We've Got the Biggest Ball of Them All.
Juliet walked to the door nervously then turned right back around again. She was almost halfway to her car before she decided that she just couldn't stall anymore, she needed to get this over with. Gathering her courage once again she headed back for the door. Pausing in front of it, her hand hovered over the doorknob. Oh, just do it already, you wuss. She berated herself. You did this to yourself.
Finally, she put her hand to the door and began to pull it open.
“Hey!” a voice suddenly called out from right behind her. She jumped in surprise and instinct took over. Whirling, she instantly whipped her hands around and grabbed her perceived assailant by the wrist and twisted his arm backward until she had a firm hold of him from behind.
“Ah! Ow! Ow! Ow!” He called out.
Just as soon as she caught sight of the familiar backside of the brown haired man she currently had in her grips, she began to stammer an apology.
“Oh God! Shawn!”
“I'm so sorry! You scared me there for a second.”
“Ah...yeah, I didn't mean to startle you... Really. Remind me to never do that again.”
“I thought you were...it was just a reaction.... you know?” she babbled.
“Yeah, I get it..... Ah, ow....Ya think you could let me go now?” He asked in pain.
“Oh yeah....Sorry.” Suddenly realizing that she was still holding Shawn's arm to his back, she let him go, nervously trying to laugh it off and feeling like a complete idiot. He had a way of always doing that to her.
“Hey no problem, what's a little assault between friends?” He joked rubbing his arm with a goofy smile before taking a bite from a cup of frozen yogurt that was stacked on top of another cup of the cold treat with a lid.
“At least I have the mad skills not to drop these.” He said of the desserts held in one hand. “C'mon Let's get inside before Gus's frozen yogurt melts or I'll never hear the end of it.”
He pulled on the door handle and held the entrance open with his behind as they walked into Shawn and Gus's office. In the far corner of the office the television set was on and the opening credits for Halloween were playing. In front of the TV, Gus was leaning and rocking on the back two legs of a chair with his back to them as they approached.
“Gus!” Shawn spoke out loudly and his oldest and best friend jumped, the already precariously leaning chair falling backwards and completely dumping its unfortunate occupant to the floor in a heap.
“Shawn! God! Quit sneaking up on me like that!” He complained as he got up, picked the chair up and crossed the room. “Especially on cheesy 80's scary movie night!” As if finally noticing that they had a visitor, Gus gave a little wave and a small smile in greeting to Juliet.
“Hey Juliet.” said Gus.
“Hi Gus.” She replied with a little wave of her own. “Don't worry, you're not the only one Shawn has been sneaking up on tonight.”
“All I said was 'hi' and you went all super-ninja-chick on me. It was like a scene from Kill Bill.”
“I said I was sorry.” She came back.
“Hey I thought you were going to wait until I got back to start the movie.” Shawn whined to Gus, pointing to the TV.
“It's only the opening credits and it's just a jack'o'lantern with the music playing, you're not missing much and besides it's not like you haven't seen this movie before.” Gus snatched the frozen yogurt out of Shawn's hand and took a bite.
“Ugh!” Gus made a disgusted face as he tasted the frozen confection. “This is pineapple. I asked for banana strawberry.”
“That's because that one is mine.” Shawn swiped the cup out of Gus's hand and swapped it with the one in his other hand. “This one is yours.”
“Oh...Thanks.” Gus took the cup and frowned looking down into it. “Hey, this is half-melted.”
Shawn turned to Juliet with a sigh and a roll of his eyes. “See, what did I tell you? He's very particular about his frozen yogurt.”
“Yeah, Shawn. I particularly enjoy it if it's frozen.”
“Picky-picky.” Shawn threw his hands up in defeat and addressed Juliet once again, “So, wanna stay for some cheesy 80's horror movies? We've got Halloween up first, followed by A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. Ooh and let's not forget about Chucky” He held up a DVD box and waggled it with a big smile lighting up his face. Juliet couldn't help but grin and shake her head.
“Actually, I came here to see if you guys could help me out with something.” She began.
“Oh? A case? That would be great, we are running a little low on cash this month.....” Gus began.
“Oh, it's not a case.” Juliet interrupted apologetically.
“It's not?” Gus asked.
“No....ya see...” She started wringing her hands. “It's kinda a....personal favor...like...thing” She stammered.
“Name it Jules, you know we'd do anything for you.” Shawn assured her and Gus nodded.
“Okay.” She took a breath, thinking of the right words she needed. “You know how there is this annual police ball every year?”
“Sure, my dad always complained about having to go to those things.” Shawn agreed.
“Well, everyone in the department is invited and all police officers are required to attend.” She took a deep breath. “Anyway, Carlton seemed to think that I didn't have a date to the ball, which I didn't, but was beside the point....and he asked me to go with him.” She made a face that made it clear how she felt about that.
“Lassie asked you to the ball?” Shawn asked making a grossed-out face. “What happened? Did you throw up a little in your mouth? I know I would have.”
“No Shawn, but I did panic and I lied. I shouldn't have done it, but I told him I already had a date and I blurted out the first name that popped into my head.”
She found herself babbling once again to the two men, gesturing nervously with her hands. “It would just be a friend kinda thing, you know.... nothing serious....I just need someone to accompany me so I don't look like the loser that couldn't get a date to the ball and had to go with her partner.”
“Ahhh.... I see.” Shawn began with a knowing smile, pretending as if he wasn't actually about to jump all over the invitation. She knew he was playing around when he said “Well, I'd be glad to help you out Jules, really, but my tux is at the cleaners and I already have so many engagements.....”
Shawn was surprised when Juliet shook her head and gave him a light punch to the shoulder.
“I didn't say it was you, silly.” She began and turned to Gus with a sheepish smile “I told Carlton that Gus was taking me.”
A nearly full cup of pineapple frozen yogurt fell to the floor as did one pharmaceutical rep's jaw. Seeing the look of utter shock on Shawn's face, Gus couldn't help but feel a little triumphant. It wasn't everyday that a woman chose him over Shawn, even if it was just going to be a date between friends. He stood up a little straighter and gave Shawn a smug grin. Smiling brightly to the young and attractive blond policewoman, he bowed slightly.
“It would be my honor to take you.”