Episode 1: The Weed Commotion
"How do you think logically, but illogically enough to follow everything I do?" Shawn asked, stretching out on the grassy hill.
"Simple I use the power of observation." The teenage girl snapped her bubble gum, she was sitting on a set of monkey bars in the park. Her black converse covered feet swinging back and forth like a small child on a "big kid" chair. She had short, spikey, brunette hair and burning green eyes.
"The power of observation?"
"Your supposed psychic powers is the same, you are just extremely observant with a high capacity of thinking quickly." The girl jumped down and began to walk away.
"Hey, what's your name?"
"Pay close attention and you might just figure it out." She looked back over her shoulder and winked before disappearing.
“Get in here Spencer,” Chief Vick called out into the police department.
She had already assembled her head detective, junior detective, and a newbie in her office. The newbie was facing away from the rooms occupants however and the only thing anyone could make out about her, was her converse tennis shoes swinging along the carpeted floor. Shawn’s eyes snapped to the movement, taking in the color of the shoes. He blinked and looked back up at the police chief. Carlton Lassiter narrowed his eyes in Shawn’s direction.
“What’s up?” Shawn asked, swinging himself over the back of a chair to land perfectly upright in it on the other side. Gus rolled his eyes in exasperation, Chief Vick chose to ignore him.
“I have assembled you all together as a team to introduce a new member. She’s a trainee and will need a lot of help. I have here the case you all will be working on, it doesn’t make a lot of sense so I figured our psychic could give it his best shot.” She set the case folder down on the edge of her desk and Shawn reached out for it uncertainly, pulling the front cover open.
“This is a gardening case?” Juliet asked, leaning over Shawn’s shoulder to get a look at the contents of the case.
“Give me that,” Carlton took it from the psychic’s hands and examined it. “Why would we need to solve some case about missing weeds?”
“The gardener was murdered and his weeding business needs to keep running. He however didn’t have a next person in charge and a few people are wanting to pick up the command post. No one knows what he did with the weeds after the job was done. His work appears to be clean so we want to figure out exactly why he was murdered. I expect you all to put your full effort into this case. This is your new team member, Sen.”
“Hello Shawn,” The chair swiveled around to reveal a woman. A tall woman wearing loose street clothing. Her top was a Hogwarts fringe shirt over a creamy tank-top, a white pair of cargo shorts, and black converse. Her arms and neck sported the solid black lines of runes from a recent book series. She was grinning broadly, standing she was around five foot ten inches, her converse adding maybe a half inch.
“I’m sorry, but do I know you?” He appeared to be confused.
“You’re a smart boy, I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” Sen grinned at him and he pointed, unsure of whether he should speak or not.
“Train her in the field and come back with a solved case.” Chief Vick waved the set of people from her office and Carlton narrowed his eyes at the newbie.
“What is with all this stuff on your body?”
“What, my drawings?” Sen raised an eyebrow at him.
“They’re markings from one of my many fandoms.”
“Yes well, things here in Santa Barbara are run a little different from your fandoms. Next time, keep them under your clothing.” Carlton warned.
“Yes sir.” Sen agreed, a smile sliding across her face.
Shawn was sitting in the passenger seat of Gus’ little blue smart car, looking over the case file he had snuck out of Lassiter’s bag as they made to leave. He appeared to be looking at the case for clues, but Gus knew better and he wasn’t about to prompt his normally noisy friend into talking. He enjoyed silence between them every once in a while.
“Do you remember that Sen from anywhere?” Shawn looked up from the gray folder to look at Gus who was resolutely staring out the front windshield.
“Nope, not a single bit of her. She certainly seems to have a whole stack of information on you though.”
“That’s what’s worrying me, how is it she knows me and what I do and I don’t know a thing about her. I’m sure the Chief didn’t fill her in on anything.”
“Perhaps it’s a good trade for you considering now you have something to do besides be a show off.”
“Since when have I been a show off?”
“I’m not in the mood to deal with you right now Shawn.”
“What are you upset about to be acting like this,” Shawn narrowed his eyes. “You do know Sen!”
“As if I’d be stupid enough to forget her, it’s no wonder she’s making you figure it out on your own.”
“Gus,” Shawn complained.
“Give me back my file Spencer.” Lassiter demanded once they had pulled up outside the crime scene and walked onto the lawn.
“It’s not like you were using it.” Shawn held it out and Lassie took it as a sleek black car pulled up behind Gus’ blue smart car.
It was a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier, the paint glinting brightly in the sunlight. Lassiter looked annoyed at the vehicle and started to walk towards it until they saw who stepped out. Sen looked insanely professional compared to how she had been in the office before being given a case. Her shirt had become a fancy blue button up with collar, the marks on her neck were gone, Shawn’s eyes flashed to the small smudge of foundation on the collar of her shirt, and she had her hair pulled back into something of a pony tail. Her converse had transformed into high heeled boots with dark colored flare jeans.
“Sorry, I couldn’t find any suit pants.”
“How did you change so quickly?” Juliet looked surprised at her changing skills, only pulling up moments after they had.
“I have clothes, make-up, and food in my trunk.”
“Planning on living in your car?” Juliet asked, she didn’t even have snacks in her car and Carlton would never allow it in the cab.
“Well, since I currently don’t have an apartment and I showered at the station this morning, yeah.”
“Why don’t you come room with me then, I have an extra bedroom. It’ll make a lot of it easier for training.” Juliet grinned. “Plus we can split rent.”
“Is this really the time to be discussing living arrangement O’hara?”
“Not anymore,” She muttered under her breath as they began moving towards the door of the house. Forensics officers were wandering around the room gathering DNA swipes and evidence.
Shawn looked at the front lawn where there was a small tear, it looked as though someone had been pushing another person, his eyes flashed to the sidewalk where a barely visible skid mark from a tennis shoe could be seen. As they walked up the porch, Shawn almost froze, on the door was the faint lines of a hand, it was fresh as the oils from the skin hadn’t had enough time to fade. The first corner inside the house was what Shawn noticed first, a small spot of blood was about six feet up on the wall and it looked fairly recent, just below it part of the paint was chipped and it looked slightly bubbled as though one could peel more off the wall. He turned back to the door and stared at the carpet, there was too much dirt there to really tell if anything had happened and he frowned. Lassiter was talking to the officer who had placed the white tape on the carpet around the body which was now gone. It looked much to still and perfectly laid over being shot as the victim had.
He made his way into the kitchen behind Lassie and Juliet, Sen was already in there looking through the cupboards. Shawn opened the fridge but saw nothing interesting.
“Here, have some chips.” Sen told him tossing him one of the small bags from the pantry she had been raiding. Shawn caught it and made to open the bag but Gus hit it out of his hand.
“Gus,” Shawn whined.
“It’s not appropriate.” Gus told him with an annoyed expression, Lassie was far too used to this to really mind and Juliet ignored their strange behavior on site most of the time.
“It’s not like he’s going to be eating it anyway,” Sen shrugged her shoulders, an open bag of Spicy Chipotle Sun Chips in her hand. She put another one in her mouth and crunched it loudly for Gus’ benefit. Shawn picked up the bag he had been given and held it out of Gus’ reach as he opened it and began to eat.
“What are these?” Shawn asked pointing to the line of filled jars on the counter.
“I think it’s spinach, John always said he had a passion for canning.” Michael, one of John’s workers with blond hair, explained as he entered the kitchen. “I never really questioned it, having a food storage has never been a bad thing.”
“Right,” Shawn looked away from the bottles with a smile. “Tell me, what’s your favorite color?”
“Okay Spencer you’ve had your fun, best to leave this to the professionals now.” Carlton smiled serenely, pulling Michael away for further questioning.
“What was that Shawn?” Gus demanded once the police had retired to another room.
“That is not spinach, look closely here, they still have the roots and there’s a variety of leaves in each jar.”
“So this has got to be the weeds he’s been keeping from all the jobs they do for people.”
“You really think he brings them home and boils them down just to put them in jars. That is such a waste Shawn.”
“Well then, I’m just going to have to find some more evidence.” Shawn grinned then moved across the linoleum floor swiftly and silently.
He reached out and opened the door to the basement, quickly moving downwards into the bowels of the house. Gus followed reluctantly behind his friend, the cord for the light dangled at the base of the stairs and Shawn pulled, lighting up a scene he never would’ve guessed. Spread across the whole of John’s basement was a professional drug brewing system with a little moonshiner in the corner and possibly what looked like bathtub gin in the other.
“Evidence!” He whispered happily exploding his fist against Gus’.
When they returned upstairs Michael was just getting ready to leave as were the police. Shawn grinned and then fainted against the front doorway.
“Oh, it’s all so bright Gus. Do you see the pretty colors?”
“What the heck is this Spencer?” Lassie demanded; Sen was grinning from ear to ear. He was still the boy she knew from all those years ago.
“I can see it now, a need for extra cash. Oh,” Shawn staggered across the front lawn, eyes closed and pointing towards the ground. “There, in the basement moonshine, bathtub gin, drugs. Druggies swarming the house late at night looking for a smoke, looking for weed.”
“Are you meaning to tell me John was a ring leader for a drug heist?”
“No not a heist, the jars on the counter. They’re filled with the weeds from his main job. He’s selling them to drug addicts, he doesn’t know. Weeds and weed are not the same thing, he’s excited at the prospect.”
“You have got to be kidding me,” Lassie had his hands on his hips and was glaring Shawn down.
“Check the basement.”
“Come on,” Juliet led the group back into the house and down the stairs into the basement; at the end of the stairs was everything as Shawn had described it. Empty and filled jars lined the old wooden shelves around the room. A moonshine machine was stuffed to the brim with weeds from people’s gardens as was the drug brewer and a bathtub.
“This can’t be serious, how does someone mistake weeds for weed?” Sen asked picking at some of the weed still in a large, black garbage sack.
“It seems like this case just got ranked a little higher on our to-do list.” Juliet sighed, Lassiter sent a small glare her way in response. Shawn was trying not to crack a smile as he watched his discovery unfold a new twist in the previously almost finished case.
“There’s been another development in your case Lassiter.” Chief Vick called from the doorway of her office just as the group was gathering to leave for the second day on site. “It appears as though there was a paired suicide with the weed investigation, one of the people vying for head was found swinging from her chandelier this morning. It ties in nicely with the original case so I’d suggest going there first this morning.”
“Damn it,” Lassiter swore. Shawn, who had just walked in with Gus and Sen behind him, smiled.
“Alright, another one bites the dust.” He lifted a fist to bump it with Gus, but the man was shaking his head disapprovingly. “Not appropriate? Really? Come on, now it means we’re on a murder case.”
Shawn was looking around the room, it seemed extremely odd that there we so many pictures of John around the room. It appeared as though the woman, Sarah, was completely obsessed with her boss. No one in their right mind could be this involved with one man then kill themselves because they died, it would be a prime time to move on. Especially considering she had challenged her co-worker, Michael, for the CEO position of the small weeding company. Upon closer inspection, Shawn noticed the thing layer of dust on the shelves was not normal, where each picture stood there wasn’t a cleaner spot, it all looked the same. At some points, there were small scratches in the surfaces of various frames and stands; judging by the way little slivers of wood still poked upwards, it made sense the pictures had been placed their recently rather than having stood there for long periods of obsessed time. This was also a lot of pictures for a recent attachment to a long standing boss.
“She was murdered,” a voice said from the doorway, it was surprisingly firm and the group turned to see who was there.
“Excuse me?” Lassiter snapped, eyes widening in an attempt to exert his power.
“Sarah was murdered, I know it.” It was a taller gentleman, in his late twenties, with dark brown hair which curled into a nice and easy pattern.
“And how do you have proof of that?” Lassiter demanded, Juliet rolled her eyes at her ridiculous partner and stepped forward.
“How about we sit down and you can explain your reasoning for this belief.” The man nodded and they took a seat on Sarah’s floral patterned couch. Shawn was still standing next to the fire place and was watching the group, he wanted to jump in but wondered if the beginning was truly the right part. Just as the man made to open his mouth, Shawn spoke.
“The pictures don’t belong here do they?” Juliet turned to him in surprise, Shawn sounded surprisingly mature and it was strange. The man seemed startled by how quickly Shawn had figured it out, he made to say something else when the usual Shawn seemed to appear continue on. “I’m a psychic, things just sort of pulse around me, whispering things.”
He wiggled his fingers and Lassiter, who had also been surprised but didn’t want to admit it, rolled his eyes and turned away from the childish man.
“He’s right, the pictures don’t belong to Sarah, Sarah was my girlfriend and I’ve been in her house almost every day for a year now. I’m sure I could locate a few pictures to give proof of the fact Sarah couldn’t have killed herself because her boss was killed.”
“How are you not more emotionally distraught?” Juliet asked without thinking. “Sorry, Mr.-”
“Mr. Birch.” Juliet finished with an awkward smile. She stood quickly and headed over to the forensics team who were still taking different samples.
“If you could search for those photos and collect them, then bring them by the station whenever you’re available. It’d be appreciated, it might even help us identify who the culprit is if the pictures are in fact placed her recently.” Carlton told him taking a professional stand.
“Yes sir, I will work on that as fast as possible for you.”
Shawn was suddenly craning his neck as he looked out the window to the covered, but open garage. There was a little black something moving on the very edge, if he was right in his assumption, then Sarah had a security camera which might have filmed the entire event. Sliding into the kitchen through the open extended doorway, he searched for the area which would lead him up to a bedroom where he could find a computer which might have the images from the camera he had spotted outside. Just as he reached the top landing, having found the stairs just outside the second kitchen door, Gus appeared at the bottom of the stairs and started hissing at him to come down the stairs.
“I think she has security camera images,” Shawn mouthed.
With a huff and glare to the side, Gus made sure his path was clear and raced up the stairs to follow Shawn. There was not one up there, which made their job easier. Stealing away, they located the first computer in what appeared to be Sarah’s bedroom. It was messy and a laptop was left sitting open on her bed, the battery flashing saying that it was dying and would go into a power down state. Working quickly, he tapped the screen out of the warning bar and quickly located the security icon. He pulled it up and started rewinding to try and access the time of the murder. Moving in the background of one of the cameras was a figure in a dark jacket, wisps of blond hair were visible, slipping out from under the hood.
“Gus, that’s it, I think I know who murdered John and Sarah.”
“You do?” Gus looked at him in surprise, he made to turn the laptop towards his partner when Lassiter entered the room with part of the forensics team. He quickly shut it while it was still out of site and shoved it under the messy covers.
“What are you doing in here Spencer?”
“I was channeling the spirit of Sarah,” Shawn said flicking his hand in a stereotypical female way. “She has a wonderfully soft bed and was looking for a nap.”
“Get out,” Carlton snapped and Shawn and Gus quickly exited the room.
“Why didn’t you tell him?” Gus whispered in a demanding tone as they walked across the front lawn towards Gus’ small, blue smart car.
“Because I need further evidence which points towards the person who murdered Sarah also murdering John. We’re going back to John’s house, hopefully we won’t meet the murderer there.”
“Are you even sure your theory is correct?” Gus asked as they turned onto the street where John’s empty house now stood. Shawn craned his neck to try and get a good look at the house before they got there. Faintly, in the window he could see a dark figure moving around and he waved to Gus.
“Slow the car down, I’m calling Juliet to let her know we have the culprit and will stall him as much as possible.” Gus obeyed, his limbs were already shaking in fear as the car crawled towards John’s house. “Pull into the neighbor’s driveway,”
“Hello?” Gus could hear Juliet on the other side of the line.
“Hey, I know where your murderer is at, I’m going to try and stall him and figure out his exact motives.”
“Where are you at? Don’t just go throwing yourself into danger Shawn,” Juliet sounded worried and for a moment, Shawn’s heart fluttered lightly.
“Aw Jules, I didn’t know you cared so much.” He could practically hear her rolling her eyes. “We’re at John’s house, get her as fast as you can.”
“Shawn has Sarah’s murderer, he says the person is currently at John’s house and he’s trying to apprehend the criminal himself while we get there.” Juliet announced as soon as she was off the phone with Shawn.
“Shit,” Lassiter swore.
Sen, Juliet, and Carlton all took a dive for the front door, managing to get out without a collision as they raced for the main cop car. Juliet was clutching her cell phone in her hand, praying they would make it in time and nothing would happen to either Gus or Shawn. They were racing through the neighborhood, the lights flashing and sirens wailing. People jumped back from crosswalks as Lassiter pushed every light to make it to John’s house. As much as he hated to admit it, he really did care for the psychic, the department wouldn’t be the same without a man as smart as Shawn on their side.
Shawn and Gus were sitting underneath the windowsill, they could the murderer moving around inside. Gus was whispering over and over to himself as they attempted to move along and figure out exactly what the man was doing inside where he would carelessly make such a large racket. Shawn gently placed his fingers on the edge lip of the windowsill and pulled himself up to look in and see where, his main suspect, had disappeared to. Not spotting the criminal, he gently tested to see if the window was locked. Pleased to find it was open, he pulled it upward and Gus made a small whining noise.
Rolling his eyes, Shawn shimmied in through the small space, luckily Gus followed behind him without any complaint and when they heard footsteps, they quickly hid behind the overly long curtains by the window. Shawn could see the build of the figure through the curtain, but he was frustrated that he couldn’t see his hair color. He wanted to confirm his suspicion about the murderer and the motives for doing it. In a stroke of pure luck, the man started whispering to himself and Shawn immediately knew who it was.
“Where’s the money, he had a whole stash of it. Selling common garden weeds to pot heads, the idiot. Wouldn’t even let me in, hadn’t meant to kill him. Got to get the money.” Shawn could see Gus just barely visible staring at him with shock written all over his face. Taking a deep breath, Shawn watched as the figure walked away from them and up the stairs. Gus was clutching his phone in such a tight grip Shawn though it might break from sheer pressure.
“Where is Lassiter and Juliet?” Gus hissed so the other occupant wouldn’t hear them.
“They’re on their way, we have to stall him as long as possible before he gets away with the money.”
There was some loud thudding footsteps as the man came down the stairs, Shawn waved for Gus to stand back slightly. The murderer turned the corner and stopped in his tracks when he saw Shawn and Gus, the former of the two coughing lightly. Michael’s eyes widened drastically and he moved to hide the large red duffle behind him.
“So you work out at the gym often?” Shawn asked just as the door burst open revealing Lassiter, Juliet, and Sen, along with some of the other Police Officers who had seen fit to follow the head detective.
“Michael is the murderer?” Juliet sounded confused and Lassie made to put away the gun he had drawn upon entry to the house, but Shawn collapsed against the wall to push up the dramatics.
"I can see it now," Shawn announced placing his fingers to his temples. "There was John, taking weeds and turning them into a disgusting pile of wet weeds for people to smoke. He was making a little extra cash and his buddy Michael over there found out about it. He wanted in on the dough,"
"What, that's crazy." Michael was shifting backwards ever so slightly from the police.
"John however didn't want Michael to know his secrets and he refused. So Michael followed him one night home from work. He snuck into the house behind John because he had managed to figure out the electronic garage door pass code. John was in the basement and didn't hear Michael coming. Michael however crept down the stairs only to discover what had become of the weeds from their job, he yelled out, confronting John on the matter. Things got rough, John was thrown into the stair pillar, they stumbled through the front door where Michael attempted to push John back into the house. John was just trying to escape-he made a run for it and attempted to close the door, Michael slammed it open however and it hit John who crumpled to the floor. John made to get up but Michael pulled a gun and shot him, he didn't know what to do, so he moved John's body to the front living room and left him there. He was in such a rush however he forgot to close the garage door back and make the body look like it had fallen there after being shot. Michael knew he would have to think up a cover story, so on his way home he decided he would go to the house in the morning like usual and then call the police." Shawn was pacing around the front living room. "Here on the floor was John, right where Michael had left him. He unlocked the front door and staged a scene of how he came to find his friend.
"He however wasn't expecting the others on the job to be suspicious of him. Sarah challenged him for the head position and Michael felt threatened, so he decided it wouldn't hurt to finish her off too. He crept into her unlocked house in the early hours of the morning and sent her swinging from the chandelier. He didn't think anyone would suspect it, a coincidental suicide. Yet it still didn't look right, so he planted pictures of John around her house to make her seem in love with him-what he didn't count on though, was of Sarah already having a boyfriend. A boyfriend who knew her house and knew the pictures didn't belong to her, and so the plot became even stickier. Especially when he wasn’t aware that Sarah had security cameras planted in areas where they could film easily, but would be hard to notice. If you check her computer the videos are all there.
"You knew the jig was up and so you had to make a run for it. You came back to the house one more time and found the money drawer where John kept the funds from his fake drug selling crime. The police showed up however and you were caught red handed trying to make a run for it, you said you were merely coming to collect a few of your things you had left here."
"I was, this is just video games I let him borrow." Michael clutched the duffle closer to his chest.
"Why don't you show us what's in the bag then, Michael?" He ran.
The glass in the door was busted out as he crashed through it, not wanting to bother with having to open the door. Lassiter tore after him and tackled him to the ground, Juliet not too far behind. Sure enough, when the duffle was opened, stacks of money stared up at them. Juliet pushed a strand of hair back from her face and smiled up at Shawn, he had once again solved a crime.
"So Shawn, do you finally remember who I am?" Sen asked, sitting herself on her brand new desk in the Santa Barbara Police Station. Her legs were kicking back and forth and she had yet to actually wear formal police gear to work, which annoyed Lassie to no end, yet he didn't bother to bring it up.
"You're that girl from the park the logical smart one who just went along with everything I did." Shawn replied, watching Juliet take phone calls across the hall. “I totally knew who you were from the start, just so you’re aware.”
"You know, I think I'm going to have fun working on the team with you guys." Sen told him pulling out a pack of gum and popping a piece happily into her mouth.
"Tell me, how do you get along so well with Lassie when you don't even follow his rules or dress code?"
"Simple, Lassie likes me because I'm smart and think like him. Therefore I get a slide, I also can put up with you which is something he can't quite handle, so he admires me."
"Huh," Shawn glanced at her. "I'll see you on the next case then."
"Three days Shawn,"
"The next case it'll happen in three days, wait for the call.""How can you say-" Sen was already gone however, she was now talking to Lassie about who knows what, a smile cracking on the hardened Head Detective's face. Juliet waved bye to Shawn as he left the Police Department to head back to Psych. He had a feeling he would never be able to understand Sen.