jesterladyfic: (jesterlady)
[personal profile] jesterladyfic
Title: So Enchained My Spirit’s Vision
by Jesterlady
Rating: PG
Pairing: Shawn/Juliet
Summary: Coda for Right Turn or Left For Dead, a more thorough explanation
Disclaimer: I don't own Psych. Some lines are from the show. The title is by Mary Dagworthy James
A/N: I have very mixed feelings about how Juliet found out Shawn's secret. More importantly about the immediate thereafter. I know in tv shows they're not going to show two characters hashing out for two hours exactly what happened, but I feel like that's what would happen in real life and it frustrates me when they don't actually explain themselves like I feel I would or I feel I would want someone to do for me. Whenever my fandoms have secrets that get confessed, my fic will always have lots of scenes where the other characters get to learn what really happened. I didn't want to just fix it so that Juliet was suddenly okay, because I do agree she'd need some time, but I think if she'd gotten an actual explanation then the break might not have needed to be quite so dramatic.



So Enchained My Spirit’s Vision

Juliet had broken a few items within the past forty eight hours. She had also cried more than she wanted to admit. She did have a perfect right to that display of emotion, her boyfriend had been lying to her about his basic identity ever since they’d met and had broken her heart and made her feel like an idiot in the space of about five seconds. Yet knowing there was justification for her feelings had not helped her feel better.

Her line of work often didn’t lend itself to a lot of emotional processing time; murderers were very inconsiderate that way. Instead of eating her weight in ice cream she’d wound up working, working with Shawn even, to find out what had happened to a young woman. Along the way she’d had more than enough time to study Shawn as well as the clues and try to figure out why he would have done this to her. It appalled her that he was still up to his old tricks, acting like it was okay to be lying to everyone. He was lacking his usual luster and maniacal behavior and that made her feel slightly better, he was obviously feeling pain and perhaps some guilt, but he’d had the benefit of the truth and she hadn’t, so she didn’t try to muster up much empathy.

In the end, they did what they always did and he solved the case and she saved him from being killed because he always got too involved. The victory had a hollow feel to it and she went home to their place, now just hers, and it was empty without his usual gloating and attempts to get her to eat enormous amounts of nachos slathered in condiments. She hadn’t been able to stay, the need for the truth burning a hole through her embarrassment. She didn’t want to go to the source, not yet, so she went to the next best thing.

Henry Spencer hadn’t looked surprised to see her, but he had looked uncomfortable. He had been lying to her as well, after all. He’d welcomed her into his home and apologized for her finding out this way and said he was sorry that Shawn hadn’t told her himself, but even though he didn’t always like Shawn’s methods, Henry had to admit they were effective and maybe that’s why the lie had remained in place so long. He explained that Shawn had always had a gift, had been able to spot details and retain information, knowing how to read people and deduce facts from a single glance. It would have been truly fascinating to learn about anyone else, but not about the man who had managed to convince a con artist’s daughter he was truly psychic. The last thing Henry said was that he liked the man his son was when he was with her and he hoped they could work things out.

Everything he said was an interesting perspective, but it didn’t help her, not really. Maybe later it would mean more, but she needed to know more now. Perhaps from someone Shawn actually confided in.

Gus had physically cringed away from her after opening the door as if expecting her to assault him or something like that. She had felt the urge to do just that for a brief second, but all she did was demand an explanation. He was as little help as Henry, vacillating between obvious guilt and loyalty to Shawn. He’d physically cried at one point, but the only thing useful he had to offer was the knowledge that Shawn had wanted to be with her for years and one of the reasons he hadn’t made a move was because of the fact he’d need to lie to her. Juliet was all Shawn had been able to think about for years, apparently. It certainly didn’t feel that way to her. It felt like he’d been a coward and a liar and a parasite.

It was no use, she would have to confront the man she simultaneously wanted to kiss and maim. This would be so much easier if she didn’t love him so much and she hated him for that.

Juliet stopped outside of the Psych office door and took a moment to appreciate just how ironic the name was and the anger welled up as she walked in. She was quiet as she entered and saw Shawn standing in front of an action figure she couldn’t name if her life depended on it. He was muttering to himself, the mark from his concussion glaring purple on his forehead, his hands balled in a fist close to his chest. That more than anything made her pause. Obviously Shawn was a good liar, but she liked to think she still knew him pretty well, and when his hands were motionless like that, he was trying his hardest to be sincere or withdrawing as a means of protection. She figured it was a mixture of both at the moment.

“I have been obsessively replaying Lassiter’s wedding in my head,” he said finally, louder, addressing the action figure. “I know that it works this way because otherwise we would have found the girl in the morgue and Gus’ eyes would have swollen up like grapefruits, at least that’s how it all played out in my head. I’m pretty sure it tracks. But I keep thinking, if I just hadn’t given you my jacket, right? Everything would still be okay.”

Her righteous indignation at his presumptive idiocy quickly smothered any qualms she felt at eavesdropping. She was fairly certain he had no idea she was there, he was incredibly engrossed in his one sided conversation with his faux Juliet. He looked miserable, certainly hadn’t been shaving, probably hadn’t slept, the signs of it were all over him.

“No,” he said loudly to himself. “No, stop it, Shawn, you know that’s not right. It’s factually accurate, but it’s not the point of this little exercise, remember? It’s confession time, it’s make her understand time, it’s apology time.”

He straightened up and turned back to the action figure.

“Jules, I don’t want to lie anymore. Okay, no more lying, I’m going to tell you everything, my whole sordid history. It’s going to be long and I don’t have snacks, so bear with me, sweetheart.”

How stupid that her heart could still lurch when he called her that.

“I don’t know what to call myself,” he said. “Psychic isn’t right, but it’s not that far off. Is there a word for what I do? I don’t know. Hyper observational, photographic or eidetic memory. My dad tried to diagnose it but it didn’t work, I was pieces of all of those things. So I’m a little kid and I see things, I see the things nobody else notices. It sounds cool, right, amazing? Gus certainly thought so, but I can’t turn it off, Jules. It’s always there, the memories of what I’ve seen and I can’t forget them. I remember what you were wearing the first time we met and how you smelled and what comic you were reading in the paper. It’s just there and it just keeps growing because I keep getting older.”

His voice was getting louder and more frustrated until he balled his fists and stopped for a moment.

“I’ve learned to control it, learned to sort through everything, but I’ve got too many things happening in my noggin and I work very hard at distracting myself from that. It is amazing, a gift, if you like. I’ve taken advantage of it more than I should, been cockier than I should, but it’s just there, a part of me I can’t ignore. It’s sensory overload 24/7, and there were times I wanted to rip my eyes out of my head so I couldn’t see anything anymore. I didn’t want to know the neighbor was having an affair with the mailman or that one of my friends in school was getting beat up by his dad or that the grocer was getting pressured by the local gangs for protection money. I learned all of those things on my own without anybody telling me anything before I was eight.”

She refused to feel sorry for Shawn, but she let herself feel sorry for the little boy he had been.

“That might have been it, you know,” he continued. “Little boy genius, who aces every quiz in school until he learns it’s not cool to know everything, and would rather be noticed for how far he can jump his bike than the fact that he knows what every single person in the class got on the test from one glance at a sheet of paper. But I was born to my dad, probably anyway; I will one day get that DNA test. I was the son of Henry Spencer, cop extraordinaire, who noticed this about his son and figured I was the answer to his every failed case.”

He started pacing a little and Juliet ducked back to avoid being seen.

“Just imagine me as a blank sheet of paper, ready to be filled with knowledge. I was going to be the best cop there ever was. I wanted to be, really I did; there was nobody I admired more than my dad. But his methods were…extreme. You ever had someone lock you in the trunk of a car to teach you how to escape from it when you were a child?”

Shawn paused and grimaced.

“Granted, I do have to say that one saved my life, but, let’s not ignore the fact that a grown man could have been taught that trick just as well as a child. A child who had to physically dig for his Easter eggs, who had to play ‘how many hats’ before he could ever get dessert. Who had to learn how to fake a lie detector test. Yeah, I knew that question was coming, Jules. Yes, I faked that test Lassie made me take. But I never faked telling you I loved you; that one surprised even me.”

She didn’t know if she could believe him.

“But we’re not there yet, that’s so many years away,” Shawn said, sighing. “Smaller Shawn is learning every code in the book and honing his skills until he wants to scream. And he does, frequently. The joy of it went away, Jules, and I resented him so much. I resented the way he worked and my mother being away so much and the older I got the less fun I had. When their divorce went through, I was so angry at him I didn’t even try to look to see what happened. Yeah, I can tell you what most people had for breakfast that morning and where they’re from and what their favorite color is, but I couldn’t even see that my dad loved my mom and she left. I found that part out later.”

Shawn stopped and shifted as if remembering was something he was not comfortable with and she knew him well enough to believe that was true.

“So I act out and we fight and I get arrested and run away and run away and run away. Glorious freedom, Jules, adventures and food and people. Whatever I want, whenever I want. I was magic and it was intoxicating. Nobody telling me what to do, any job I didn’t like I would move on. But I learned just as much there as from good old Henry the cop. I learned how to pick locks and get out of handcuffs and exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop.”

He shook his head and popped his neck.

“I came back here mostly for Gus,” he admitted. “But that is a truth that needs to stay between you and me. His chocolate head doesn’t need any more buttering up. I didn’t have to work; I could just solve crimes for the police. I didn’t try to, believe it or not, but it’s true. I just knew things and if I didn’t, I could figure it out. It didn’t really occur to me though that someone might think that a bit strange, maybe I’d been living with me for too long. Deducting like Holmes on speed was just normal. But not to Lassie, no, not to the Head Detective of Chest Hair. He wanted to arrest me for crimes I solved and I was in a literal corner, well, okay, a literal doorway, but I was cornered. It came to me, I said it, I’m a psychic. I solved a crime; the Chief put me on the payroll. I got to try something I never thought possible. Actually living my father’s dream for me, but my way.”

He smiled and actually looked happy for a moment.

“Think about it, Jules, we were a dream team. I’m the genius, Gus is the business man, you and Lassie are the muscle, Vick is the bank. We solved crimes and we helped people. With Woody and McNab and Dobson and even my dad, we helped people. Life was good and what I did mattered for the first time. I could live up to my dad’s expectations and I could flout them at the same time. Who else gets to do that? I never fit in, Juliet, never. My brain and my mouth never fit in with anybody, but here…” he got quieter, “…here I fit in and I belonged and I mattered. It was perfect and sometimes even I forget I’m not psychic. I can be alone with Gus and realize something and I put my hand to my head and I don’t even realize how weird that is. That’s how much this feels like it’s me. It may have been a lie, but it’s the truth now, maybe? I don’t know, maybe that’s as ridiculous as Lassie’s ties, but it feels true anyway. But the point is that we were all where it felt like we were supposed to be. It was worth a few lies, I thought.”

Her eyes narrowed and she tried not to think too hard about what he’d said.

“I had to protect my dad and Gus, you know,” he said. “They were culpable and I involved them in this mess, I was saving my own ass and dragged them along. Maybe, maybe Lassie wouldn’t crucify me now, but back then, it would have been his great pleasure. Then…then there was you.”

His voice caught and he dropped his head.

“Nobody believed in me more than you did, Juliet. At first that was great and then it was wonderful and it never stopped being that, but the closer we got, the harder it was. I supposed I liked being believed in, liked you thinking that about me. But I meant it when I said falling in love with you was never part of the plan. I couldn’t have predicted you, sweetheart. Nothing about you is predictable or foolish and my life changed forever when you sat in my seat that day.”

He looked up again and eyed the action figure like he wanted to burn it with the intensity of his gaze.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I lied to you. I can’t lie and say I was going to tell you. I wasn’t. I wanted to keep this. I don’t regret that. I don’t regret anything we’ve ever done because every moment with you is worthwhile. I’m just sorry you got hurt. I might have been living in a fool’s paradise, which I think is a pretty nice place to live, by the way.” He paused and then nodded like a concession. “Yet I’ve done a lot of thinking about your life and who you are. I know your dad disappointed you, both of them. I know you like honesty. I must seem pretty dumb now, huh?”

She couldn’t have agreed more.

“I did try once,” he said. “I was about to tell you, as in literally opening my mouth to do it and Declan beat me to the punch. You forgave him, but I wonder if you would have forgiven me. I’d been lying a lot longer. I gave up at that point and things yo-yo-ed back and forth between us like Gus sprinting for extra sprinkles on his ice cream cone. You kissed me though and everything went out the window, any thought but keeping you.”

She closed her eyes and bit her lip.

“Here we are now,” he said, addressing the action figure. “I’m here, telling you everything, baring it all, though not physically since I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to do that right now. I want this not to have happened, but it did and I want to be better, Jules, I want to not hurt you. But I can’t help what I’ve done or who I am. I’m still the same man, sweetheart. Nothing else changed, how I feel about you, the life I want us to have, it’s all there waiting for us. I’m sorry you had to lie for me, I didn’t want that for you, but it’s done now. I’m good at what I do and we’re good together. Is that so bad?” He stopped and stared for a minute. “How can I tell you this?” he said, muttering. “I shouldn’t have practiced. I used all my best lines, what if I don’t remember them? I remember pictures, not words. Shawn, stop stalling,” he said.

He stopped and slumped over, his fingers beating a fast tattoo on the cabinet in front of him. All of that would have taken a lot out of anyone, she supposed, but she was still lacking in the sympathy she normally would have felt. There was no processing what she’d just heard. She’d be thinking about it for years to come. She’d gotten the explanation she came for and she contemplated simply turning around and leaving.

“It wasn’t wasted,” she finally said, stepping out of the shadows and revealing herself to him.

Shawn jumped and hit his head on a shelf and she winced because, after all, he did have a concussion.

“Jules!” he said, sounding both happy and in pain. “Are you actually here because last time you were a dream.”

“I’m here,” she said, slightly confused. “I heard everything. Are you okay?”

“Um, I’m bleeding,” said Shawn. “But that’s okay, did you say everything?”

“Everything,” she said.

“That may or may not be good,” he said.

She sighed and stepped around him, grabbing a towel and wetting it in the sink and pressing it against his head. She didn’t think it was that serious, but it was better to be doing something at this point.

“I think it was about time I heard it, don’t you?” she asked.

“Or past time?” he suggested meekly.

Shawn wasn’t supposed to be meek; it was annoyingly weird when he was.

“I don’t even know what to say, Shawn,” she said. “I mean, that’s what I needed to hear, but I don’t know what to say.”

“Anything I say at this point will only be wrong,” he said.

“Probably,” she agreed. “So you listen for a second.” He gestured for her to go ahead. “I’m so angry with you,” she said. “I can’t even begin to tell you how hurt I feel, how stupid I feel. Don’t interrupt me,” she said, holding up her hand and he aborted his mouth opening. “This is not okay, Shawn. This is not how grownups behave, no matter how genius their brains are.”

She began to pace, a favorite method of coping of hers.

“I can forgive you as a child, Shawn. I can see where you’re coming from. I understand why you did it, I don’t even care that you did it, well, maybe a little. I did sign up to uphold the law and not see it broken by people looking to cover their own asses. But that’s beside the point. None of that matters, Shawn. What matters is that you did this to me, someone you’re supposed to love. That’s not how people in love behave. Even if you thought you were protecting me that was not how to do it. I’m a grown woman and I deserve to have all the information I need to make informed decisions about who I want to be with.”

She faced him and she didn’t bother trying to not cry. It would be useless at this point and she should be allowed to cry and not worry about making him feel bad.

“Everything I can forgive up to a point,” she said. “But this is something you should have said before you kissed me on that bridge. That’s what we should have talked about. Maybe we wouldn’t be here today, I don’t know, but you should have told me, I shouldn’t have had to figure it out. You’ve let me live every day making a fool out of myself. I have felt dumb before, Shawn, but this…I did believe you. I thought you were real and now I feel stupid. I always knew when people were lying, I never let anyone deceive me, but somehow you did. You got past my defenses and you pretended you were real and now I don’t know what to believe anymore. I can’t trust the man I love. The more I think about it, the angrier I get. You were hurtful and disrespectful and selfish, Shawn, plain selfish.”

She stopped talking, not sure she should say anything more.

“I’m always selfish,” he said quietly, looking at his hands.

“I thought you were getting better,” she said.

“I thought I was,” he said.

“Well, this is a pretty big blank,” she replied.

“I…I didn’t even think about it,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

Maybe that made it better, maybe that made it worse, she didn’t know. She either didn’t matter enough for him to want to tell her the biggest secret he had or he just didn’t consider it that big of a secret. From what she’d heard, she bet it was the latter, but that didn’t change how much it hurt.

“How could you do this to me?” she asked.

“I didn’t mean to,” he said.

“You still did,” she said.

“Where does that leave us?” he asked, looking at her sideways, his entire body reflecting the actions of someone steeling themself for the worst.

“I don’t know,” she said, suddenly feeling drained, the anger deflating and leaving a numb defeat in its place. “We’re not together…but, but we’re not apart.”

“What?” he asked, looking as confused as she felt.

This hurt so badly and there was nothing she wanted more than to pretend it had never happened and forget and go back to whipped cream fights in their kitchen and the things he whispered in her ear while they were making love. But she couldn’t change his lies any more than she could change the way her father had chosen to abandon her or the way her brother had crossed a moral line she couldn’t comprehend. Those two men had walked away but Shawn was standing there in front of her.

“What do you think should happen?” she finally asked.

He gaped like a fish for a moment as if the thought of saying anything else was an insurmountable challenge.

“There is nothing I want more than you,” he said, not looking at her. “That’s all I want, a chance. I want you to be happy and I think we can be happy together. It may take some time but you’re not going to die of a disease and I haven’t been shot and we have time.”

She nodded, trying to decide how she felt about that. Time was the only thing she could think of that she wanted. The first shock was over, now came the long recovery process.

“I…I will work with you,” she said slowly. “I will try to be your friend. I will give you a chance, but this is your last chance. I want honesty and I want proof you want this. It will take a lot of time. We’re not together, Shawn, I know that I need some space, but maybe we can be together again.”

He sighed and he clenched his jaw before nodding.

“Do you want me to move out?” he asked, his voice raspy.

“Let me think about it,” she said. “You’re on the couch though.”

“Only to be expected,” he said, but for the first time since she’d walked in, he didn’t look defeated.

She didn’t feel defeated either. She didn’t feel happy and she didn’t feel trusted and she didn’t feel safe, but there was a tiny spark of hope inside and that was enough.

He side stepped closer to her and looked at her with puppy dog eyes and she rolled her own. That was the Shawn Spencer she knew, maybe the two weren’t that different, after all. He smelled terrible, but there was something about him that was familiar and warm and she let herself rest her head on his shoulder for a minute. His breathing quickened but there was only the slight ghost of his lips on her hair before she straightened up and wiped the tears from under her eyes.

“I’ll see you at home,” she said. “We can talk more later.”

“Later.”

He said it like a promise and she repeated the word to herself as she walked out the door.

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