Chapter 5: Taking the Test
After the uncomfortable meeting with Mr. Pinkerton, Shawn and Gus made their regular morning stop at Coffee with Attitude, and were walking back to the office, arms filled with an assortment of muffins, bagels, and pastries. Shawn had again won the daily movie trivia question (The first word spoken by Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club was "Vodka") earning them a free tab.
"So Gus...?" Shawn started. "You haven't told me what's going on with you and Rachael."
"That's because I'm not really sure, Shawn," said Gus. "You know…she's still in London…working out her visa issues, but she's coming back for a short visit. She's supposed to get here tomorrow and I'm picking her up at the airport…and…” He trailed off.
"…and what?" asked Shawn.
"I really think she is going to break up with me," said Gus sadly. "That's what this is. It's the break-up visit. She couldn't say it over the phone so she's coming here to break-up in person."
"What? She couldn't use FaceTime? Skype? Or even Google Hangouts?" Shawn quipped. "Personally, I think Hangouts is highly underrated. In my experience it's been the most user friendly and had the least amount of audio-visual interruptions. Not to mention you can have your conversation while wearing a virtual dog mask, or clown costume, or whatever your heart desires..."
"I can already see how this is going to go," worried Gus, not even acknowledging Shawn's rambling. "I'm going to pick her up, we'll spend the afternoon together. I'll take her home, and then she'll say, 'Gus, we need to talk. Max's dad and I are getting back together and we are moving back to London, so I have to break up with you.'" Gus was nearly bursting into tears.
Shawn fought the urge to laugh (Gus was always so sensitive and overly dramatic), then he got serious. "Look buddy. I know you really like this one, and more importantly I like her too. But…"
Gus cut him off. "Don't give me any of that 'there's-other-fish-in-the-sea' crap. I don't want to hear it. There will never be any other fish like Rachael. I mean, not that she's a fish. She's a person. Rachael is a person. She's a gorgeous and exotic cookie-baking woman of a person. Those kind of fish…people…women are rare and I may have just have let her swim off into the vast ocean…I mean, London!" Gus whimpered in despair.
After waiting out Gus's rant, Shawn finally finished what he was about to say. "Gus, don't be one of those wacky inflatable tube men at the grand opening of a Chrysler dealership. I was going to say that you shouldn't jump to conclusions. She likes you too…probably more than you realize. I know you, Gus, and I know how you tend to ruin things for yourself by believing that things aren't going to work out before you even give them a chance to work out. In fact, it's probably my fault that you are that way in the first place…"
Gus shot a glare at Shawn, realizing that he was probably right about that much. "…but…that's beside the point," continued Shawn. "My point is… don't stop being the Gus that she knows and loves just because you think she might break up with you. If you get jealous, or down-in-the-dumps, or…weird, you are only giving her a reason to not want to be with you. Just make sure she still sees what she would be giving up if…IF, Gus…she decided to break up with you. Then…whatever happens will happen."
"Thanks, Shawn," said Gus feeling a little better. "That was actually some good advice."
"Actually?" asked Shawn mildly offended as they walked through the front door of the Psych office (He momentarily wondered if he had forgotten to lock it.), which was immediately followed by, "Whoa!" when he saw the scene that was waiting for them there.
The office had been ransacked. All of the furniture was moved and overturned. Food, office supplies, and toys were scattered all over the floor. Shawn's computer and various other gadgets had been taken, but some valuable items still remained. Shawn took notice of the pattern in which the place had been searched. It appeared that the drawers had been pulled out of their hinges, just as they were at his Dad's place several days earlier. These small spaces had been searched first followed by spaces under rugs and furniture.
"What is this?!" said Shawn in disbelief, "First my Dad, and now me? Now I'm sure this cannot be a coincidence!"
Shawn put down the muffins he still held in his arms on the only uncluttered surface he could find and pulled out his iPhone to report the break-in to the Chief, but before he could press a button, it buzzed. "Text from Jules," he said aloud, and read the message to himself.
"Come home now. I need you."
"Uh…I gotta go!" he said worriedly and headed for the door, not bothering to tell Gus where he was going.
"But Shawn?!" said Gus, giving Shawn a questioning look and tilting his head toward the mess in the room.
"Report it to the Chief, Gus!" said Shawn in both an annoyed and worried tone. "There's something wrong with Jules. I have to go!" He left. Gus looked concernedly at his best friend who was rushing out the door, shrugged, then scanned the scene one more time and pulled out his phone to call the Chief.
Juliet's lime green Bug screeched to a halt. "Oh, God! I'm Late!" she said.
She didn't know why she even stepped on the brake except to say that it was an involuntary response to the shock. Thankfully no one was following her or she could have caused an accident. Somewhere in her brain a little voice was telling her that she needed to put her foot back on the gas and drive the last two blocks back to her house, but for some reason her limbs weren't getting the message.
She didn't know how this hadn't occurred to her before. She'd been tired, nauseous, and throwing up for the last five days. She went from feeling awful to perfectly fine and ravenously hungry all within the time-span of a day. Not only that, she had been on an emotional roller coaster lately.
She could have attributed her unstable emotions to the circumstances – breaking up and getting back together with Shawn was enough to test her emotions, but most of the tough parts had ended weeks ago. They were in a reasonably good place now.
The nausea could have been a stomach bug…but they generally didn't last this long. And if her nausea and wacky emotions weren't enough to convince her, then the fact that her period was almost a week late did. Damn! She was generally so organized about everything, especially work stuff, but somehow that little personal detail seemed to have slipped her mind.
A horn sounded from behind her which startled her out of her thought. "Sorry!" she yelled out the window. She drove the two more blocks to her house and then kept driving. She was going to make a quick stop before she went home.
She parked her car outside of Walgreen's and just sat there for a minute or two before finally turning it off and heading inside. She walked by the front counter, the make-up aisle, the shelves of goofy toys and knick-knacks, and past the photo center, all the way to the back corner where the boxes of pregnancy tests were arranged neatly to the right of the condoms as if they were there for the sole purpose of mocking her. Her eyes scanned the many different types and brands of tests. There were too many options for her frantic mind right now. She settled with randomly grabbing three different ones, then stormed up to the counter, paid as quickly as possible ignoring the knowing smirk on the cashier's face, and high-tailed it into her car and back to her house.
Once in the bathroom, she fished the three boxes out of the brown paper bag and lined them up on the counter. For some reason, the task before her seemed overwhelming. Maybe she shouldn't be doing this alone. She should call Shawn. This was just as much his experience as hers. He was her boyfriend, after all. It was his job to help her through emotional things. Her mind hadn't even wondered yet how he would react to this, but all she knew was that she wanted him there. She wanted him to be there to hold her when the test read positive…or negative. She frowned. She surprised herself when she thought of the possibility of the test being negative and she felt a twinge of disappointment. Did she really want this? This was all too confusing. She needed Shawn's embrace to calm her down in that way she couldn't describe but it somehow always did. She decided to call him, but after two or three failed attempts at deciding what she was going to say when he answered, she settled on texting.
“ Come home now. I need you.”
Now to wait…
Oh, who was she kidding?! She couldn't just sit here and wait while those boxes of tests were staring at her from their spot on the bathroom counter. She swiftly grabbed the first one she could reach and ripped it open. She quickly read the instructions and took the test, then set it on the bathroom counter and retreated to the hallway for the waiting game. She figured the only way to keep her from staring at it and driving herself nuts while it rendered was to be in a separate room.
It was the longest two minutes of her life. Every thought of how this would affect her present and future flashed through her mind. Her work…her job was demanding and dangerous…how could she keep up that pace while she had a baby? Shawn's job was just as bad…or worse…and…Oh God! Shawn? How would he even handle this? He was so immature sometimes. Could she trust him to be a good parent or would she have to put in all of the extra effort to fix his mistakes just like her mom had always done when her father messed up.
What if Shawn didn't even want it? Shit! Why hadn't this discussion ever come up before? She knew he would never leave her alone with this…that much she was sure. But would he regret it one day? Would he feel like it had unfairly tied him down? Would it damage their already awkward relationship beyond repair? All of these thoughts were threatening to make her to want to cry and run away from it all. But she knew she wouldn't. If there was one thing that all of her thoughts had in common, it was that they all involved her keeping this baby…if there really was a baby…A baby…her baby…Shawn's baby. Their child. She had to know for sure and her watch indicated that the test result should be ready by now.
She took a deep breath and picked up the test, covering the result with her hand to keep herself from looking until she was good and ready. After a good sixty seconds she finally built up the courage to look into the tiny window. One…two pink lines, she counted. Two lines means positive…It was still sinking in…Positive means…a baby. "Wow…this is really happening," she whispered. Her hand covered her mouth in disbelief, and the other touched her stomach. She had a little Spencer in there. She was stunned, terrified, and overjoyed all at the same time.
Just then, she heard the front door open and the big Spencer calling for her. There was no use putting herself through another roller coaster of uncertainty, she might as well tell him now. She had no idea exactly what she was going to say, but she stuffed the positive test in her back pocket to take with her just in case the words didn't come. It was time to tell Shawn he was going to be a daddy.
"Jules?!" Shawn yelled as he entered the house. Knowing that she had gone home sick again and was now asking for him, he expected that she may be feeling particularly ill and would be waiting on the couch for his return, but he was surprised to find she wasn't there. "Jules, are you here?" he called. He saw her come in from the hallway, looking quite pale and shocked. "Jules? What's wrong?" he asked. "You look like you just saw the Total Eclipse of the Heart video for the first time."
She tried to answer, but her voice only cracked. "I…I…" She just looked at him, her mouth slightly open but no words coming out.
"Sweetheart?" he probed after a few moments.
She realized she had lost all control of her voice and pulled the pregnancy test out from her back pocket and held it out for Shawn to see, her hand shaking.
Shawn's concerned gaze turned into one of shock and disbelief. "Whoa…is…is that what I think it is?" he asked.
His mouth formed the shape of an O. "So…are you?...are we?..."
"Yes," she finally responded, her voice shaky and close to tears. "I'm pregnant. We're going to have a baby."
Shawn just stared at her for a moment, eyes wide and mouth open. He didn't know what to say. Then shaking his head, said "Whew!" with a fake sigh of relief. "So it's not an extraterrestrial anal probe?! For a moment there I thought you were going to tell me you'd been abducted by aliens."
"Shawn!" cried Juliet. "How can you be joking at a time like this?" Her face was red and her eyes watery, panic in her voice.
"I'm sorry," he said. "Just, uh…trying to break the tension. But that was wrong. I'm sorry." He stared at her for another few seconds. "Are you sure…? Gus says those things aren't always accurate, you know."
She didn't even have to say anything, but the look on her face told Shawn that she was sure.
"Oh," said Shawn looking like he was about to lose consciousness. "Whe…when? How? I mean, I know how, but…I thought we were careful. The pill?" he choked.
"It had to have been that night…the first time since the break-up. I…I was transitioning to a new pill, and the doctor said to be extra careful at first. We should have used back up…but I wasn't thinking… I'm sorry, Shawn. This is all my fault!"
By this time Juliet was fully crying, and all Shawn could think to do was pull her close and hold her. His mind too, was racing. He wasn't ready to be a father. He wanted more time to just be with Juliet, to eventually plan and implement the perfect proposal, convince her to get married on a recreation of the set of Love Boat, then enjoy a few years of wedded bliss, and maybe get a few practice pugs before even thinking about kids. Suddenly, everything was happening backwards.
He pulled himself away from her, holding her by the arms and taking a good look at her, noticing how much more beautiful she seemed than she did just moments earlier.
She was having his baby! Despite his shock and intense fear at the prospect of being responsible for another person, he felt joy and excitement welling up inside of him.
His fear was too strong though to express it. "It's not your fault. This kind of stuff…it just happens. We are going to be ok," he reassured her, not sure if he even believed it himself.
"What are we going to do?" she pleaded, curling herself back into his embrace.
Shawn answered as simply as he could. "We are going to have a baby, and we are going to be ok." Shawn took Juliet further into his arms and kissed her on top of her head and forehead. Then he took her face into his hands and looked into her glistening eyes. "You are perfect and beautiful and I love you, and no matter what happens…babies…fleets of pugs…alien abductions…I'll always be here," he said and kissed her square on the lips and then resumed their tight embrace, burrowing his face into her lavender-scented hair.