Characters/Pairings: Shawn/Juliet, Juliet, Lassiter
Genre: Romance, Angst
Summary: Juliet's partner warns her.
A/N: I wrote this waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back near the beginning, like halfway through the first season and never really finished it because I wasn't sure how to end it. Then I showed it to people recently and they said that with slight adjustments to the final line, it was already a good one-shot. So I tweaked it and here you are. :D
Disclaimer: I do not own Psych or the characters.
"Are you sure you know what you’re doing?"
Lassiter had been brooding all day long, and usually, the intense look on his face that carved the crease between his eyebrows deep into his forehead meant that there had damn well better be a serious crime involved if there was going to be any talking going on. Or at least that’s what she thought. Juliet had gotten a lot better since the early days of their partnership at pinning exactly what type of mood Carlton was in, and she could now tell the difference between, "Don’t talk to me," and, "If you talk to me right now, I swear by all the police codes that I hold sacred, that you will regret having opened your mouth until the day you retire."
So she was surprised to realize that this particular mood had not been a, "If you talk to me…etc, etc, etc." mood. At least she didn’t think so. Well, no, she was pretty sure the penalty would have been severe if she had talked, so apparently this was a new mood. A mood that said, "Don’t talk to me under any circumstances UNLESS I address you first. Then answer my extremely bewildering personal question or suffer the aforementioned painful retribution." She was afraid to ask what he meant, because the gaze behind his strikingly blue eyes was piercing and she felt like a rookie all over again. But she couldn’t answer him properly if she didn’t.
So she said the best thing she could come up with.
Lassiter’s eyes narrowed just slightly, his lips thinning to an incredibly straight, fearsome line and she couldn’t help her own eyes widening just slightly. But when the faintest trace of color rose in his cheeks, she realized he wasn’t angry at her, he was uncomfortable. Why became painfully obvious when he spoke again, voice drawn taut like a rubber band stretched too far. "Are you sure you know what you’re doing," he repeated slowly. And then more reluctantly: "With Spencer."
Her eyes widened and her cheeks immediately felt like twin fires had been lit beneath them. How did he know? She hadn’t said anything to anybody. And Shawn had sworn, sworn on his best friend’s life (though sometimes she wondered how much he valued it, the way they acted), that he wouldn’t tell a soul until she was ready. It was stupid to try and deny it, Lassiter was brilliant at interrogation, and with those sharp eyes pinning her to her seat, she immediately knew why. "How—how did you know?" she said and her voice stuck in her throat, coming out a lot less strongly than she had hoped for.
Lassiter looked insulted. "O’Hara, please," he said brusquely. "You’re a gifted detective, but your poker face leaves something to be desired. Spencer managed to con a date out of you two weeks ago today." Juliet’s face went white. Lassiter sighed and rolled his eyes, "Calm down. What does it matter?"
"Who else knows?" she whispered.
Lassiter’s eyebrows rose as he looked over at her, his expression clearly reading, Are you serious?
She felt faint. She leaned back heavily in the seat, a hand moving to her forehead, and said weakly, "Everybody knows?"
Lassiter seemed to take a small amount of pity on her. "Your face lights up whenever he walks in the room, O’Hara," he said more gently. "You would have to be an idiot not to notice."
"Oh my gosh…"
When she continued to look mortified, he pursed his lips and said, "O’Hara, are you sure what you’re doing is right if you think you need to hide the relationship?"
Juliet didn’t answer, guilt choking off her voice.
Lassiter had stopped looking at her. "It’s none of my business what you do with your personal life," he said. "But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t concern me." The fact that he was even doing this—putting himself out there—touched her. "Spencer is impulsive, irrational, and irresponsible. He doesn’t hide the fact that he has no respect for the police and charming though he may be, he’s also an incorrigible flirt and I don’t want to see him take advantage of you. He doesn’t deserve the opportunity." His eyes flicked over to hers, his mouth tightening again as he fell silent.
"Carlton…" Juliet said, "I…"
His hands tightened ever so slightly around the steering wheel. "I just want to make sure you know what you’re doing. What you’re getting yourself into."
She did…didn’t she?