Burton Guster voiced Shawn Spencer's thought as the two men stood side-by-side staring up at the huge stone castle the Santa Barbara Police Department had rented for their annual Halloween masquerade party.
And the inside looked even more amazing.
"Dude, are you getting Van Helsing flashbacks?" Shawn demanded as a couple swirled past them, dancing to the music provided by a real band.
Bastet: "Van Helsing" is actually one of my favorite movies, and I picture the masquerade ball "set," as it were, something like that. Except a little toned down, everyone can be seen in mirrors, and without some of the crazy acrobatics on the VH set... LOL
apple jacks jules: The only part that I've seen of that movie was some guy fighting three flying...things :p. But Bastet sent me a video of the ballroom scene :).
"You know I didn't watch all of that movie," Gus retorted. He was craning his neck around, searching through the crowd, probably trying to spot people he knew.
Shawn had to admit the masks were making it a bit difficult, though he was able to spot a few familiar masked faces right off. Buzz McNab was easy to see because of his height; Carlton Lassiter because of his obvious discomfort and the bulge under his cape that was obviously a shoulder holster; and Chief Vick by how she was trying to convince Lassiter to join the crowd.
apple jacks jules: I would just like to point out that the shoulder holster line was Bastet's; and it is one of my favorite parts of the fic. It was just so perfect for Lassiter...:)
Bastet: Aww, thank you! *blushes*
"Seriously, though. This is one tricked out party. We did good this year." He spread his hands vaguely to include the high-ceilinged ballroom with delicate crystal chandeliers hanging from it, and the ornate mirrors and tapestries that decorated the walls.
"Shawn, Chief Vick set this whole thing up."
"Yes, I know; but do you think that she could have found some place even half as cool without my psychic hunches?" Gus raised an eyebrow.
"You didn't help her chose this place."
"Nope, didn't have to; I used my psychic powers to put the idea in her head." He wiggled his fingers by his temples for emphasis. Gus shook his head.
"You know, I do know that you're not...you know...right?"
"Come on, Gus. Don't you trust in my psychic abilities?"
"I'd rather not answer that question here, Shawn."
"Alright, don't answer; just watch and learn." Gus's eyes widened.
"Shawn? Shawn, what are you plannin' on doing?"
"Just this, Gus. I am going to prove to you that my psychic powers will not fail."
"Most of these people are in disguise, right? Well, I am going to pick Juliet out from amongst all of the other people here, and I am going to dance with her." Gus laughed, patting his friend on the shoulder.
"You do that," he said with a shake of his head, grinning under the silvery mask that he wore. "I'll be over there by the punch and that beautiful head of golden-red curls." Shawn frowned as he watched his friend weave his way away through the crowd towards the ornate desert table.
apple jacks jules: Oh! Inside joke alert O:)
Bastet: LOL Definitely. There's an actress that both AJJ and I like, and we have a little -- disagreement (friendly, of course) -- going on about the color of her hair. I say gold (or strawberry blonde), and AJJ says straight-out red. So we agreed to compromise at red-gold, and inserted this little inside joke in our story.
apple jacks jules: She speaks the truth. (well...kinda. I argue vehemently that it is not gold, but a definite shade of red; but I mean coppery, not like, *red* :p. We have different interpretations of the word...;) LOL) And we also have a private fic between the two of us where Gus and the red-gold girl will eventually fall in love. So it had to be written in here :).
"Alright!" he shouted after him. "Fine! Don't stay and watch me perform the impossible feat! You'll be missing the show of the year!" When Gus didn't turn around he sighed, rolling his eyes. Now he had to go find Jules.
Gathering his cape around himself, he slid into the crowd, moving through them with ease. Behind his mask, his sharp hazel eyes were scanning each person he walked past, narrowing down the possibilities as he went. Some women were too tall; some were too short; some had the wrong color hair; some had the wrong bone structure; some were wearing things Juliet would never wear…
By the time he reached the opposite end of the room, he had narrowed it down to four possibilities. His first run-through had been to narrow it down. Now he was going to go back through, and this time he was going to talk to each of them. Then he would ask the real Juliet to dance with him exactly as planned.
He approached the most likely of the four prospects and tapped her on the shoulder. She jumped as she turned around to face him, and Shawn jumped back. He hadn't seen her mask from the front on the first walk-through, and now that he could...he wasn't sure what it was supposed to be other than something red and gold and freaky, but it was definitely not something that Juliet would wear.
"Can I help you with something?" she asked in a sweet, high voice.
"Um, nope..." He stumbled a few steps back, trying to retreat without looking like he was retreating. "I was just looking for---well, that is, I thought---you looked like somebody else, but I guess I was wrong. Sorry!" He bolted, and didn't stop until he was sure that she was gone. He leaned against a pillar and took a deep breath, scanning for the rest of the potential Juliets.
"Well, that was definitely not Jules..." he muttered, running a hand through his hair. "I wonder how I ever thought that it was her in the first place...?" His eyes settled on his second choice; a blonde in a pretty red dress. That had to be Juliet.
After recovering from his other encounter, Shawn straightened his cape and pushed off from the pillar. Once more wending his way through the crowd, he stopped next to the red-clad blonde, who was sipping her punch with a distinct air of loneliness. "Hi," he said, hesitant to say more until he was one-hundred percent sure it was Juliet.
"Hi!" The woman perked up, smiling at him as she swayed a little in his direction. Her voice was high and sweet, but most definitely not Juliet's. "Your date ditch you, too?"
Shawn cleared his throat. No, I just haven't found her yet. He didn't think he should say that. "Ah -- no. I just saw you from over there, and thought you were someone else. I'm sorry to bother you."
She looked a little disappointed as she nodded and went back to nursing her punch. Shawn slipped off, this time ready to bang his head against something in frustration. He'd been so sure that was Juliet.
There's still two more women, he consoled himself. Besides, you have to find her, if for no other reason than to prove Gus wrong. With that in mind, he headed off toward the third girl, who was wearing a green dress, her face half-obscured by a mask, the rest hidden by a dainty fan which had a glittering gold dragon embossed on it.
Bastet: This is my dream dress -- if I were ever to attend a masquerade ball, that is exactly what I would wear. And I could so easily see Juliet in it that I wanted to throw that dress in there somewhere (originally as Juliet's real dress, but AJJ came up with a much better idea for hers!), so there's another little private thought-process thing of mine that was put in the fic. :_
apple jacks jules: Actually, Bastet, I'm pretty sure that you made up *all* of the dresses, except for Juliet's ;). I kept throwing it over to you right before he had to meet each new girl, and I remember that you had a lot of fun with it.
Actually, now that you mention it, Juliet's dress is one of those places where I couldn't figure out who wrote it. I sort of remembered doing it, but the way that I worded it, I was *almost* sure that it was you...I had to go back to the original doc where I had them separated :p. It was totally surreal and awesome to see how well we work together :).
Bastet: Actually, I think I did two (the green one and then the blue one later), and you did the other two plus Juliet's. But I totally agree with you about how surreal (and awesome!) it is how well we work together! I have trouble differentiating our parts in this fic, too.
"Excuse me," he said, his voice coming out more squeaky than he would have liked with Juliet. Calm down, idiot, he chided himself. It's just Jules.
But it wasn't just Jules. The woman who turned around, who had looked so dainty from far away, was clearly drunk up close.
"Hello, darling!" She giggled, each word punctuated by hiccups. "Did you bring'm back s'more of that...whaddaya call it? Te-kee-la...?" Shawn shook his head, trying to detach himself from the surprisingly strong grip of her hand on his arm.
"I believe the drink you want is called "Tekwala, or "I'll call ya", or something of that sort." He struggled, but she held on tight. "But tell you what; I'll go find you some, if you promise to stay right here and talk to this nice man until I do..." He grabbed the arm of the nearest guest and shoved him towards the green lady, and ran.
"SPENCER!" He winced as he ran. That must have been Lassie that he'd grabbed. And now that he thought about it, there was something about his arm that had seemed a little too hard and bulky for normal muscle. He'd have to remember to avoid the irate detective for the next few days, though.
Bastet: Oooh!!! Another inside joke alert! :D
apple jacks jules: Am I telling this one, or would you like to?
Bastet: I think you should do it. You started it, after all. ;) LOL
apple jacks jules: HAHA fine :p. One night while we were chatting, I believe that you were watching National Treasure 2; and at the same time, we quoted one of my *favorite* lines of all time; "Lousy tequila!" (the both of us are obsessive quoters :) It's crazy) And then it all spiraled out from there...We add it to as many fics as possible ;).
Bastet: We have several other inside jokes that came about this exact same way. Anyway -- I believe it was AJJ's idea to shove poor Lassie at the drunk lady, to which I promptly burst into laughter at when she sent me that part. We both like Lassiter's character, but sometimes we just can't resist doing silly or otherwise mean things to him, like making Shawn pawn off drunk and clingy women onto him. LOL
apple jacks jules: Guilty as charged O:).
He ended up by the punch bowl with Gus as he searched desperately for the last girl, the one who had to be Juliet. He felt Gus come up beside him.
"Had any luck so far?" His friend asked, a smile in his voice.
"Mere echoes of the psychic vibrations, Gus, bouncing off girls who look like Juliet. But don't you worry; I've found her now; and I am going to prove to you just how awesome my psychic powers are."
"Yeah, good luck with that." Gus was still laughing to himself like he was enjoying some private joke. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lady to get back to." Shawn watched him make his way back over to the red haired girl, then turned his eyes back on the room until he spotted the forth and final prospect. He took a breath.
"I'm coming, Jules..."
Juliet looked resplendent in blue, Shawn decided as he approached her. The gown she wore had just enough ruffles and lace without being over-the-top, and the lovely curls in her blonde hair perfectly framed the delicate blue and silver mask that obscured half her face. The small clutch purse she held in her hand had the same intricate, swirling design on it as the mask, so subtly and beautifully Jules.
"Hey," he said quietly as he approached, in his smoothest voice. "I've been looking all over for you. Why've you been hiding?"
She looked up with a smile, lifting her punch glass with one delicate, gloved hand. "Oh, I'm sorry, darling. I just got caught up in things." She tucked her arm through Shawn's with another sweet smile. "Shall we go dance, then?"
Shawn nearly fell over. Though in every other respect this woman was Juliet O'Hara, her raspy voice was definitely not. "Oh! I -- uh--"
"Well stop stammering all over yourself, Richard dear," she said. "Dance with me." She looked up at him with a little pout.
apple jacks jules: HAHA Richard dear!!! *hysterical laughter*
Bastet: Yes, Richard dear. LOL Besides Psych, another show that AJJ and I are fans of (but not as wild about as Psych) is Legend of the Seeker. We both think the hero, Richard, is extremely adorable. And I was also thinking back to that private fic that she and I are writing, and I needed a name for the someone she was looking for, so Richard just kind of popped out. I'm not sure where the "dear" part came from, but it seemed like a good idea at the time... LOL
Somewhere close by, he heard dual chuckles that sounded a little too much like Gus and Lassiter for his liking. "I -- uh -- am so sorry. I thought you were someone else, actually. I didn't realize -- not that I don't think it wouldn't be lovely to dance with you, of course, but I think my date will be looking for me, and -- well…" Pulling his arm away from the woman's, he offered her an anemic smile and took off before she could say anything more. Or call him Richard dear again.
He had absolutely no clue who Richard was. Did a man with that name even work at the SBPD?
apple jacks jules: ...We later found out in "Death Is in the Air" that there was indeed a man at SPBD whose name was Richard ;).
Bastet: I'm starting to think we might be a bit psychic ourselves... LOL JK
apple jacks jules: Well, sometimes I *do* play "How many hats?"...;)
Bastet: ...Methinks we're having too much fun with this. LOL
apple jacks jules: I've always wanted to do a commentaire (I declare this a perfectly correct and legitimate word O:) LOL).
Once he was back across the room and in the relative cover of two greatly festooned pillars, with a banner stretched between them half-hiding him, Shawn pulled up his mask to wipe the sweat off his face. What was wrong with him? Even with no psychic powers, he was usually much better at this. He'd bragged (at least to himself) several times that he could pick Juliet O'Hara out of a crowd of a thousand people, blindfolded, with earplugs in his ears, at a rock concert.
Oh, how wrong he was.
But that brought up another question. Where was Juliet? He'd seen every woman at the party, but not one of them was her, he was sure of it. Why hadn't she come? Was she all right?
Between the embarrassment and the worry and the heat of his costume and so many bodies in the ballroom, Shawn was starting to feel decidedly sick to his stomach. He decided that he'd go look around for Juliet a little bit more...outside. Tugging at his collar, he ducked under the banner that had hidden him from view, just as everyone else gasped.
Wondering if he had done something stupid or if Lassie had taped a sign to his back or something, he straightened quickly, nearly pulling down the banner as he did so. And he gasped, too, belatedly realizing that no one had been paying attention to him. Cinderella had just made it to the ball.
A long, sleeveless white dress framed a slender body, spilling in a silky waterfall nearly to the floor so that the only thing showing under it was the toes of the woman's silver heels. Soft, silky golden curls glowed in the gentle light of the chandeliers, and a diamond-encrusted silver tiara sparkled among the locks. Blue eyes viewed the world from behind the delicate lines of a silver mask, perfectly crafted to compliment the smooth face that it covered. Shawn gaped. Now that was Juliet.
apple jacks jules: Right there! That paragraph is the one that catches me every time. Bastet and color code these things in our personal documents when we write them, so that we can tell who wrote what; but when we post them, they're always all black. And whenever I read the posted version, I think that she wrote that...I've actually had to go back and check the original doc to make sure that I knew what I was reading. I and I know the story/transitions pretty well :p. Behold, the awesome power of the Twin-brain ;).
Bastet: Gosh, I love it!! That's one of the lines in the fic that actually gives me chills. The whole thing after that moment gives me chills, actually, I think. LOL That's another one of our twin-writing processes -- color coding our particular parts. Not only does it help remind ourselves which is ours and which is the other's, but it is also very pretty when all is said and done. LOL
apple jacks jules: Aw, thanks!! ^_^ And yay! I didn't know that you liked it that much...*blush* LOL Quite pretty indeed :).
Suddenly oblivious to everyone but the princess who had just entered the room, he crossed the room to meet her where she stood self-consciously, just inside the doorway. He bowed deeply.
"May I have this dance, fair lady?" he asked, holding out a hand to her. And expression of surprise crossed the part of her face that he could see.
"Shawn?" He was amazed.
"I---but---how did you know?" he stuttered. Juliet waited until he was finished.
"You don't have a mask on," she informed him, reaching over to take it from his hand.
Shawn sighed, realizing his mistake, but not interested in dwelling on it for now. "Where have you been?" he asked. "I've been looking everywhere for you."
"I had something to finish up before I came here," she explained. "I asked Gus to tell you." Shawn bit back a curse.
"Gus..." he muttered, throwing a dark glance at his friend, who shrugged innocently before ignoring him in favor of the red-haired girl. Frowning, Shawn turned back to Juliet, and traded his irritation for a smile. "My offer still stands," he said softly, holding out his hand again. "Would you like to dance?"
apple jacks jules: Not to try to draw attention to myself or anything, but I have to say, if there's one part that I'm proud that I wrote in this fic, it's Gus knowing all along :p LOL.
Bastet: Oh, heck yes! We all know that though Shawn is the silly one, Gus is hiding, very deep inside him, the mind of an evil genius. LOL
Reaching up, Juliet carefully slid his mask back on over his head, then delicately slid her white-gloved hand into his. "Of course I will."
Shawn gently folded his fingers around her hand and escorted her to the dance floor, noticing out of the corner of his eye that several faces were turned toward them, as if wondering how he had managed to secure the first dance with the princess. He was wondering the same thing himself, but he sure wasn't going to complain.
As he turned to face her, Shawn took note of the lovely blush that had stained her cheeks rosy pink. He quickly placed one hand on her waist while keeping the other grasped around hers to keep himself from reaching up to touch those colored spots. He wanted to make this night absolutely perfect for her. Even the slightest mess up would be a disaster.
Juliet tightened her fingers around his and rested her opposite hand on his shoulder. Smiling up at him, she didn't hesitate to follow his lead as they swayed around the dance floor to the slow song the band had started.
"I started out today thinking this would be the worst Halloween I've ever had," Juliet said softly to him as they danced. "But I think it's getting better."
Shawn swallowed. No pressure, no pressure… "I'm glad it's getting better," he said. "The only thing that would make it better, though, is pineapple…" He was relieved when she laughed and shook her head at him, her eyes sparkling with humor. He loved it when she laughed, and he wanted her to be incandescently happy tonight. He wanted it to be one of the best nights of her life.
Bastet: Spot the pineapple! LOL This fic absolutely could not be complete without a pineapple reference. For everyone knows it’s all about the pineapple… ;) LOL And the part about Juliet being incandescently happy was inspired by one of my favorite movies of all time, "Pride and Prejudice." There’s a line in the movie about one of the characters being "absolutely, positively, and incandescently happy." I couldn’t resist throwing that in there, for Shawn wanting Juliet to feel that way. And this was also the exact spot where I had the random and crazy idea that Shawn should propose to Juliet, which was a spur-of-the-moment addition to the fic, not originally planned from the beginning.
apple jacks jules: HAHA Spot the Pineapple indeed!! *laugher* And while I honestly don't know how I missed the P&P reference, this commentaire is sure giving me a lot of insight into your individual thought process, the part that is unchanged even by our intense twin-ness :p. But I love the way that you think :).
Bastet: LOL Same on this end! I'm loving the up-close-and-personal look into your thought process, too. Though I must admit that I love how much of what we write is not one or the other of us, just us writing as twins... :D
apple jacks jules: LOL Believe me, girl, you don't wanna know some of my thought process...:p Just kidding. Oh, gosh, yes. It is truly a blessing that we understand each other so well that that becomes possible.
Bastet: Definitely! I must say that I have never enjoyed co-writing more than I have while doing it with you. :) And now, before we freak out our readers too much with our twin-ly mushiness, methinks we should move on... :P LOL
apple jacks jules: You guys aren't freaked out yet, are you? But I suppose that we've blathered on enough for this section...LOL
And, if all turned out the way it was supposed to, it would.
As they danced, Shawn took a few brief moments to look around. Chief Vick was dancing with Lassiter -- or, at least trying to dance with him, because the detective looked as stiff as a corpse and just about as happy; Gus was floating around with his red-haired lady, looking blissfully lost in his own world; and the four women he'd thought were Juliet (but who couldn't even begin to hold a candle to her, in hindsight) were each dancing with their own partners, only one of whom looked remotely happy.
Turning back to his own dancing partner, Shawn was pleased to see that Juliet looked happiest of anyone he'd seen so far that night. Her eyes were shining, her face glowing, and her smile… The ballroom didn't need lights. Her smile was so bright even the darkest corners were illuminated.
The music softly faded away, and as the other dancers paused to applaud the band, Shawn seized his moment. Staring deeply into her eyes as he grasped both of her hands in his, he slowly went down into a kneeling position, feeling as if he were about to burst because of how incredibly happy he was. And yet, his happiness, both present and future, depended on one extraordinarily remarkable woman, and the one word she would say to either complete him or crush him.
"Jules, I know I don't deserve you, not the least little bit. But you've seen me at my best and at my worst, and still you've loved me. I can't even begin to try to make up for that, at least not in one night, but I'd like to give you the rest of my life to try to do so." He drew one final breath, perhaps for courage, perhaps to steady himself. "Juliet O'Hara, will you make me the happiest man in the world tonight and agree to be my wife?"
apple jacks jules: And THIS, dear readers, is the place where Bastet decided to throw the thing back at me, not having told me beforehand about her "random and crazy" inspiration to have him propose to her. So as you can imagine, it was *ahem* interesting to continue :p LOL. But I had fun :).
Bastet: Yes, I am quite the evil little person. LOL But I was just so excited about the idea that randomly popped into my head, I couldn't help but keep it a secret and make it a surprise for AJJ! And I'm very glad you had fun with it -- otherwise I would probably hurt myself for writing us into a non-fun place. LOL On a side-note, it was kind of fun to try to come up for the right words for Shawn to propose with. While he's shown that he can be serious, I didn't want to take it too far and make it seem way out of character for him. So it was fun and kind of nerve-wracking to come up with just the perfect proposal for him and Jules. :)
apple jacks jules: Hey, you're not short; you're fun sized!! O:) And you're not nearly as evil as SOME people who screw up our chats/inspirations :p *glares accusingly at guilty parties* Haha, and a very happily interesting surprise it was, too. Oh, gosh, please. We both hurt ourselves enough on accident as it is; no need to do it on purpose LOL. Oh, really? Well, you did quite well with it :). I ended up semi-stealing lines from a different fic that I was working on at the time for the reply; though it turned out that I changed the other fic anyways. But I think that you picked the perfect words ^_^.
Bastet: Ah, thank you. :) LOL Oh, yes, very true! Many a chat/inspiration session has been interrupted, but we always prevail in the end. Thank goodness for our writing and sanity... LOL I remember you telling me that at the time, but I had forgotten it in the meantime! There's another example of discovering each other's singular insprations...
apple jacks jules: Welcome :). Haha you know that's right. But even that great foe cannot stop us!! LOL I'll take this as a good sign that you forgot ;).
Juliet stared at him, her mouth opening and closing several times like a gasping fish, except much prettier than that. He assumed that she was searching for words, but he almost missed her answer for the whisper that she managed.
"Yes," she breathed. "Oh my goodness, Shawn, yes!" As soon as her answer registered in his brain he leaped up and threw his arms around her. He was aware that people were staring at him, but he could care less at that moment. She'd said yes! She was his! They were going to get married!
Unable to contain himself, he pulled back from the hug only enough to be able to press his lips hungrily to hers, trying to convey all of the feelings that he could never express in words in that one kiss. He was overjoyed when her hands moved up to his shoulders and he felt her kiss him back. He felt light enough to fly.
"Hey, Spencer," he felt Lassie's hand on his shoulder, and wondered if he was intentionally trying to ruin the moment. He reluctantly broke the kiss and looked up at him with his best withering glare. "Don't think that just because you're engaged to my partner now that I'm gonna go easy on you." Shawn broke into a grin in spite of himself.
Bastet: This part is definitely in my top three favorite parts that AJJ wrote. That was just totally classic Shawn and Lassiter, and it's so totally how I would picture a canon situation like this (Shawn and Juliet getting engaged) going down between them. Even if he still wants to throttle Shawn, I think he'd be happy for the bride-and-groom-to-be, anyway. :)
apple jacks jules: Aw, thank you!! *blush* I have to say, Lassiter and probably Henry are my two absolute favorite characters to write for Psych, especially when I can play them off of Shawn (because I doubt that I could do them half as well if he weren't there to make things interesting). And this part was *way* fun for me to write, so I'm glad that it came off the way that it was supposed to :).
Bastet: Oh, that is cool! :)
apple jacks jules: O:) Thanks!
Bastet: Welcome! :)
"I wouldn't think otherwise of you," he said, before turning his back on Lassie in favor of another electric kiss from his fiancee.
In that moment, he was almost sure that he had an actual vision of their future.