Chapter 6: The Discussion
Shawn and Juliet stood holding each other for what seemed like forever, and both of them were startled when Shawn's phone rang in his pocket. He pulled away from her reluctantly and took out the phone to see Gus's number on the screen. "It's Gus," Shawn told her. He silenced the phone and returned it to his pocket. "I'll call him back later..."
The couple moved to the couch and sat next to each other silently. It wasn't clear to either what was to be said next. Shawn attempted to put in the first word. "Hey, do you realize that if we are in a John Hughes movie right now, you would be Elizabeth McGovern and I'm Kevin Bacon? I've always wanted to be Kevin Bacon! I bet he gets all the free bacon he wants…even the Canadian kind."
Juliet rolled her eyes, but knew that this was Shawn's way of coping so she played along. "I think they were at least married in that movie…and sadly a lot younger than we are," she frowned.
"At least if you are Elizabeth McGovern, you also starred in 'Johnny Handsome' and more recently 'Clash of the Titans' not to mention all of that British stuff. Sure, nothing too recognizable like 'Footloose' or 'Apollo 13', but you've got a steady career going for you."
"Uh huh," said Juliet playing unimpressed.
Before their pointless chatter could turn into any kind of real discussion, Shawn's phone sounded again. He once again retrieved it from his pocket with the intention of ignoring the call, when Juliet grabbed his arm to stop him. Shawn paused and looked at her puzzlingly. "Just answer it," she said.
"You sure?" Shawn asked. I don't want to…"
Juliet interrupted. "You know he is just going keep calling until you answer."
Shawn nodded. She was right. He answered the call.
"Shawn!" sounded Gus's voice through the phone. "Where the hell did you go?! Lassie's here, and the Chief. We kinda need you at our own crime scene!"
"Alright, Gus," Shawn quietly hissed into his phone, turning his back towards Juliet. She rolled her eyes again. Despite Shawn's efforts to be stealth, she could still hear every word. "I sort of have some more important stuff going on here right now…" Shawn continued.
"What could be more important than this?! …And don't say an afternoon booty call with Juliet! That doesn't count!"
Juliet was momentarily offended by Gus's assumption but then decided she didn't have the energy to care at the moment. Her eyes wandered back to the test that she still clutched in her right hand. She set it on the coffee table in front of her and just stared at it. She was still having a hard time believing that all of this was real…that she was going to be a mother, and that the idiot sitting next to her who was currently arguing with his colleague like a child, was going to be a father.
"Ok, Gus. You handle this on your own and I'll pick up your dry cleaning, smoothies for the week are on me – but only pineapple, and I'll give you your Airwolf windbreaker back," Shawn bartered.
There was pause while Gus contemplated the offer. "…Ok, deal. But at least tell me what's going on."
Shawn looked at his girlfriend who was sitting next to him still staring at the pregnancy test. "Uhhh…." he said, "I'll have to explain later, buddy. I'm sure you can handle this on your own. I'll be back later." Before Gus could argue any further, Shawn ended the call.
"What was that about?" Juliet asked curiously.
"Oh…uh…someone broke into the Psych office," Shawn explained as nonchalantly as if it were a daily occurrence.
"What?!" Juliet exclaimed. "Why didn't you say anything?"
"Well, it really didn't seem so important…in comparison…" Shawn answered gesturing towards the test.
"You need to go!" said Juliet, suddenly forceful. Shawn was taken slightly aback. "We have plenty of time to talk about this later, but if your office is a crime scene, you need to be there….not only as an investigator but a witness. Carlton is going to need to take your statement."
"But…" Shawn began.
"No buts," interrupted Juliet, and taking his hands into hers. "I promise you, I'll be ok here for a little while. It's your responsibility to be at the Psych office right now. We can talk tonight."
"Um…ok," Shawn agreed reluctantly. "Don't you want to go too, though?"
"I would…but Lassiter and Chief Vick still think I'm 'sick.' They'll be suspicious if I show up at the crime scene now. We need to keep this quiet until we've had a chance to talk about it. It's probably best if I stay here." Shawn nodded in understanding but didn't budge. "Go," Juliet urged.
"You sure you're ok?" Shawn asked to which Juliet replied with a fervent 'Yes.' "Alright, I'll go…we'll talk tonight then?" Juliet nodded and they both finally stood and started towards the door. "I'll bring dinner. Chinese ok?"
"That actually sounds really delicious!" she said, wondering if the cravings were beginning already.
"Ok. See you tonight…with some orange chicken and an eggroll," Shawn said just before giving Juliet a soft kiss.
"Mmm, make that sesame chicken and throw in some beef and broccoli and wonton soup," finally pushing Shawn out the door, leaving herself alone to think things over. "Hmm…you must be hungry in there," she said to her stomach.
Gus was relieved that Shawn had changed his mind and come anyway, though a little disappointed that it probably meant he wasn't getting his windbreaker back. For Shawn, returning to the crime scene after receiving such shocking news from Juliet was not easy, though. As the scene was being processed and Shawn was giving his statement, Gus noticed that Shawn's behavior was off. He was quiet and hadn't made any obscure 80's references or had any "psychic revelations" the whole time. He was so distracted that he wasn't even picking up on the simplest clues.
"Was anything of value taken?" Lassiter questioned Shawn who could only mumble meaningless syllables while his eyes wandered around the room resting on clues of his own childishness and irresponsibility instead of clues that could explain how and why the office had been broken into; a pile of unpaid parking tickets, juvenile toys scattered everywhere, a mess in the sink, a trashcan overflowing with fast food containers – he couldn't even feed himself properly, and worst of all the door knob – he doubted he had locked it before leaving for coffee. The break-in was all his fault.
"How can I possibly be responsible for another person when I can't take care of myself?" thought Shawn. "There's no way I can be a father. Jules would be better off without me." Shawn had the urge to walk right out of the office, hop on his bike, take off and just keeping driving without looking back. The only thing that kept him from doing so was the thought of Juliet being alone and having to do this on her own…the thought of doing that to her and never seeing her again was unbearable.
"Again! Was anything of value taken? Are you even paying attention, Spencer?!" Lassiter yelled impatiently.
"No…uh, yeah…I mean, no. Nothing taken," Shawn mumbled. The Chief took notice of Shawn's odd behavior and looked at him curiously.
"What are you talking about, Shawn?!" said Gus in disbelief. "Both our computers are missing, plus my Xbox and your Nintendo."
"My Nintendo…? Not again." Shawn moaned. "At least the ring wasn't in it this time," he thought, and thanked his lucky stars that he had removed it from the office just yesterday. He could tell that Gus was thinking the same thing, as well as trying to figure out what was wrong with his best friend.
Shawn was nearly dead silent for the rest of the investigation and hugely unhelpful. As soon as the last officer left the Psych office, Gus confronted him.
"Ok. What's going on?"
"Wha..What makes you think anything is going on?" Shawn reacted defensively. He tried to pretend that he hadn't realized how obvious he was.
"Shawn. You've been acting weird ever since you got back from Jules'. Spill!" Gus demanded.
"I can't tell you," said Shawn. "I promised Jules."
Gus crossed his arms, just waiting for Shawn to give in and spill his guts like he knew he always did when there was something this noticeably heavy bothering him.
Although Juliet hadn't specifically told him not to tell Gus, Shawn guessed that 'keeping it quiet' likely included keeping it from Gus. "It's…just something between Jules and me," he said. "I can't tell you…at least not right now."
Gus knew his friend well enough to see that he really wanted to say something, though, and pushed further. "Shawn!" he urged.
"OK! OK! You win. I'll tell you!" Shawn pretended to unwillingly give in. Shawn paused. He sighed heavily and paced across the room, Gus noticing his nervousness and becoming silent and concerned.
He didn't know how to begin. "Well, Gus. It appears that I am going to… What I mean to say is that Jules and I are…well, things are going to be changing soon. Big time! You see, I…am going to be a fa…a faaa…" Shawn couldn't bring himself to say the word.
Gus was waiting in anticipation. "A farmer?" he guessed.
"Yes, Gus a farmer!" said Shawn sarcastically. "Jules and I have decided to move to Kansas and start a bunny farm!"
"Well sorry, Shawn. You're not being clear. And just so you know, if you are starting a bunny farm, I'm coming too! Now spit it out!" Gus demanded.
Shawn continued, "Gus…I am going to be a daaaaaaaaa…" Then he took a deep breath and said in one exhale "Jules-is-pregnant-I'm-gonna-be-a-dad."
"What?!" exclaimed Gus. He took a moment to take in the news. "Are you sure?" he asked, mostly out of a lack of anything else to say.
"Yeah," answered Shawn. "…I mean, as sure as a home pregnancy test is sure."
After a moment of silence Gus spoke again not sure whether to be excited or concerned, "Wow, man. This is huge."
"Tell me about it," said Shawn.
After another silent moment Gus asked carefully, "Shawn, how are you? …I mean, how do you feel about this?"
"Well …to be honest, I'm sorta freaking out!" Shawn's voice began to reach a nervous high pitch. "Gus, I screwed up! I mean, don't get me wrong. The idea of a little person that is half me and half Jules is just plain awesome!" Shawn added with a slight grin which quickly reverted to a look of utter terror. "But…we aren't ready. I love Jules, but I can't be a father! I love her, but I've probably just ruined her life!"
Shawn took a breath and lowered his voice. "She's still freaking out about it, but I know she wants this baby…and I know she wants me to be a father to it…but, even if I try, I am just going to fail. I'll only make things harder on her and then she'll have to quit her job because…how can she be a detective and raise a baby at the same time? And I don't even have a real job! You and my dad are still paying my bills! I am not going to be able to afford a baby. What does a baby even cost, anyway? Like $2000 a year?"
"$10,000," Gus corrected.
"Owww!" moaned Shawn, slumping onto the couch and holding his hand to his heart. "Where am I gonna come up with an extra $10,000? This kid is doomed."
"Shawn," said Gus carefully while sitting down next to his buddy. "I know this is a lot to take in right now…but it doesn't mean you screwed up or that your child is doomed. Despite the fact that you are a leech, you do have people that love you and will help you. I also don't think that Juliet will think that you ruined her life. I can't believe I'm saying this, but you can be a father, Shawn. It's not like you have to start tomorrow. You still have some time to figure things out before the baby gets here. And like you said, any baby that comes from you and Juliet is going to be awesome, so you you've got nothing to worry about there."
"Tru Dat!" said Shawn, his mood lightened a little by Gus's words. Shawn took a few deep breaths and continued. "And you know what makes this even cooler? You are going to be 'Uncle Burton'."
"I don't care what my Uncle Burton says, I am going to be 'Uncle Gus'." said Gus. "But seriously, man," began Gus with certainty this time. "Congrats to you and Jules!" Gus patted Shawn on the back. "I know it's scary right now, but once you get over the initial shock I know both of you are going to be excited about this."
"Thanks, man," said Shawn. He was glad Gus had managed to calm him down a bit but he was still nervous about his upcoming discussion with Juliet.
Later that evening, Shawn brought home Chinese take-out for himself and Juliet, as promised, and filled her in on the case.
"Lassiter thinks the break-ins are unrelated…someone trying to steal cash or valuables, or whatnot…"
"It would certainly be one hell of a coincidence," she said. "Break-ins at both your Dad's and the Psych office in the same week? Two ‘random’ break-ins in two different parts of town…no other break-ins reported in either area…and both of them happen to be Spencer property? Random? I don't buy it. There has to be a connection."
"Thank you! I knew you would see it my way," exclaimed Shawn with satisfaction.
"So obviously the perp, or perps, are looking for something that either you or your Dad would have," Juliet deducted.
"Yeah…," agreed Shawn, "but what? And did he find it?"
Both shook their heads as the conversation obviously had reached an endpoint. They continued to eat their dinner in silence for a few moments, knowing what subject needed to begin next.
"…So, Shawn," began Juliet, "I made an appointment with the doctor for Friday morning. Can you come?"
"Of course, I wouldn't miss it!" said Shawn, although the idea of having to accompany Juliet to the lady doctor hadn't even occurred to him yet. It sounded incredibly awkward.
"Good," said Juliet. "I am going to go back to work after that. Hopefully I can keep the morning sickness under control enough so that no one will figure out what's going on."
"Maybe the doctor can give you something for that," suggested Shawn.
"I hope so!" said Juliet. After a few more awkward moments, she began carefully, "Um…Shawn…I need to know what you are thinking about this.
"Wha..what do you mean?," Shawn asked.
Juliet sighed, preparing herself for the difficult conversation ahead. "I know that we've kind of assumed that one day we would get married, and I assumed that meant we would probably want to have kids…eventually, but having kids is not something we have really talked about. And now…and now it's already happening, and I don't know if you even want this."
"Jules! Are you kidding?! Of course I want this!" said Shawn, surprised at his ability to over-exaggerate his confidence.
"But…are you ready for this?" pleaded Juliet.
"If I'm being totally honest…because I know how important honesty is," he added, "…the idea of being someone's father scares the crap out of me."
Juliet gave a worried frown.
"But…I have nine months to get used to the idea. I mean…I'm not going to go bald and take up fishing anytime soon. And, when I think about how we'll be doing this together…you and me…bringing little Starfish Spencer into the world…"
"Starfish?!" said Juliet, sounding horrified
"What? It's a perfect name for boy or girl!"
"…Anyway," he continued, "…when I think of doing this with you…it makes me feel very, very, very…very happy…I'm talking Pepsi Girl, dancing on the table happy." Shawn inched toward Juliet with each "very" so that his lips were only centimeters from hers by the time he finished. "We will figure this all out together. You'll see."
Juliet smiled and kissed him softly. "It makes me very happy too. I want this. I want to have a baby with you," she said. But then her face became serious and she backed away, trying to decide her next words very carefully.
"Shawn, I don't doubt that you are going to make a wonderful father…but you and I both know that you can sometimes be…"
"Batman?" Shawn suggested.
"No," said Juliet
"A samurai ninja?"
"A pig whisperer," he concluded confidently
"Shawn! No!" said Juliet in frustration.
"Irresponsible," decided Shawn disappointedly.
"…No…" said Juliet. She searched for a better word, but not finding one, she frowned and reluctantly answered, "Yes…" The disappointment in Shawn's face broke her heart.
"Shawn, I need to be honest with you too. I'm worried…I'm worried that you are not ready for this…that I'm not ready for this. I really have no idea how to raise a child, especially when I have a job as dangerous and unpredictable as mine…and, as much as I don't want to say it because I don't want to hurt you…" Tears had been accumulating in Juliet's eyes while she spoke and as a few dropped down her cheeks, she spoke the last few words through small sobs. "I'm worried that I won't be able to depend on you to step in when I need you…when your child needs you. I don't want to do this alone…I don't think I can."
Shawn looked like he had been punched in the stomach. "Juliet, I don't want you do this alone. I'm scared too. I…I know you may be finding it hard to trust me considering recent circumstances. I don't blame you. And I know I can be irresponsible sometimes…ok, a lot of the time. But I want to change that. I really do. I am going to try to grow up before the baby gets here. Even though my words may not mean much to you right now, I am promising you, I will try."
"Shawn, you need to know that over that last couple of years you have changed and grown up a lot, and I am proud of you for that. I think you can be ready for this. And I think that if you can show me over the next few weeks that you are…committed…to becoming responsible…stepping up to the plate, I think I will feel much better. I'll feel like I might be able to trust you a little more. Do you know what I mean?"
Shawn studied her words for a moment. "I think I know what you mean," he smiled. "I will do my best."
She smiled and said, "Thanks. You know I love you."
"I love you more," said Shawn as he leaned in and kissed Juliet softly and slowly.
When they finished, Juliet spoke again in a lighter tone. "Now, as long as everything goes smoothly on Friday morning," I think it would be ok to share the news with a few people…with your Dad or Gus if you like, but we should probably keep it quiet at the station for a little while. Lassiter isn't going to be happy about this"
Shawn coughed guiltily. Juliet studied his face and then suddenly realized the reason for his guilt.
"You told Gus, didn't you?!"
"I did. I couldn't help it! He could read it all over my face."
"It's ok," she said. "I should have known that was asking a lot."