesitation."
"Jules, I am going to be here for every moment…every single day, every word you say, every bond you break, every step you take…"
"Shawn," laughed Juliet, giving him a light slap on his good arm.
"…every breath you take, every move you make, every claim you stake…"
"I get the point, Shawn," she giggled.
"Ok, anyway, I am going to do my very best to be a good dad," Shawn continued. "And still…if you ever think I am not doing good enough, please just tell me…because…I am going to be very honest here…there are probably going to be some times that I mess up…most likely I won't even realize I'm doing it. All you need to do is just give me a good swift kick in the pants, and I'll step it up again. I promise."
"Ok. I will," she smiled. "And you do the same for me."
"I will," said Shawn. "We are in this together." He held his fist out for a fist-bump and Juliet reciprocated. They gazed into each other's eyes for a few silent moments, and Juliet finally brought up the question that Shawn had been expecting."
"Shawn…were you really going to propose to me last night?"
"If I hadn't noticed the symbols on the ring, I think I would have. I was so close! But, don't worry sweetie, I wasn't thinking straight. I know that just because we are having a baby doesn't mean we have to get married right away."
"Shawn, when we talked the other day, did you think I was asking you to propose to me?"
"Oh…no…of course not!" said Shawn, but Juliet wasn't convinced. "Well…maybe a little," he confessed.
"That's what I thought," said Juliet. "Well, for the record, I wasn't asking you to propose to me. But… also for the record, if you had asked me…I think I might have said yes."
"You…what?!...really?!" said Shawn, excitedly.
Juliet smiled and nodded. "Yeah, well, you were on a roll last night. The date was perfect, and you were looking so sexy in that suit. Maybe I was just at the mercy of my hormones, but I think you could have convinced me of almost anything last night."
"Ok…well…what if I asked you today…now?" implored Shawn. She smiled and shrugged.
"Ok! Ok! Here it goes!" he whispered to himself. Shawn's hands searched his pockets and then he realized he had given the ring to Ed.
"…but I don't have a ring anymore!" he exclaimed out loud. "Wait!"
He looked around the room and then grabbed a hospital gown that was draped over a nearby chair. He cut off a piece of the gown's tie string with his Swiss Army knife and tied it into a tiny circle. Then he knelt on one knee beside Juliet's hospital bed.
"Juliet O'Hara," he began. "When I met you, I was just an irresponsible kid with a love for Red Vines, Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, and Curt Smith of Tears for Fears. But getting to know you, and then being with you has taught me what it is to be a man with a love for Red Vines, Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, and Curt Smith of Tears for Fears. And now, I love you more than all of those things combined, plus Funyons, plus Phineus and Ferb, Chips, all of the John Hughes movies, Churros, Magnum ice cream bars, and…"
"Shawn, get to your point," said Juliet impatiently and excitedly.
Shawn continued, "Now, I know that I would give up all of the pineapples in the world, so that I could never miss another with day with you. So, with this hospital gown string, soon to be replaced by a real ring made of white gold and diamonds and paid for by Ed's very generous compensation… I would like to ask you, Juliet O'Hara, to be my wife."
"And I, Juliet O'Hara…" She delayed her answer simply for the suspense and to see the panic on Shawn's face. When she felt she had tortured him long enough, she answered, "…accept! My answer is Yes!"
Shawn slipped the hospital gown ring on Juliet's finger and she embraced him tightly enough that he winced at the pain in his arm. "Sorry," she said taking his face into both of her hands instead and gazing into his eyes. Shawn brought his single hand up to Juliet's face and caressed her soft cheek, before kissing her softly.
"I love you, Juliet," said Shawn.
"And I love you too, Shawn Spencer," Juliet responded. The two shared a long, passionate kiss. "I can't wait to marry you."
"You hear that, kid?" Shawn spoke louder so his unborn child could hear. "Your mom can't wait to marry me!" He looked back into Juliet's eyes and whispered. "And I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with her…and our little family…and our Froot Loops." Juliet smacked him lightly and playfully on his bad arm. "Owww…" Shawn moaned teasingly.
Henry's fishing boat rocked gently on the dark blue ocean ripples under the early morning sunrise. Henry stood holding a line into the water. Next to him stood Ed with a newly purchased rod in hand. Somewhere along the line of pretending to be interested in learning how to fish, Ed had become genuinely interested in it and requested that Henry continue his lessons.
Ed spoke to Henry, freely allowing his Austrian accent to mold his words. "Henry, I am sorry for causing all of this trouble for your family," he apologized. "I never meant for any of it. Felix has been a continual source of trouble for the Habsburg family. If I had thought that he would follow me, I never would have come. A simple family heirloom, no matter how valuable, is not worth the pain it caused. It surely wasn't worth the precious life of that little girl." Ed shook his head guiltily.
"Don't worry about us, Ed," said Henry. "We Spencers have a knack for attracting trouble…especially Shawn. But lucky for us, we're really good at getting us out of it and making sure that the bad guys get put away. Believe me, your cousin is going to be put away for a long, long time. He won't be causing your family any more trouble anymore."
"Indeed," chuckled Ed. "It seems you've done more for me than I've done for you."
"I'm just glad you found what you were looking for, Ed. And believe me that money is going to come in handy for Shawn…with a baby on the way, and all. Shawn doesn't exactly have a stable source of income. As for little Emma…there's really no way to right that kind of wrong. But just know, you need not feel responsible. Felix is the only one guilty of harming her. I think what you've done, dedicating the playground renovations to her, though, was a wonderful gesture."
"Well thanks, Henry," Ed nodded. "And speaking of that baby…I believe I've failed to congratulate you properly. Being a grandfather is a wonderful thing. I have a few of the little ones, myself. You receive all the joy they bring without the responsibility."
"Ha!" Henry laughed. "I can tell you, I am going to get a lot of joy out of watching that kid drive Shawn up the walls, like he has for me… I just hope Shawn is responsible enough."
"Your son is good kid, Henry. I have a feeling he will be a fine father."
"Well, I can only hope you are right!" said Henry.
Gus lugged his sample case into the Psych Office and stashed it in its usual spot in the corner. He was finally done with his route for the day and was looking forward to an afternoon of online LOTR role play. He opened his laptop and logged in.
"Yo! Burtonmir of the Barbarangard!" Shawn's voice rang loudly in his ear, startling him out of his seat.
"Damn, Shawn! How many times have I told you not to sneak up on me like that?!"
"Exactly 746 times, Gus," Shawn answered. "I'm afraid, though, nothing sinks into my head unless I've heard it at least 914 times."
Gus shook his head and stood in chicken pose until regaining his composure. "How long have you been here, Shawn? Why didn't I see you when I came in?"
"Well I've been here just long enough to discover another one of your secret vices that I am never going to let you live down. How many ORBs did you slay today, Gus?" Shawn chuckled.
Gus argued impatiently. "It's ORCs, Shawn, and none yet. I have to escape from Saruman's tower first."
"Ok, well, you let me know when you get out of Azkaban, and then I'll try to go on pretending that we actually have something in common."
"Azkaban is - ! You know what, nevermind. Shouldn't you be at the hospital with Juliet?"
"I was," said Shawn. "She's resting now so I figured I'd come over to start baby-proofing the office." Shawn pointed to the locks he'd put onto the cabinet doors below the sink, along with several Mr. Yuck stickers, and then to the outlet covers on all of the empty outlets in the room.
Gus scanned the room to observe Shawn's work. "Shawn, you know the baby is only the size of a peanut right now. It's going to be quite a while until he or she starts getting into things."
"A walnut, actually. The baby is the size of a walnut, and it's never too soon start, Gus. We have a lot to do before he gets here. Anyway…" continued Shawn. "…are you up for another rousing game of guess-what's-in-my-pocket?"
Gus shook his head from side to side. "No. No, Shawn. I've learned my lesson. I'm not falling for that again!"
"Gus, I'm hurt!" Shawn put his unbandaged arm to his heart. "Have a little faith. I promise you it's not a Madagascar hissing cockroach this time."
"And it's not a tarantula, or a snake, or a human toe?" Gus asked uneasily.
"I promise, nothing living or formerly living." Gus continued to shake his head, refusing to make any guesses. "Maaannn! You're no fun!" Shawn took the object out of his pocket and tossed it towards Gus, who leapt out of the way with a whimper.
The velvety box landed on the center of Gus's desk. Upon seeing that it was nothing threatening, Gus straightened himself up and scooped up the box. He carefully opened it, just to be sure that nothing scary would jump out at him, and relaxed when he saw a harmless inanimate object inside. His eyes widened as he looked at the brand new sparkly ring inside. "Shawn? You got Juliet another ring?"
"No, Gus. It's for you," said Shawn sarcastically.
"So…does this mean you're still going to propose?"
"No," said Shawn, this time completely serious.
"No. I already asked her, Gus…yesterday. She said yes." A huge grin formed on Shawn's face that was mirrored by Gus. "At this point the ring is just a formality…do you think she'll like it?"
For a moment, Gus was speechless. "Yeah…yeah! She'll love it!" he stuttered. "Shawn? You're getting married!" Gus exclaimed as if Shawn hadn't even realized the fact himself.
"Yeah, Gus. Crazy, huh? You better start working on that best man speech.”