`October 15, 1994.
17 year old Shawn Spencer’s first reaction when his mom told him she was leaving was to get angry. He wanted to scream and demand why she hadn’t told him earlier, instead of choosing the day she would walk out the door to say anything. But looking into his mother’s eyes Shawn just couldn’t. It wasn’t her fault after all, it was Henry who was really making her leave. Right?
“Mom, you know you don’t have to go,” he said softly, “he can’t force you to.”
She just shook her head. “Goose, you know this has been a long time coming. And it is not only your father who is making the decisions around here. This is my choice.”
“Don’t lie to me mom. I’m not blind; I know what’s going on here. I know what he’s doing to you.” It sounded dramatic, even to him, but there was no way that Shawn would believe it was his mother who was doing the damage by leaving. It couldn’t be her fault; it was never her fault. It was always, always Henry.
“I don’t think you do Goose,” Madeline said gently. “Now I have to go pack, but we can talk about this later okay?”
Shawn wouldn’t look at her. “There’s nothing to talk about.”
October 15, 1995.
Shawn knew he was going to be caught. Deep down he did. Henry wasn’t a bad cop, after all, he would figure it out. Unfortunately Shawn couldn’t say the same about his fathering abilities. It seemed almost perfect too. A way to send dear old Dad the message that his son was never going to be a perfect model cop like him, and if that wasn’t enough, make it physically impossible in the process. Because if there was one thing Shawn was sure of, it was that, family or not, his father would arrest him.
So when Shannon Presnell, a twenty year old senior who had repeated tenth grade twice, asked Shawn if he wanted to go out for a drink and then for a little spin in her neighbor's car, of course he said yes. It was the master plan.
Naturally, it didn’t feel as great as it should have. Even taking his bike out on the open road as soon as he was out of jail, and leaving Santa Barbara for good didn’t have any of the joy Shawn had imagined. After all, he had been dreaming about this day ever since October 15th the year before. And yet, why did it feel like Shawn was leaving behind the best things in his life, when it should have been the contrary?
October 15, 2000.
Shawn wasn’t quite sure why he kept up the tradition of his. The one where wherever he was, no matter how much he liked the people or place, October 15th was the day to run. Maybe it was a remembrance day for his mom, sort of like Martin Luther King day. Not that she was dead, just in another country, but still. Or maybe it was just to remind himself not to get too attached to people; that it would only hurt in the end. Regardless of the reason, it was October 15th again, and Shawn was ready to run.
October 15, 2006.
Shawn wasn’t going all the way that year. No, he had too much to lose. Gus, Psych, Jules, even his dad. So no, he didn’t leave Santa Barbara like he should have per tradition, just went to the city limits, contemplated it, and then turned around to go back. There was damage done however, because for the first time since 1994, Shawn had almost made plans that day. Buzz McNabb had called on the tenth, and their conversation had gone something like this:
“Buzz! How are you, man? What’s up?”
“Hey Shawn! I was wondering if you were free this weekend for something.”
“All I got is back to back John Hughes movies to watch, so if you can plan around those, my book is wide open.”
“Cool! Because I was thinking of doing something on the 15th for-”
“Not available, sorry.”
And he hung up.
Juliet smiled widely. This was so amazing of everyone to throw her a surprise birthday party like this, especially when she had only been in the department for less than a year. There was someone missing though. Someone, who, despite her slight coolness towards him sometimes, was still her friend and should be here.
“Buzz, did you invite Shawn?” She tried not to sound too anxious.
“Of course I did.” Juliet’s shoulders relaxed with relief. “But he told me he wasn’t available and hung up. Strange.”
“Oh.” She tried and failed to hide her disappointment.
For the rest of the night, Juliet felt slightly less happy as the party went on, wondering the whole time why her favorite psychic detective hadn’t come.
October 15th, 2011.
“Shawn, are you ready yet? The party starts in five minutes!”
Juliet went into the room to find her boyfriend not even changed, sitting on the bed and staring down blankly.
“Shawn? You are coming right?”
He looked up at her, putting on a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Of course I’m coming Jules. 29 is a very important age, you know. Last year of your twenties, the time to do crazy stuff before you sink into the maturity that’s expected of thirty year olds. Why would I miss it?”
Choosing to not make a remark questioning Shawn’s “thirties maturity”, Juliet replied, “Well, you haven’t come to any of my other birthday parties since I met you, and you’re just staring at the ground instead of getting ready.” She moved over to the bed to sit down next to him. “C’mon, what’s going on?”
He sighed. “October 15th is just- well let’s just say it’s a pretty hard day for me Jules. It sucks that you had to be born on it.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” She looked up at him with big blue eyes, and Shawn couldn’t find it in him to say no.
“Well, it may be because of the fact that October 15th happens to be Tito Jackson’s birthday, as well as yours, and yet, nobody seems to care. I mean, come on, it’s Tito Jackson!”
“...Or it might be the day that my mom packed up and left me alone with my dad seventeen years ago, you take your pick.”
Juliet nodded, she understood the pain of a parent leaving. Unsure if her boyfriend was willing to share more, she pushed a bit, speaking gently. “So what do you do every October 15th after that? Talk to your mom?”
Shawn shook his head. “I take my bike and drive it right to the city limits, consider running like I did back in the day.”
“But you never do.”
“No, I don’t,” Shawn murmured, reaching a hand under Juliet’s blonde curls and caressing her cheek gently. “Because I remember all the people I have here, and what it would mean for them if I left.”
Juliet smiled ever so slightly, and a comforting silence fell over them in the tender moment.
“So,” she said after a minute or two, only not nervous because she already knew the answer to the following question, “are you going to do that again this year?”
“Nope,” Shawn answered, pressing a light kiss on his girl’s forehead. “I’m done running Jules.”
October 15th, 2020
“Shhh, Daddy, stop being so loud,” Shawn’s four year old scolded him as they tiptoed into the bedroom where Juliet was sleeping peacefully, and he smiled in amusement. “Mommy’s gonna hear you.”
As if on cue, Juliet stirred, blinking sleepily at the sight in front of her. Shawn and Millie were each holding trays filled with breakfast food ranging from bacon to Apple Jacks.
“Happy birthday!” They both shouted happily, little Millicent hopping into the bed next to her mom.
“Do you like it Mommy?” She asked hopefully.
“I love it, Sweetheart,” Juliet said sincerely, through a mouthful of cereal. Normally she would have never been able to be treated to something like breakfast in bed at ten o’clock on a work day, even if it was her birthday, but due to the fact that she was eight months pregnant, and had been (reluctantly) put on bed rest, these were special circumstances.
Shawn grinned from ear to ear. His wonderful wife and daughter (who was a spitting image of himself, except for Juliet’s blue eyes and blonde hair) happily eating breakfast in bed together was a sight he would have never thought to behold. But here it was. Everything was perfect. His mom and dad were even coming over for dinner later to celebrate their daughter in law’s birthday, along with Gus, Lassiter, and Chief Vick. Yeah, maybe October 15th wasn’t such a horrible day after all.
Author's Chapter Notes:
I've had this idea since figuring out that Juliet, being a Libra, could have a birthday on the same day that Shawn's mom left. I hope people like it!
Psych not mine.
Psych not mine.
Chapter End Notes:
Reviews would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!