"Okay, now we have to hit the Hippy Magic Bus tour before lunch, then we head to the Aquarium by the Bay this afternoon!" Shawn crowed happily, clutching multiple brochures in his hand, trying to organize them by coolness and by which he wanted to do first.
His girlfriend Juliet, strike that... fiancé Juliet, had finally gotten some time off after three weeks of solid cases at the San Francisco PD where she was the newly hired Head Detective. She'd been in Santa Barbara almost the entire time she'd been in the state, and Shawn would be damned if he didn't take the opportunity to help her experience all the city had to offer.
Juliet sighed, throwing the last of her vendor hot dog away. "Shawn, we've already been at Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge historical tour, and the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum tours in the last two days!" Shawn counted them off on his fingers as Juliet named them, and nodded in approval.
"Yes, and those were great. Now let's hurry, the bus leaves in−"
"What I'm trying to say, Shawn, is that we actually live in San Francisco now. We don't have to see everything all at once." Juliet put her arm on his. It tended to ground him slightly, and let her get his attention easier.
"But Jules, the Chief only gave you a few days off and I wanted to spend some time with you."
"The Chief gave me some time off to get you settled, not to have you drag me around town to every tourist attraction you could." He gave her a pout that could melt hearts, and she gave in. "Listen, I'll go with you on the bus tour, but you have to go with Gus or something to the Aquarium. Deal?"
"Deal." Shawn's pout was gone, replaced by a beaming smile. "Now let's go! I want to make sure we get some of the John Lennon glasses they have for sale before they're gone."
Juliet threw her hands up in frustration. "Ug! You're impossible!"
An hour later they were in a tie-dyed, flower laden, bus that was currently passing through China Town and blaring Jefferson Airplane tunes through the speakers. Shawn was sporting a purple tinted pair of round sunglasses and Juliet had a floral wreath around her head.
"Don't you want somebody to looooove. Don't you need somebody to looooove!" Shawn lightly elbowed Juliet until she smiled and finally started to sing along. "Wouldn't you love somebody to love!"
Shawn smiled as Juliet held the last note longer than anyone else on the bus. He was glad she wasn't really mad that he was wanting to go so many places since they both actually had some time off. It wouldn't be as fun to go alone, plus it would give him a lot more time to think about the person who'd once promised to take him to all the places and more, years ago.
While Juliet looked out the window and listened to the guide, Shawn pulled out a book from the bag he'd taken with, and since stuffed with more trinkets and doodads from their adventures than it should be able to hold. The title read, "San Francisco: A tourist's guide to the Golden Gate City." It was slightly worn from years of use and age but in surprisingly good condition for where it's been. People had thought him strange on his travels for carrying around a guide to San Francisco, especially when he was in the middle of South America, but it was the last thing he'd received from his grandpa and it was special to him.
Despite carrying the book everywhere he'd gone after high school, he'd never once actually gone to San Francisco and used it, until now. Shawn knew Gus would have gone with him if he'd asked, and spouted off every single boring fact about every single landmark, but he'd waited for the right person. Now here he was, with his fiancé in tow, really exploring the city for the first time.
"What's that?" Juliet was looking at him now, and at the book in his hand, slightly wrinkling her nose. "You didn't buy it off of some guy outside of that haberdashery shop did you? It looks used."
Shawn smirked and shook his head. "My grandpa gave this to me when I was fifteen. It was right before he−" He couldn't finish, but he knew Juliet would figure out why. "Anyway, he promised to show me the city when I came up and visited, but with my dad working so much we never got the chance until it was too late. Jack picked this up for him, and he read it to me in the hospital."
"That was really nice of him to do for you." Juliet smiled, looking over the book with a new appreciation.
"Yeah. He was awesome."
She sat up straighter in the bus seat and looked at him. "Is this why you've been so gung ho about seeing the sights?" Shawn reluctantly nodded.
"I've been waiting a while to do this. It's stupid I know but−" This time, it was Juliet who wouldn't let him finish. She put a hand over his mouth and chuckled at his muffled attempts to still talk.
"It's not stupid. It's really sweet." Shawn stopped trying to talk, and just smiled. "But Shawn, we have a lifetime to see everything. It doesn't need to happen in three days..."
Before Shawn could make his argument, Juliet's phone rang. The tour guide gave her a slightly annoyed look for the noise, before continuing her monologue. "It's the Chief." She explained before picking it up.
Great. Just when we were having fun. Shawn pouted, and made sure Juliet saw it. The only reaction he got was the expected exasperation that he knew that she had to take the call.
"Detective O'Hara." Juliet stated before listening. Shawn couldn't quite hear what the Chief was saying on the other end, but by Juliet's expressions it wasn't good. "Okay, I can be there in fifteen minutes.... okay. Bye."
"So, duty calls? I thought she was giving you three days off."
"Three days as long as something didn't come up, and something came up." Juliet explained, getting her items together. Shawn sighed and she squeezed his hand reassuringly before going to the front of the bus to talk to the driver about letting her off early as Shawn very obviously pouted in his seat.
An hour later, Shawn arrived at the Aquarium of the Bay. Gus was already there excited and waiting. He quickly handed over the gift bag he'd gotten his friend on his tours which included orange prison shorts from Alcatraz and a purple pair of hippy sunglasses. Gus slightly wrinkled his nose at the prison shorts, which Shawn knew he would, but he loved the sunglasses and immediately put them on as they walked in the door. "Awww yeah."
"Smooth as ever Gus." Shawn grinned as they passed a group of ladies who did their best to hide their laughs.
"Whatever Shawn. I'm not here for the ladies this time, I really wanted to see the Box Jellyfish display they have this week." Gus snatched the shorts from Shawn and quickly headed for the bathroom to change in case he got wet.
Shawn grinned at the back of Gus' head. It was an unexpected, but good distraction for his plan. He didn't want to tip Gus off too early or the sheer volume of pleading would definitely get at least one guard's attention. Luckily though, since it was a Thursday, there were few tourists and the guards looked a lot more relaxed and friendly.
That's exactly what Shawn had been hoping for.
It wasn't two minutes before Gus bounded out of the bathroom and grabbed his arm. "Shawn, come on! I want to see the box jellyfish when they're feeding them!" Shawn let Gus drag him towards the jellyfish and the octopus aquarium first after passing through a glass tunnel filled with so many colorful fish and coral that Shawn really hoped he wasn't about to get them kicked out for life.
"Shawn, did you know that there are thousands of types of jellyfish, and most are poisonous?"
"Yeah, isn't the cure for that to pee on the sting?" Shawn absentmindedly stated, still casing the security and gauging their response time. A couple of kids overheard and giggled while their parents gave them both disgusted looks.
Gus gave an apologetic smile and grabbed his arm, dragging Shawn away from the small group. "Shawn! You can't say stuff like that around kids. They're impressionable!"
"Why not? They live next to the ocean and need to know these things." He raised his voice so the parent's could hear. "Are you saying that you want the kids to be in unbearable pain and have no idea what to do about it?"
The stares were immediately shifted away from him and onto his stuttering companion.
"No no no! I didn't say that..." Gus tried to placate the angry parents and explain himself.
Shawn took the opportunity to slip away. Maybe it's better that he isn't involved. He slinked towards his quarry, finally able to see the free standing open tank and the stairway leading to the top.
Shawn had actually come here secretly a few times to plan everything. Part of the reason he wanted to go with Juliet this afternoon was to do a dry run, but after being disappointed by having their date cut short, Shawn knew the only thing that would cheer him up would be to ride a dolphin.
Once and for all.
"Almost there..." He'd just started to lift his foot onto the metal stairway when a hand grabbed him from behind and spun him around.
"NO! I knew there was something up! Please don't do this again Shawn."
As predicted, Gus started his argument right as a guard was going by. By a complete miracle, he hadn't heard a word and waved at them smiling as he passed by. Shawn smiled innocently and waved back, waiting until his back was turned before hissing at Gus, "Would you keep it down! You're about to ruin everything." His tone softened at Gus' worried chocolate features. "I've got this all planned out. I'll go in Leonard Nemoy style, communicate with the dolphins and be out before anyone notices."
Gus raised a finger, his features going from worry to anger. "First off, you are not Leonard Nemoy. Secondly, did you even see that Star Trek movie? Everyone saw him in there and he got caught."
"True, but I'm going in anyway." Shawn pointed out, bolting up the stairs to the top of the tank. Looking down into the water of the tank, he was mildly surprised that the cute marine mammals hadn't come to the surface to greet him yet.
Gus hesitantly came halfway up the stairs and peered into the tank. "Shawn, why do you think this tank would have dolphins?"
"Gus, don't be the bad pâté in Ace Ventura. The sign down there clearly says: 'Dolphin observation tank Saturday through Tuesday.'" Shawn rolled his eyes, wondering just how low Gus would stoop to get him to not do this. He bent over and started to take off his sneakers.
Widening his eyes almost comically, Gus pointed to the sign. "But it's Thursday Shawn! That means there are Dasyatis Americana in there!"
Shawn signed but still took off his last shoe and stood up. "Making up words to scare me isn't going to work this time. I'm going in, and you can't stop me."
"I didn't make it up, Shawn! Dasyatis Americana are sting rays!"
In the time it took for the words to register, Shawn was already starting to jump for the dive. Oh crap! He pin wheeled his arms, trying to keep from falling into the water.
Like a true wing-man, Gus was already close enough to grab him. "Oh no you don't!" Gus shouted and managed to grasp a flailing limb. Unfortunately, when pulling Shawn back, Gus lost his own balance and let out a scream while falling loudly into the tank himself.
Shawn slammed down hard on his rear end on the concrete edge and stared in horror as nothing but bubbles floated to the surface. "Gus!"
The commotion sent the rescue team running with poles just as Gus finally made it back to the surface. "Get me out of here! I don't want to get skewered!" His hand slipped off the pole a couple times before he was finally able to get a solid grip.
"C'mon, that's it buddy!" Shawn grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled, helping Gus up onto the landing.
"I'm really going to kill you this time, Shawn." Gus gasped out, still breathing hard from his panic but finally safe on the landing.
Both of them looked up as a security guard approached, looking livid. "Sir, I'm going to ask you to come with me."
"See Shawn! I told you that you'd get in trouble. You never listen to−" Gus obviously didn't realize they were talking to him at first, but as they both got up, two more guards flanked him. "What? Me? But−"
"We saw you putting on shorts in the bathroom, sir." The first guard said and took him by the elbow. "Usually people come here with shorts already on... unless they are planning something. Please come with us."
"Wait, you got it all wrong. My friend got me these from Alcatraz." Shawn stared in shock as Gus tried to explain himself again, pointing to the blaze orange shorts that said 'INMATE.'
"I don't think you're helping your case buddy." Shawn whispered as he walked along side them down the stairs. As concerned as he was for Gus, he was more concerned what Jules was going to think about it when she found out. He looked over and saw on the display of a guard's cell phone that he was already calling the police. Oh man.
"There!" Juliet smiled as she finished up the last bits of the paperwork from her investigation this afternoon. It didn't take long because the whole situation ended up being a false report. It ended up that a man was mad at his neighbor, so they claimed the other person was a murderer. With how close in proximity some of the houses in San Francisco were, angering your neighbors was not a good idea. As usual though, the paperwork took her longer than going to the call in the first place.
"O'Hara." Juliet looked up as Chief Karen Vick walked into her office. The older woman wore a mirthful smile. "Just finishing up?"
Juliet could immediately tell there was something up, but played it cool. "Yeah, no murder this time, but if Mr. Jenkins keeps making false reports, his neighbor might just become a murderer just to get him to stop."
Karen huffed humorously as she handed the Head Detective what was obviously a report. "One more thing before you go. We just got a complaint from the Aquarium by the Bay about a man trying to jump into one of their tanks."
The blood rushed to her head as she heard the chief's words. "Oh no..." Juliet groaned and put her head down on the desk. "It's Shawn isn't it?"
"Actually, the report says it is someone named Burtron Ganster."
Juliet read it herself just to make sure. "Gus?! There's no way." She looked up at Karen, who looked more amused than angry.
"If you're finished, could you please go down to the aquarium and make sure everything is okay with our consultants?"
Juliet grit her teeth hard enough to crush diamonds as she stormed out her office door while trying to ignore the fact that her annoyance seemed to tickle the chief's funny bone even more. "No problem. I was wondering that myself."
Back at the aquarium, Gus was being interrogated in their back offices. So far they hadn't tried to take Shawn back, but they were watching him like a hawk. He felt really bad his friend had taken the rap for his dumb stunt, again, but was fully prepared to throw him under the bus if need be. He's already in trouble for it anyway, so it's no use if I get in trouble too. I'll just make sure to pay for lunch next time and he'll forget about the whole thing.
All his thoughts and planning came to a screeching, jackknifing halt when he saw his fiancé's face as she came into the front office door. Oh, I'm so dead. "Jules! I can explain−"
"I'm not even going to talk to you right now." Juliet grumped as she brushed past him to talk to the head of security. "Hello, I'm Head Detective Juliet O'Hara. I hear you are holding one of our consultants?"
She reached out and shook the man's hand. Shawn got more than a little leery at the smile the guard gave her, but knew he'd be in even hotter water (no pun intended) with her if he played the jealous boyfriend right then.
"I'm very sorry this happened, and I'm sure this was just a huge misunderstanding." She explained. "You see, he just loves fish, so much..."
Later on, after getting punched in the arm way too hard by Gus and being ignored by Juliet, Shawn was feeling about ten inches high. It was already time for bed by the time they got home after Juliet finished her shift at the station. He'd made eye contact with Karen while waiting there, and all he got was a half smile and a headshake. At least she wasn't going to be holding any grudges, hopefully.
Shawn contemplated sleeping on the couch when Juliet barely looked at him when he followed her into the house, but she hadn't pushed him away either so decided to get into bed. He'd had enough of the doghouse the year before.
Just before he dozed off, he felt a hand on his shoulder pulling him onto his back. He didn't resist and ended up looking Juliet right in the eyes. Far from being the "sexy time" look she usually gave him in the bedroom, her gaze was serious and intense.
Oh, man. Here it comes. Shawn knew he deserved every bit of the lecture he was about to get, but it still didn't make the thought of it any more pleasant.
"Shawn, I'm really upset about today."
He nodded, "I know but Jul−" She stopped him with a huff of annoyance and continued.
"I'm a cop. I need you to understand that I can't always be there to watch you. If we're going to be married and make this work, I'm going to need your help."
"I'm sorry. I didn't think. I'll do better, I promise!"
Juliet sighed. It was even worse than if she'd yelled at him. "You are a smart man, Shawn Spencer. I need you to slow down and be that smart man."
Frowning, he nodded. She was right. He'd made a lot of promises when he proposed, and he was going to have to start living up to them. However, the one about getting a connecting pool with Gus wasn't going to be so bad.
"Shawn, I've lost you haven't I?"
He blinked and brought his attention back to her. "Sorry."
"Please promise me you won't do anything like that again."
"I promise I'll try..."
Juliet frowned. Shawn knew his answer wasn't good enough, but he'd promised to be honest with her but it wasn't what she'd wanted to hear. She rolled away from him to her side of the bed. He'd expected that reaction, but what he wasn't expecting was her to roll back over with two printed tickets in her hand. They were for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. It was a theme park only an hour north with rides and wildlife encounter tours.
"These are for you and Gus, I bought and printed them when we were at the station. He told me why you went to the aquarium and I figured I'd get riding dolphins out of your system so I wouldn't have to do this again in another four years." She gave a wry smile and Shawn returned it with his own sheepish grin. "You could have just asked too." Juliet said seriously, putting the tickets into his hand. "Being honest with me also means telling me before you do something crazy, not after."
"Scout's honor. Thank you Jules." He leaned in and gave her a kiss. "You know me so well."
"Not as well as I'd like to, but I'm willing to learn more." The statement sent a pang of guilt through an old wound. Juliet was still learning about the real him, but at least she was willing. He gave her a long, well deserved kiss before turning the light off and snuggling further into her embrace.