Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended, and no money is being made from this story.
Author's Note: As I said in the summary, this is a one-shot that assumes a few things: (1) Shawn's secret is out; (2) any legal ramifications of Shawn's fraud have been handled; and (3) Shawn has been allowed to come back and work with the department as a "normal" consultant. I don't want to handle those issues - there are plenty of interesting stories that have done just that. Lots of stories have then gone on to examine what happens when Shawn starts consulting again, and in those stories the emotions from the people around Shawn run the gamut, from anger to betrayal to disappointment and back again. It seemed to me, though, that there was an emotion I didn't see much of (though it's out there, if you look), and that thought is what birthed this little snippet. I hope you enjoy.
It was ironic, really. When he worked as a psychic, no one was afraid of him, even though most of the department didn't really believe him. Oh sure, a few of the cops absolutely believed that he could talk to spirits, but the vast majority thought he was a fake, a fraud, even if he didn't know it himself.
The thing was, as long as he was billing himself as a psychic and as long as they thought of him as such, even if they didn't believe him, they didn't think about what he really was. They didn't try to figure out how he was solving crimes. It was strange, really - they were certain he wasn't closing cases the way he said he was, but it didn't occur to them to find out how he was really doing it.
Human nature is weird, sometimes.
Meanwhile, he had a whole department of people who were willing to indulge him a bit and laugh at his antics because they weren't afraid of a fake psychic. Who could be? Now, if he really WERE psychic, that would be creepy, but he wasn't, so everything was fine.
But now they knew. Now they knew exactly how he did what he did...
...and it frightened them.
Because, in their own way, Shawn's abilities were every bit as mysterious as those he professed as a psychic...but these were real. There was no dismissing his talents now - every single person in that building believed Shawn when he said he solved cases using a combination of observational skills, logic, and memory.
Observational skills that put even trained, experienced detectives to shame.
Logic he used so quickly and with such precision that he was always six pages ahead of everyone around him.
Memory that trapped and held every detail and never, EVER let it go.
They didn't understand his psychic gifts, but they didn't have to, because those were fake. The problem was that they didn't understand his actual gifts either, and we always fear what we don't understand. That level of mental agility was so far beyond their comprehension that it boggled the minds of everyone in the department, leaving them feeling unsettled and suspicious when they were around him.
What does he see when he looks at me? they wondered. Will he remember it a year from now? Two years? Ten?
Can he tell what I'm hiding?
From a fake psychic, their secrets were safe. From an almost preternaturally capable detective, nothing was ever safe.
And, as every cop knows, no one is more dangerous than the person who knows your secrets.