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When Harry Met Shawn (5/?)

Title: Nothing Yet (temporary)
Fandom: Psych, Doctor Who
Characters: Shawn, The Doctor (11), Amy Pond & special guests
Word Count: 2512
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 TwoThreeFour




As they had walked down the street, the Doctor constantly interrupted Amy as she reported what she had learned. He was quiet in the cab, leaving him and Amy to talk to Sir Arthur about his writing.

They pulled up in front of the Hegston residence and Shawn could see a mourning wreath adorning the front door. The Doctor came out of his thoughts and rubbed his hands together and smiled.

“I think you need to show a little more sympathy,” said Amy. “I know you’re excited, but they have just lost a family member.

The Doctor immediately looked like a chastised child. All that was needed was a “Yes, Mother”.

“I believe they have already had the service, so we should not be intruding,” said Sir Arthur, stepping away from the cab.

“All you hear is gossip at funerals and wakes,” stated the Doctor. “Everyone goes on and on about how wonderful the deceased was. You can’t get any good information when everyone lies.”

“And afterwards, the family has had time to reflect and come to terms with the death,” commented Shawn as he followed the Doctor from the cab.

“The seven stages of grief!” Amy exclaimed.

“Now who’s excited?”

Amy only glared at the Doctor.

They walked up the steps and let Sir Arthur take the lead once again. A young maid opened the door and looked overwhelmed at the four people on the porch. “How may I help you?” she enunciated slowly and carefully, most likely trying to hide her normal accent.

“If you would please tell your mistress we are here to make enquiries in regards to her husband’s death,” Sir Arthur said gently.

The maid opened the door wider and showed them to a hideously over-decorated room just dripping in red velvet. It was just honestly too much to take in. Amy didn’t think all that much of it either. Shawn walked around the room looking at all the knick-knacks that seemed to cover every table and shelf. It was like an old-fashioned episode of Hoarders.

He was the first to spot Mrs. Hegston as she stood in the doorway. She was youngish, maybe in her late forties, and her dress was fashionable yet all black. Her light brown hair was pulled back in a loose bun. Despite the severity of her clothes, she was a beautiful woman.

“My maid tells me you are here to investigate the death of my husband.” Her voice was calm, no tremble in the timbre.

“Do pardon the intrusion, Mrs. Hegston. I am Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and this is Miss Amy Pond, Mr. Shawn Spencer and the Doctor. We are here representing the The Ghost Club.”

“You wish to prove that the séance is not what killed Gerald.” She sat stiffly in one of the armchairs.

“That isn’t strictly true,” said the Doctor. “We want to find out what caused his death.”

Shawn sat in one of the very hard, barely-stuffed chairs opposite her. “How was Gerald acting when he came home? Was there anything noticeably different?”

Mrs. Hegston was hesitant to talk about such things. “It would help us narrow things down,” Amy coaxed.

Mrs. Hegston took a deep breath. “When he came home, the only thing I noticed was that he seemed preoccupied, that there was something heavy on his mind. At dinner, he was quiet and barely ate a thing. Gerald usually told me of work or what happened at the séance. Not that I believe, but it made him feel better. I asked him if he were unwell and he answered that he was tired. After dinner, we normally would sit in the drawing room where he would read the newspaper while I did needlework. That night, I told him to go to bed and I would be up later as I wasn’t tired. When I kissed him good night, I could see he was flushed and he felt like he was running a fever.” She broke down at that moment. “I didn’t realize it was the last time I would see him before…”

“You kissed him good night,” said Shawn. “He passed away knowing you loved him.” It sounded schmaltzy he knew, but people usually regretted last words or parting on an argument.

Mrs. Hegston took some deep breaths and nodded at Shawn. “Thank you, Mr. Spencer, that is some consolation. I just feel I should have done more.”

“There was no way you could have known it was a serious illness,” soothed Amy. “Gerald didn’t even realize anything was wrong.”

“Who found him?” asked the Doctor.

At least he didn’t say “the body”.

"Jenny did in the morning. She was preparing the fire and opening the drapes. She turned and saw him.” Mrs. Hegston shuddered. “I can still hear the poor girl’s scream. I came running from the guest room and saw him lying on the bed. What we could see of him looked horribly burned, but there was nothing else to suggest a fire. His face was contorted in such pain. I wish I had been with him so he hadn’t died alone.”

“That’s quite a puzzle,” the Doctor agreed as he headed for the doorway.

“Where are you going?” called Sir Arthur after him.

“To the bedroom. I assume nothing has changed since…”

“No, but--” Mrs. Hegston rose from her seat and looked to the hall.

“Doctor!” Amy chided.

Shawn jogged after him. “Don’t you think you should’ve asked first?”

“Oh, like you ask,” the Doctor said as he reached the second floor.

Shawn had no witty comeback for that because he did barge in a lot. “I thought manners were a big deal now.”

“They are. Amy and Arthur will smooth any ruffled feathers while you and I take a gander at the scene of the crime.”

Shawn couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face. He kind of liked someone else taking the reckless yet decisive leads. He was now the Gus of this duo, though he didn’t argue every little thing.

He followed the Doctor down the hall, peering into rooms as they passed. The Doctor entered the last room on the right. Largest bedroom facing the backyard: master. Shawn could still smell smoke, but it wasn’t from the fireplace. There was an underlying scent, something different. He walked in slowly, eyes scanning. The heavy drapes were pulled tight. H wanted to open them right away, but the Doctor held up a hand.

“No. We need to see what it was like before, why no one realized.”

“Okay. The fire would have been low, maybe even out. The bed is completely dark. The maid would have set down the stuff for the fire before going to open the drapes.” Shawn went to the drapes. “She might have been talking about the day, asking after his health.” He opened the shades with a jerk. “She would have turned around and seen him lying there. Then she screamed.”

The Doctor was examining the side of the bed closest to the door. Sitting on the night table was his watch and a pitcher of water with a glass. The Doctor took out the sonic and rand it along the bed. It made a soft whirring sound. “Oh, yes, definitely our alien. Hegston’s body couldn’t handle the ‘departure’ and it burned.”

“But there’s nothing on the covers or pillow. Wouldn’t that kind of energy leave some marks? There were scorch marks on the floor by his seat at the séance.”

The Doctor turned down the covers to expose the sheets underneath. There wasn’t an exact outline, but there definitely were marks. He also flipped the pillow. “They didn’t do away with the signs, just hid them.”

“Good thing for us.” Shawn felt at a loss. This wasn’t giving him anything. They already had the cause and a suspect. “Since they’ve had the funeral, there’s no chance of looking at the body ourselves. I don’t think we’d be able to get it exhumed without a really good reason.”

“Probably not.” The Doctor straightened. “We need the autopsy file.” He headed back downstairs and went straight for the front door.

Shawn paused at the entrance to the parlor. “Sorry, but he’s ready to go. Um, thank you for your time.” He rushed out after the Doctor, not knowing where he’d get to or what trouble he’d get into. God, I really am becoming Gus.

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

When the Doctor and Shawn had run upstairs, Amy had wanted to run up with them. But she realized that would not fit the persona she was trying to present. She could tell that Mrs. Hegston still had Victorian ideals and a young woman running about would upset her even further. So she had stayed in the stuffy parlor and she and Sir Arthur got Mrs. Hegston to talk about her husband. Amy learned how they had met, what her family thought of the match. Sir Arthur found out why Hegston was into spiritualism. Apparently, he was trying to talk with their only child, Edward, who had died during the flu pandemic in 1918.

“Gerald was very ill as well and felt guilty that he had survived when Edward did not. I believe that need to speak to Edward, to confess to him how he felt, drove Gerald to spiritualism. He still went to Sunday service with me, so he had not completely turned from God.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Amy saw Sir Arthur bristle at the idea that spiritualism was a pagan or heathen belief.

When she had heard feet running down the stairs, she knew it was the Doctor. He had breezed right by them to the front door, but Shawn had stopped with a quick apology before following.

Mrs. Hegston sighed, most likely thinking of the poor manners of those who worked for the public. Amy knew she had lost all the credibility she had just built. “I apologize for the Doctor, Mrs. Hegston. When his mind is…engaged, social niceties go out the window.” She stood. “Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us and allowing them to see where it happened.”

Sir Arthur also stood and handed Mrs. Hegston his card. “I know this has been a trying time for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you remember something else.”

“Thank you, Sir Arthur, Miss Pond, for looking into this further. I’m sorry I could not be more helpful.”

“His death is still fresh,” Amy said. “A grieving mind has a hard time focusing on the everyday. It’s all right.”

“We’ll see ourselves out.”

Amy walked with him outside and looked down the road where she spotted the Doctor and Shawn halfway down the street. “What is he up to now?”

“Looking for a cab to take us to our next destination.”

Amy tried to figure out just what that would be. They had just seen where the death happened, so the next logical step was… “The morgue. We can’t look at the body, but we should be able to see the files.”

“Surely a young lady such as yourself shouldn’t be looking at something so gruesome.” Sir Arthur was appalled.

Amy smiled and wrapped her arm through his. “You should know by now that I am far from conventional. I’ve seen worse than a dead body.”

At that moment a cab pulled up alongside them. “C’mon, Pond!” declared the Doctor as he opened the door for them. “We haven’t got all day!”

Amy sighed as she climbed into the cab.

Sir Arthur closed the door behind him. “Where are you rushing off to?”

“The morgue,” the Doctor replied. “We need to see the autopsy report and it’ll be easier to see it there than to try and get it via the police.

Sir Arthur looked at Amy but she only smiled. “I may be able to get you access.”

“I don’t think that will be necessary, Arthur, but thanks for the offer.”

“After we reach the morgue, I will need to take my leave of you as I have a prior engagement this afternoon.”

“There’s no need for you to apologize,” Amy told him. “I’m glad you took the time considering you only met us last night.”

They arrived at the morgue and said their farewells to Sir Arthur before heading inside the grim building. No one even tried to stop them. As they got deeper inside, the smell of decay and bleach assaulted Amy’s nose and became stronger with nearly every step. It didn’t seem to bother the others. The Doctor she could understand, but how was Shawn overcoming it?

The Doctor stopped and peered through a partially-open door. It was an office with a couple of desks and file cabinets. “This seems the obvious place to file a file.” He strode in, sat at one of the desks and began to search through the folders on its surface.

Shawn walked to the closes cabinet and checked the labels on the drawers. “This goes by date. Last week, right?”

“Yeah,” Amy answered nasally. “The tenth.”

“Pond.” Amy turned and caught the small container tossed at her. “Just put some of that under your nose.”

Amy twisted off the lid and could smell the menthol. At least it’s better than eau de dead body, she thought as she rubbed some of the gel under her nose.

“Got it!” Shawn brought the folder over to the desk and began to spread out the photos. They were rather detailed and from practically from every angle. Some were at the scene and some were from the morgue. In the latter pictures, you could see the clear line between the burned and untouched skin.

“He looks like he was scalded!”

Shawn was studying the pictures, re-arranging and comparing from both sites. “No blisters,” he remarked.

“Exactly,” the Doctor commented, not looking up from the file he was reading. “However, this says there were blisters on the inside.”

“I would’ve liked to have seen that.”

Amy looked at him, wondering why he would want to see the inside of a dead body.

“What? It’s different,” he said in response to her gaze.

“What are you doing in here?” demanded an authoritative voice.

They turned to see a tall man wearing a white jacket over a dark suit. This must be the pathologist.

“How did you get in here?” he asked as he entered the office. “This is a restricted area. And that is a confidential file!”

The Doctor fished the psychic paper from his inside jacket pocket and held it out for the newcomer to read. “There you are, all present and correct.”

“My apologies, sir,” he said after reading the paper. “We had no word of your visit.”

“Yes, well, we had hoped to be in and out without causing and fuss.”

“We were only brought in on this case last night,” said Shawn.

“An American?”

“Don’t let his looks fool you, he can be quite smart. Now, what can you tell us that isn’t in your report?”

Six

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