Disclaimer: I don't own psych, I don't own House, and no copyright infringement is intended, but this was a lot of fun to write.

Rating: T for little teeny hint of an adult theme

Summary: Dr. House has a chat with Karen Vick and her team, and goes head-to-head with Shawn Spencer.






Karen Vick didn't exactly need this to clutter up her day, but she had to admit it was interesting.

Two scruffy men were seated opposite her desk, with Lassiter and Gus observing their interaction. Buzz McNab was blocking the door.

One of the scruffy men was Shawn Spencer, in his worn jeans and probably-seen-better-days pullover green shirt, sporting his usual I meant to shave yesterday, really I did fuzz.

The other scruffy man, older by more than fifteen years, also had worn jeans, and a slightly more advanced I meant to shave, except really I didn't fuzz. His faded t-shirt read Megadeth, but by virtue of wearing a suit jacket over it, he'd spiffed it up considerably. (Not.)

Shawn said, "I'm… sensing… you've been in pain for a very long time."

Dr. Gregory House said, "I'm sensing you're an idiot who somehow figured out there might be a reason for a man to use a cane."

"I sense this," Shawn went on smoothly, "because your cane is scuffed and your shoes have uneven wear."

"I sense," House retorted, "that you spend way too much time on your hair, which is really interesting since you don't appear to have actually brushed it recently."

Behind him, Lassiter snickered.

Shawn said testily, "And if you looked in a mirror, you would sense that your hair is—"

"This is all very interesting," House interrupted, "but I'd like to go on with my pathetic life now." He stared at Karen. "I gave you my statement about the attempted mugging. You're lucky I gave that. It's not like he succeeded."

"That's true," she agreed. "But it we wanted to speak with you about a different matter."

"Like what? And why does it take three cops and these hangers-on to ask me some follow-up questions?" He mock-leered. "Is my mighty cane that impressive? I promise I registered it with the Bureau Of Lethal Weapons."

Karen counted to three. "We looked you up, Dr. House, and discovered you have an outstanding warrant from your last visit to Santa Barbara for a medical conference. That's why you're here now, right?" She opened the folder. "Specifically, you were charged with trashing your hotel room, nearly electrocuting a housekeeper, and—"

"She probably had it coming. What housekeeper?"

Shawn was staring at him. "How bad was the room service that you had to electrocute the maid?"

"Nearly electrocute," House corrected him. "And I didn't. Nor did anyone attempt to contact me about that."

Karen smiled. "Registered letters were sent to you."

He shrugged. "Mail gets lost all the time."

"Not that kind of mail. The point is, the hotel would like restitution, and if you cannot make restitution at this time, they want you arrested." She smiled again, and this one was genuine.

Gus said, "Could we go back to the housekeeper?"

"Who are you goons?" House demanded.

Karen held up a hand before Shawn could speak. "I apologize. The only person who is supposed to be here is to your left, my Head Detective Carlton Lassiter. These gentlemen are consultants who barged in, as they often do."

"Shawn Spencer, head psychic," Shawn said brightly, offering his hand.

House ignored it. Lassiter muttered, "As if the SBPD has other psychics."

"And this is my associate, Delicious Shiv—"

"Shawn!" barked Gus. "Burton Guster." He kept his hand to himself.

House was greatly amused. "Psychic my ass."

Karen sent a preemptive glare to Lassiter, but was too late to stop a second snicker before he pulled himself together. "The man at the door is Officer McNab. He's here in case you decide to go berserk with your cane. Mr. Spencer and Mr. Guster tend to be screamers, and Detective Lassiter may not be able to stop your exit in time if he's being deafened."

Buzz said, "Uh, hi," somewhat uncomfortably.

As if Karen hadn't spoken, Shawn said mildly, "That's very close-minded of you, Dr. House. One would think that a learned man such as yourself, who understands that the human body and mind have great mysteries yet to be discovered, would—"

"I'm a proctologist," House said bluntly.

"Eww," Gus muttered.

"Actually, Dr. House, my file says you're a leading diagnostician."

Shawn whispered to Gus, "Do we know what a diagnostician is? And is it impressive?"

"Yes, Shawn."

"Leading?" House echoed. "I don't lead. I conquer."

"Don't you have to lead to conquer?" asked Gus.

"Who would I be leading if I conquered you by whacking you over the head with my cane?"

"You'd be leading your own path to our best jail cell," Lassiter suggested. Karen approved of that.

House started to get up, but Lassiter put himself smoothly between him and Buzz at the door, so he subsided. "I didn't trash a hotel room. There may have been some… minor wear and tear but nothing out of the ordinary, and I never saw a housekeeper."

Karen consulted the file. "The room's electrical facilities were serviced and maintained two days prior to your stay. Upon your departure from the room, a housekeeper attempting to plug in a vacuum cleaner was nearly electrocuted when the outlet shorted out."

"And how is that my fault?"

"The outlet had been stuffed with cheese popcorn and tinfoil."

Shawn was impressed. "Dude, that's messed up. What did you have against the maid?"

House stared at him. "Can't you sense it?" He turned back to Karen. "They can't prove I had anything to do with that."

She held up another piece of paper. "The in-room snacks consumed during your stay included three packages of cheese popcorn, and a crumpled sheet of foil was found in the bathroom wastebasket."

He rolled his eyes. "Speculation."

"Photos," she countered, and showed them to him.

"What were you trying to do?" demanded Gus.

"What do you have against psychics?" Shawn broke in.

"I have nothing against psychics. I just don't think there are any in the room."

Shawn, aware of Lassiter's enjoyment of this, persisted, "What if I were to tell you that I sense you like sushi, hate shopping, and despise authority, even though you expect to wield authority? What if I said you dress the way you do in order to flout that same authority, and the only reason you don't shave is you're lazy?"

House's blue eyes—a dead match for the piercing gaze of Lassiter when he was pissed off—pinned Shawn down and revealed nothing.

At that moment, Juliet O'Hara came in with a fax. "Chief, this is the itemized list from the hotel."

House looked her over, and studied the others in the room as well. Then, leaning forward, he said intently to Shawn, "I sense that at least two of the men in this room have strong feelings for that woman, and one of you is doing her."

Karen's eyes widened and she looked at the four men in quick succession while Juliet turned all kinds of pink and retreated to a corner.

Shawn started to speak, his body language giving a hell of a lot away.

But House barreled on, "You sense those things about me merely by observing my wardrobe, the bit of seaweed on my jacket, and my general demeanor. I get it. So here's what I sense about you. You like all food, because you smell like all food. You also dress the way you do to flout authority, but in your case, it's because you truly have none of your own. The only reason Ms. Vick tolerates you is she thinks she needs you on board, which means all this crap you sense must be paying off, making you useful, so maybe we're alike in that regard. You don't shave because really, deep down, you think it looks sexy. That goes with the hair and the carefully applied gel to achieve that so-casual look which no one, and I mean no one, really falls for." He glanced over at Juliet. "Except maybe her." He leaned back, ignoring Juliet's glare and keeping Shawn directly in his sights. "And I sure as hell don't claim to be psychic."

There was a great and profound silence for a few moments. Lassiter smiled with quiet joy.

Karen cleared her throat. "Be that as it may—"

"Hater," mumbled Shawn.

"He's solved 80 cases!" Gus declared.

"I save lives," House bit back. "At least one a week for the past twenty years. I win."

"Be that as it may!" Karen said more loudly. "Dr. House, will it be restitution or jail?"

He sighed dramatically. "How much? Not that I'm admitting to anything."

Karen looked at the fax. "$1,238."

"For a lamp and a lousy painting?"he protested.

"Two lamps," she said. "One painting. The vacuum cleaner and the microwave, which also shorted out when the maid was nearly killed. The maid's medical bills, the towels, three pillows, the iron and the left door of the TV cabinet. Oh, and the alarm clock." She showed him the fax. "We don't take checks."

"What the hell went on in that room?" Lassiter asked in wonder.

House grinned. "I hate medical conferences." He got up, and pointed his cane at Shawn. "Last chance to impress me."

Shawn said evenly, "You were upset about a woman that night."

For a moment, very brief, House's eyes flickered. "Too easy," he said. "What woman?"

"The one you used to do." Shawn stood up, feeling cocky again.

"Another guess. Not bad, though." House glanced at Karen. "Can I pay and get the hell out of here already?"

"Please do. Detective Lassiter will handle it personally." She knew Lassiter wouldn't miss a chance to thank House for skewering Shawn, and she knew House would skewer Lassiter without missing a beat… and she wasn't even psychic either.

The men all filed out, House in the lead, and Juliet was about to follow when Karen said, "Detective O'Hara. Is there something you need to tell me?"

She could swear she heard Juliet mumble "Oh, crap," just before she turned around.