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When Harry Met Shawn (2/?)

Still in search of a title. Any ideas welcome

Title: Nothing Yet (temporary)
Fandom: Psych, Doctor Who
Characters: Shawn, The Doctor (11), Amy Pond & special guests
Word Count: 2587
Rating: PG-13
Summary: It's Shawn's first real trip in the TARDIS. The Doctor's decided on London 1920 where nothing really happens. That is until they see Houdini perform and get invited to a seance where things don't go quite right. Shawn's observation skills impress a well-known author of detective stories
Notes: This is a sequel to It's a Gift, A Psychic Detective's Investigation in Wales and Is There a Psychic in the House?. I started posting this over on Psychfic.com and thought it was about time I started over here.

One



Shawn let Amy and the Doctor order the tea. He had always been more of a coffee guy, maybe having the occasional tea with his mom when he was a kid –Lipton or Salada. Past that, he had no idea. Again, it would be put down to him being American, from the wilds of California. New York, Boston and Philadelphia probably being the only “respectable” cities. Chicago might be in the running, too.

As for the food, how could this sustain anyone? The sandwiches, while tasty, were gone in two bites. What he wouldn’t give for some jerk chicken about now, or even a burrito or three. The clotted cream stuff for the little biscuity things was fabulous! He’d have to track that stuff down when he got home. It was like taking a bite of Heaven. It might just be his second favorite edible thing. It made him wonder how it would taste with pineapple.

When they finished, Shawn felt nice and relaxed. He could understand why this tea thing was such a big deal. They left the hotel and the Doctor hailed the first taxi to come by. It was a bit of a tight squeeze, but they all fit inside.

“Where to, guv?” asked the driver.

“The Palladium.”

Shawn and Amy both squealed. He couldn’t believe he was actually going to see Houdini perform live! No one would believe him. Well, maybe Gus. And Dad. And Jules. They were the only ones who knew about the time travel thing.

“I can’t believe this!” declared Amy. “This is fantastic!”

“I want to try and figure out how he does it,” said Shawn. “I hope we can get good seats.”

“We’ll be there early enough to get a decent spot,” stated the Doctor. “He looked out the window. “Do you ever find it curious as to why some buildings are torn down and others of equal beauty and stature are not?”

With that statement, Shawn had to look out at the buildings as they passed by. Not knowing London at all, he couldn’t tell which ones would still be standing in 2010. It was still an interesting question.

“Progress,” answered Amy. “Roads were widened or buildings were just too far gone to be updated.”

“The price of progress,” the Doctor agreed. “It hurts sometimes, knowing that things will cease to exist.”

“It must be especially hard for you,” said Shawn. “You must have seen whole planets end.”

The Doctor’s gaze became shuttered and Shawn wondered what he had said. It’s not like it wasn’t true. Maybe he had seen the end of the Earth and didn’t want to talk about it.

“Here we are, the Palladium.”

Shawn got out and helped Amy as the Doctor got out the other side and paid the driver.

Amy looked up at the building’s façade. “This place is famous. So many people have played here. Will play here,” she corrected. She looked at Shawn. “We’re going to see Houdini!”

“This is epic! We really, really need to get good seats.”

“There’s no such thing as a bad seat in the Palladium,” said the Doctor as he came up behind them. “Now, let’s see what we can find.” He strode over to the box office and struck up a conversation with the woman, something about friends from out of town and wanting to show them a good time. Money was exchanged and the Doctor waved the tickets at them. Feeling giddy, Shawn and Amy followed him inside.

He led them up a flight of stairs. “Great. The nosebleed section,” groused Amy.

They did not go up any more stairs, but went down a side hall and stopped in front of a door. The Doctor motioned for Amy to open it. She did so and gasped. Shawn followed her inside. It was a box, the first one, closest to the stage. Oh, man, this will be perfect!

“A box, Doctor?” Amy sat in the middle seat. “You really are going all out.”

“I thought it would be easier for Shawn to record without everyone staring.” The Doctor plopped down in the furthest seat.

Shawn sank into the closest seat, the one with the unobstructed view. “How did you know?”

“You have the opportunity to record the performance of an icon. Why wouldn’t you?”

“So, you’re not going to say it’s wrong, that I’m risking the space-time continuum by doing this?”

“From up here, no one will see you and, by the time you get home, most of his secrets will be known, so that won’t ruin anything. You just can’t post it online because then people will wonder how you got digital quality film of Houdini.”

“I know not to make this public. Jeez.”

The lights dimmed and Shawn hit record.

*********************************

As the lights dimmed, Amy leaned forward eagerly. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and she was only sorry that Rory couldn’t be here to see this, he’d love it. His name was announced offstage and the curtains parted and a movie started.

“He actually did films in Hollywood,” the Doctor whispered.

That’s a little vain, showing films of yourself. The film showed him in a trunk that was tied up with rope and then thrown off a boat. He escaped and then appeared onstage to roaring applause. But what showmanship.

She nearly went deaf when Shawn whistled beside her. She kicked in in the shin and his hands on the camera didn’t even shake. That was dedication.

“Ow,” he moaned. “That’s gonna bruise.”

“Children, hush,” said the Doctor from his reclined position.

“Why aren’t you watching?”

“Oh, I’ve seen him before. We actually shared pointers.”

“So you know him?” Shawn asked, his eyes still on the stage.

“He won’t recognize me, though. It’s been awhile—for me, anyway.”

“You can’t have changed that much.”

“Believe me, he can.” Amy remembered the Raggedy Doctor and how disoriented he was. He had later explained the process of regeneration, when a Time Lord’s body renewed itself when on the brink of death and his whole outward appearance changed.

The favorite escape of the night for Amy was when Houdini’s legs were encased in stocks and he was lowered head first into a glass tank filled with water. He emerged after forty very long seconds to the great relief of everyone in the audience.

When the show was over, the Doctor took them down the hall and another set of steps to the backstage area. They were told that Mr. Houdini had another engagement and was not seeing anyone.

The Doctor took pen and paper from a jacket pocket and wrote a quick note. “Just deliver this.” He handed the note to the manager. The man blustered but walked towards the dressing rooms.

Shawn started to head off to the stage area to check out the props, but she stopped him. “It’s one thing to be shown the equipment and another to steal a look. If he accepts the Doctor, he might let us see.”

Shawn pouted. “Don’t you want to see?”

“Of course I do. I just don’t want him angry at us because of your curiosity.”

Shawn sulked back to the hall where the Doctor was waiting somewhat patiently. He was poking at a few masks resting on a wheeled table. Now I have to watch two of them.

The manager returned smiling widely. “Mr. Houdini will see you. Please, follow me.”

Amy couldn’t hide her smile at those words. They walked to his dressing room and the Doctor entered like he was greeting a dear friend. “Harry! Wonderful to see you!”

Houdini’s face fell when he saw the Doctor. Obviously not the man he was expecting. “You’re not the Doctor.”

The Doctor sighed. “Here we go again,” he muttered. “Okay. We met in St Louis, January 27, 1908 when you escaped from the milk can for the first time. You showed me some of your tricks. They have come in handy, let me tell you.”

Houdini stared at him as if trying to reconcile his memories with the man standing in front of him. “I always thought there was something odd about you, Doctor.” He shook his hand. “Introductions, perhaps, are in order?”

“Yes, of course. This is Amy Pond. Amy, Harry Houdini.”

Amy shook his hand. “An honor to meet you, Mr. Houdini. I’m such a big admirer.”

Shawn cleared his throat.

“And this is Shawn Spencer.”

Shawn pumped the escapologist’s hand. “I was watching very intently and I must admit I almost didn’t catch when you got the key from your assistant and made the switch.”

“You saw that?” Houdini couldn’t believe someone from the audience had caught onto one of his illusions.

“He’s very observant,” stated the Doctor. “Sometimes it can get him into trouble.”

“Oh, I won’t tell anyone,’ Shawn said. “I know how sacred a magician’s tricks are.”

A clock on a table chimed the half hour and Houdini remembered his engagement and slipped on his suit jacket. “Why don’t you come with me?”

Amy looked at the Doctor, ready to plead her case, but he was grinning. “We’d love to.”

******************************

In the cab to…wherever, Shawn wanted to grill Houdini for tips but caught the glare Amy sent his way so stayed quiet unless spoken to. Something that was very hard for him. The Doctor and Houdini talked of old times as he and Amy listened to them like they were bedtime stories.

“And you, Mr. Spencer, where in the States do you call home?”

“Uh, Santa Barbara, California.”

“That’s not too far from Los Angeles, is it?”

“About 100 miles north, give or take.”

“It’s wonderful out there. Beautiful scenery, warm weather. I believe I could retire there.”

“You couldn’t find a better place.” Argh, this time travel stuff is hard. He’s gonna be dead in six years.

The Doctor caught his eye and gave a small nod of approval.

The cab pulled up in front of what Shawn guessed to be a middle-class neighborhood. The houses were nicely kept but there was nothing Upstairs, Downstairs about them. They all stepped out and Houdini paid the driver before leading them up the steps of number 16.

As Houdini reached for the knocker, the door opened. A middle-aged man stood there with slicked back black hair that was going grey at the temples. He was dressed in a good quality suit, so not the butler, though that would have been cool. He had obviously been expecting Houdini, but his eyes narrowed at the sight of the rest of them.

“Sorry, I’m late. Some friends were at the show tonight and I asked them along. I hope that’s all right.”

“Of course, sir. We can always find room.”

He ushered them to the dining room that was lit solely by a large candle in the center of the long table. The four of them found chairs and squeezed in around the table. Shawn and Houdini sat opposite each other near one end of the table while the Doctor and Amy were nearer the other end. Shawn grinned once he realized they were at a séance. I’m at a séance with Harry Houdini! He didn’t think there was anything that could top this.

“If everyone would hold hands with their neighbor.” The medium was a woman around his mother’s age and wore a very sedate dress that was of indeterminate color in the dark. Her hair was pulled back into a bun and she wore very simple silver earrings. Not the picture he had of a medium at all.

Shawn took the hand of a woman that looked like somebody’s grandmother on his left. On his right was an older, portly gentleman who looked like he enjoyed the good life of the well-to-do.

“I will first call upon my spirit guide and he will help us with any spirits who wish to contact us.” She began to chant and Shawn could barely decipher the words. The candle flickered and Shawn felt a slight chill. He discretely looked around until he found the source: an air vent in the wall near the ceiling. They were all around the room. He couldn’t tell if it was part of the act or not, but the timing was too much of a coincidence otherwise. Someone could be at the controls and switch it on at the right time. He knew there were lots of ways to fake a séance – he had even done it himself.

There was a low moan from the medium and Shawn turned to look in that direction but couldn’t see anything due to the poor light. That was until a pale, glowing mist appeared to float over her shoulder. The woman holding his hand gasped and gripped him tighter but didn’t faint. No one seemed to know what to do. The mist moved around the table until it settled above the Doctor. It glowed really bright before breaking apart and vanishing.

As if a spell had been broken, everyone began talking at once. The Doctor stood and walked to the nearest lamp and switched it on, bathing the room in a warm glow. “Well, that was interesting.”

The medium took a deep breath. “There are refreshments set up in the parlor,” she stated. “I think we all need something calming.”

“Ideal.” The Doctor helped the medium stand. “Tea is known for its relaxing properties. It will give us all the chance to process what we’ve seen with others who have shared the experience.”

“You speak like one of those therapists,” said the man who had sat next to Shawn. His accent was similar to Amy’s.

“I did spend some time with Sigmund in Vienna, but this has nothing to do with that. It’s just that if you speak of this to someone who hasn’t seen it themselves, they’ll think you mad.”

With this put so simply, they all started discussing the event. Houdini was questioned from all sides.

The Doctor pulled Shawn and Amy off to one side where they could talk more openly. “Was that really a ghost?” Amy asked.

“The last experiences I had with ‘ghosts’ have been aliens.” He didn’t look all that happy.

“Well, that gives a whole new twist to Ghostbusters.”

“It could explain why it went to you,” Amy said as if Shawn had never spoken. “They didn’t know we were coming and couldn’t have set it up beforehand.”

“The cold air was staged,” said Shawn. “I spotted the vents. I think there was something planned, but that wasn’t it. The medium was just as surprised as everyone else.”

“Speaking of everyone else, Shawn, what do you make of our fellow guests?”

Shawn looked around the room and saw mostly middle-class people with a few upper-crusters there to see what all the fuss was about. They all got more than they bargained for. He began rattling off details about each person based on what he saw in one of the most severe cases of verbal diarrhea he had ever suffered. When he was done, he realized the man who had been sitting next to him at the table was looking at him. Shawn looked at Amy and the Doctor in case he had said something detrimental.

The man walked over. “Pardon me for overstepping, but I couldn’t help but hear what you just said. I’ve only seen such a thing only a few times but not with such detail. It is quite impressive.”

“Thank you, Mr…”

“Forgive me. Conan Doyle. Arthur Conan Doyle.”

Three

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