Rating: M

Warnings: Cursing, and sex between two men. (In later chapters.)

Author's Note: I was incredibly fascinated by the "Uploaded" epilogue, and I had wished it was longer so we could see more of the drama that was Jayden and Blake's strained relationship. Not to mention, Blake looked all to happy to be trying on those glasses first time he had the chance. So, what happened afterwards? Beware, slashy-ness in later chapters!


"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age."- H.P. Lovecraft

U p l o a d e d


"…He's being buried in two days in some godforsaken hole in the back-end of beyond near Washington…"

Perry droned off, nonchalantly brushing some unseen particles from his sleeves.

"I have to attend as a matter of… protocol."

Throwing a hand in the air, he waved it off. He was obviously irritated with all the bullshit involved with the entire situation. All to make the press happy and the mayor's next election go smoothly- it ensured his own ass would stay in his job.

Blake sat back in his chair, rotating a bit from boredom. It was bad enough they had to deal with another murder just as they were sweeping up the last loose ends from the Origami Killer case- but it had to be the kid's murder. It involved an even bigger pain in the ass- more FBI showing up in his precinct questioning everything that moved. He was just in yesterday being asked about everything from Jayden's behavior to the Origami case itself. Carter found it a grave annoyance and was about ready to flip his shit any minute if he saw another agent anytime soon- he sure wasn't ready to parade on down to Washington just to attend the dip-shit's funeral.

"I'll pass, Jayden and I didn't see eye to eye on much…"

It sounded callous even for him. He worked with the man for really only a good few days…Really, he didn't know much about the guy except from the few words they exchanged that didn't pertain to the case. Apparently, Norman liked black coffee, hated rain, and was a track star in high school. Wooptie-fucking-do. What, were they fucking in secret or something? He didn't owe the kid a damn thing.

Speaking of which, he was even getting some strange looks from the underlings about him ever since the questioning began at the precinct. Another thing that Jayden made aware to him (though un-intentionally) had been that he swung the other way. Once it got around to the others, for the first time there was something else to talk about involving him besides being a complete dickhead. He had become the brunt of a few office-running jokes and rumors flying around pertaining to what they were doing on those long patrols for the Origami Killer. Good thing he never really gave a shit about his perception before, otherwise he may have felt somewhat threatened.

"No problem-" Perry gave a short laugh. "…I understand."

It was obvious he was jealous of Carter's situation. Really, he didn't have to go. No matter what, however, Perry would never hear the end of it if he refused to attend the little shit's burial. Hell, it might even cost him his job.

Suddenly, Carter remembered something. It was bugging him ever since they found his body yesterday. Somehow, Norman's glasses survived the thrashing device he'd fallen into. He'd seen him wearing it about the crime scene when he first arrived in Philly, using it later to show them slides on an overhead. Not to mention a few instances he caught him dicking around in his office, with his hands in the air as if he was going through some invisible file system.

When Madison Paige called them to the scene after the kid's rescue, he'd been told Norman had shown up and chased away the Origami Killer himself. Later it was revealed to be his past partner and colleague, Scott Shelby, whom they were currently still searching for. It gnawed at him inside that the back-stabbing motherfucker was still prowling the streets- and that it was one of the few people in his life he had actually once considered a friend. Not to mention that spoiled asshole Norman was right the whole time. When they searched the other warehouse, however, he was called over by an officer with a rather grim look on his face.

The officer led him to the body of the deceased agent, laying in a pile of literal garbage. Blake had seen a lot of shit in his life, bodies cut up and stored in the most mundane of places, severed body parts in random locations, murdered wives and children…But this was a new one. He actually winced and made a face of disgust at the sight.. It wasn't so much a body as it was a mess. Norman's face was barely recognizable as it was a heap of shreds, arms and legs crushed, twisted, and suit soaked with blood. The worst thing was those eyes- and he knew for sure it had to be his temporary partner.

Those pale blue orbs stared up half-lidded from his savagely shredded face, which told Blake he had been awake to feel the whole thing. He had only just seen the kid a few hours ago. After looking up from his computer out of pure coincidence, he had watched him strut out of the office with a look of determination on his face, not even turning to look Blake in the eye as if he was making a point not to. Blake wished he had taken off after him in retrospect- his own pride keeping him from even entertaining the idea he was wrong. The agent was on to something, knew something he didn't. He could have asked him what he was onto, could have gone there together and stopped Scott rather easily with the two of them leading reinforcements.

Instead, he picked up the phone and ordered him followed. What happened afterwards was one incident short of a cluster-fuck- showing up in full force waiting for Ethan Mars to show up so he could be shot down at a seconds notice. Then that journalist stepped in and made a scene- made them look like a pack of assholes as she dodged them all and made her way inside. Luckily enough, it saved his ass from getting shit-canned. She was able to come out with Mars and his kid- Shaun. The one they'd been searching for this whole time. Like that, it was over. All over and he had pretty much nothing to do with it. The case was solved by the kid's father, some journalist and some bureaucrat from D.C. Guilt nippedat his heels solemnly like a small dog that he couldn't see, spending the next day with his tail between his legs- the sense of failure hovering over his conscious, bothering him in his bed that night and insuring him nothing but an hour of sleep. He could have prevented it all if he had listened to that little shit in the first place.

As much as the jackass pissed him off, he knew the kid didn't deserve that. To go by falling into a fucking grinder used to crush solid junk into scrap and spit out like trash on the other side. "Yeah, that's him…" He remembered telling the officers at the scene, identifying the body. "Poor bastard…Somebody fucking get Washington on the phone…"

Before the coroner arrived, Blake figured he'd do some investigating of his own, taking out a set of gloves from his pocket and dropping to his knees. Pulling what was left of the dead man's jacket apart, his hands found the inside pockets shredded as badly as he would have anticipated. He yanked out what was left of his FBI badge, making a face as he threw it away from him. A few credit cards and ATM card…A vial of something blue, which was cracked and ready to break. Making a mental note to have it studied by forensics, he put it down next to the body. There was one thing he was looking for- one thing that held his curiosity unlike anything he'd seen before.

Those fucking glasses- what the hell did he call them once? Arr-ee? He found them in the other pocket, if it even was a pocket, he couldn't be sure. He smiled faintly when he felt them intact, pulling them out from their previously closed position. "ARI" it read on the side, the glasses themselves looking not so different then an expensive designer pair one would find in a store. He dug deeper and found a black glove, luckily for him it was only slightly shredded. Blake couldn't believe his luck- he found the kid's toys like they were destined to survive the fires of Hell and wind up in his hands.

"Hey, uh…Sir." He brought up, watching as Perry halted his departure.

"I still have his glasses…What should I do with them?"

Really, he had no idea. At first, he thought the FBI would be all over their ass trying to get them back. However, not many questions arose about the device. Certainly, nothing about the glasses even existing as some investigation tool. He was sure they would never admit that to the public. They only asked about the glasses like they were just that- sunglasses, if they were on him when he was mauled to death…And he answered truthfully. He said, "Yes", and like that he never heard about it again.

He had assumed they must have thought they were destroyed, considering his manner of death. Blake wasn't stupid enough to bring it up, even though that's precisely what he should have done. Just holding them now could have been a federal offence for all he knew.

"Well, he won't be needing them anymore." Perry droned mater-of-factly. "Do whatever you want with them…"

It was obvious to Carter that Perry could, in fact, not give a shit about the glasses that he held in his hand. He was sure that the captain had at least seen their projection abilities, but had no idea to their true purpose. In fact, Perry more or less looked to be even bothered by the question. What did he care about some dead prick's sunglasses? Why did he even bother to ask?

Blake only felt stupid for a whole two seconds, holding the prize as he looked it over for the second time since he acquired them from their macabre source. Nobody would guess by his apparent arrogance and old-fashioned methods; but the seasoned lieutenant was a surprisingly curious individual when something teased him just right. He turned them over front and back, looking over the seemingly normal lens-ware before glancing at them straight on.

'Wonder what that little bastard saw with these things…'

Stopping himself, Carter hesitated, and then slowly put them down.

'You're not putting on the dead kid's fancy glasses. What's wrong with you?'

It wasn't so much fear as general aversion. He had quickly became intolerant of the little shit's superior attitude the minute he strode onto to the scene. Coming in strutting like a cock in a hen house, like he was hot shit. Norman had put on a sort of pretentious facade first thing in the morning to whenever they parted ways afterwards. The way he acted on the crime scene got under his skin a little, sure…However, when he decided to undermine his authority, question his ability as a fucking police lieutenant in the crime-ridden jungle that was Philadelphia…Needless to say, it got old fast.

He didn't need any government help, and yuppie technology to do his damn job. Carter had been arresting thieves, murderers and rapists more disgusting then even his own sick mind could imagine. All while this kid was learning his goddamn ABCs, waiting for his balls to drop and finding his own dick. Besides, the glasses had been sitting on his pale, sick-looking face. It made him ill to think he even touched them…He didn't want whatever he had.

Shifting back to the computer, he turned his eyes back to the report he was currently working on. Clicking his mouse, he moved the wireless device all but an inch before he glanced back. Still, he was able to convince himself into continuing his work. Typing out a few letters, he couldn't help but let his gaze wander back to the pair of seemingly innocent glasses sitting atop the desk.

'It couldn't hurt, right? I mean, it's probably stupid anyway…Just take a peek."

With a degree of caution, Carter reached for the pair once again. This time, he knew he had to give in to temptation. If he didn't just fucking do it already, he'd never find out and it would bother him forever. He lifted them up towards his face. Hesitating once more-

'Fuck! What are you, some kind of pussy? 'It's just a pair of sunglasses! Do it!'

Leaning back in his chair, Blake raised the glasses and finally set them on his face. There wasn't even a second of delay as he gasped in pure shock, and a second later, wonder. It was like the world he knew and lived in ceased to exist. Instead, what lay before him was a canyon, rich and vibrant as the sun shone down on his calloused skin. A smile couldn't help but overcome his visage as he took it all in, it was overpowering in its reality.

He heard birds chirping, water running…And for a minute Carter didn't grasp it, there was nothing in his ears. Really, he should have been hearing the normal background noise of the precinct. Not only that, he could feel the heat from the sun beating down on his leathery, hardened skin. Could smell the flowers, the warm scent one notices on a hot summer day as the sun bakes the Earth. Could feel the hard rock beneath his desk, breathe the humidity in the air. It was especially welcoming considering he hadn't seen the goddamn sun or even a fucking tree in weeks.

Clouds ranged across the sky as he shifted in his seat slightly, admiring the view. They cast shadows on the rock itself, the birds chattering away in a surprisingly pleasant cacophony. He didn't see the lake behind him quite yet; didn't admire the waterfalls as they crashed down upon the rocks. All he cared about was how his precinct was whisked away and replaced with what could quite possibly be Heaven on Earth, all from the safety of his desk.

'Hol-y fuck. No wonder why Norm- Jesus-fucking-Christ!'

Blake turned only slightly in his chair- then came face to face with a man walking towards him. It took him a split second to recognize the face of Norman Jayden, folding his arms in front of his chest in what appeared to be pure amusement.

The man's heart may very well have exploded inside his chest- he couldn't tell. He didn't scream, but he'd never been so close to it in his whole life. Gasping loudly in utter horror, Blake jolted back and yanked his right arm further to steady himself in his seat. His breathing accelerated wildly as he began to hyperventilate.

'He's dead! I saw him! HE WAS FUCKING DEAD!'

Carter watched helplessly as Jayden cracked a smirk. Tilting his head slightly, he seemed to be studying the older man as he fought to control his breathing. He couldn't take it much longer, however, and the minute he regained control of his actions, his hands flew up and yanked ARI from his face.

A small crowd had gathered as Blake struggled to catch his breath, and if he wasn't already still so pale, he might have turned red from the attention suddenly being paid to him. Officers and now Ash alike had stopped what they were doing to look at the never-before-seen hysterical police lieutenant. Glancing around, he finally started to calm down, even if his heart was still hammering in his chest.

"The…The fuck you all looking at?" He struggled out between gasps of air.

"This a fucking show? Get back to work!"

Immediately, many who feared the tyrannical Carter did just that. A few glanced as they walked away, getting a rather evil eye-stare-down in the process. Ash was the only one who decided it was a good idea to completely ignore that advice. He looked to his computer screen, then back up, catching Blake's eyes as he shifted forward in his seat.

"When did you get back?" Blake questioned, wondering just how long he had been staring at him while he was tripping out.

"Just now…Nice glasses."

"Fuck you, Ash…" He breathed out, leaning on the desk as he put his palms into his eyes. Pulling them away, he sat up and blinked away the redness that was beginning to form.

"Aren't those Norman's? I mean…Weren't they?"

Blake hesitated, unsure of how to explain his almost child-like fascination with the late Jayden's little toy.

"I decided to see what the little brats' been holding out on us this whole time." He tried, jumping to the next assumed question.

"Turns out it's…It's interesting."

Ash smirked back, actually rather curious himself now that he heard that.

"Really? Well, I better take a look, then…Let me see-"

"No." Carter found himself yanking the glasses away from Ash's oncoming hand.

"Why the hell not? Think I can't handle it?"

"Yeah, actually." Blake spat, standing up roughly and jerking away from the man in grey.

Giving Blake a look that could kill, he watched as the lieutenant quickly got up to walk away. His mouth went dry with questions to ask about his behavior- but instead he simply thought "Fuck it." and went back to his work. He was actually more curious about the man's behavior then the glasses, anyway. Now that he was being his usual, dickish self, he dropped it.

Carter found himself holding the glasses in a death-grip as he made his way towards the bathroom. All the while, he felt his heart still hammering in his ears. He felt faint, and he could tell that he was shaking all over. It was bad enough he had the occasional cigarette here and there, mixed the occasional all-nighter with little sleep and high blood pressure from his unyielding temper…Now he felt like he was going to have a heart-attack in the station if he didn't settle down right now, and he meant now. For a fleeting second he thought about calling an ambulance, but immediately canceled it out as he realized his pride would be nixed forever. Tried on a pair of sunglasses then had to go to the ER? Good God, he'd never hear the end of it.

"Gotta get to the bathroom…Settle down. You stupid bastard, you didn't even take your pills today…I'm all out anyway…Shit!"

Hitting the door open, Blake stumbled in and made his way to a stall quickly. It wasn't until he got there that he realized how sick he really was, and heaved into the toilet everything he had eaten that morning. His stomach convulsed, rippling as it tried it's best to flush the unknown toxin from his body. Dry heaving for another minute, he prayed to every God available to make it please stop- make the agony go away…And finally, it did. He hung on the bowl, not even giving two shits if it was a disgusting public toilet that was riddled with bacterium.

"Oh…Holy fuck."

Blake spat as he panted. Finally, he felt his heart began to slow, and he praised those same Gods that it was over. And that he wasn't dead from the result of it. "You're going to stop fucking smoking. And eating junk. And flipping your shit every chance you get…You should be taking your medication, you stupid asshole."

Taking his time getting up, he winced at the acidic taste in his mouth. He was just glad he didn't get any on him, it would have been embarrassing to say the very least. As he stood on his own two feet, he flushed the toilet and proceeded to stumble on over towards the sinks. Putting his weight on them, he leaned forward and turned on the knobs, quickly rinsing his mouth out and spitting into the basin. He groaned as he then washed his face, finally starting to feel normal again.

During his little sink episode, cops had begun to make their way in and out of the restrooms. Of course, they all took a good look at the man who was supposed to be one of their higher-ups. He glared at them hatefully, feeling weak and pitiful in his current state. It wasn't a feeling he was used to at all, and it was a feeling that above all, he never wanted to have again. It must have been the lunch hour, and soon he'd become the talk of the precinct if he didn't wrap up his little dilemma soon.

He peered at himself in the bathroom mirror, sickened at how he looked. Not that he was a vain man by any means, yet even he had to notice a pale and sickly appearance had overcome him. The dark circles under his eyes looked even worse, his dark blue eyes red and wet.

"Goddamn, Blake. Look like you've seen a ghost." Perry muttered as he walked past the lieutenant.

'You fucking psychic, Perry?' Carter huffed internally as he stood up straight. 'What's my fortune today, asshole? Should I play the lotto? Heard the Powerball was up to hundred- million…'

"Not yet I didn't, I think it was something I ate." He lied, and he was always so damn good at it. A forced smirk crossed his face, and he bent over to wash his hands.

Perry finished his piss and zipped up, flushing the urinal as he stood next to his right-hand man at the sink.

"Ah well…You know how it is." The captain mocked some sort of sympathy, and proceeded to wash his own.

"Always something, you know?"

Carter jerked a nod in response, and started to walk away when he heard Perry's voice catch him by surprise.

"I know you saw him..."

His blood ran cold, and he spun around as he felt a cold sweat began to develop.

"…Sir?"

Looking up, Perry repeated himself in a more clear fashion.

"You know, Jayden? You saw him. He was all…mashed up, right? I wonder how they're having a viewing with him like that? It's almost worth driving down there for the freak-show…" Perry smiled sadistically with a small laugh.

Blake let out a breath he didn't know he was holding- and took a few more deep breathes for good measure.

"I need to finish something up…" Blake turned around and left Perry to finish the conversation with himself.

Leaving the bathroom, he felt the sunglasses again hanging from his pocket, and sighed in relief. He must have done it and not even realized when he went to puke his guts out. Why the hell did he care so much?

'Damn it…Are you forgetting what the hell just happened? Fuck the glasses! You just saw a dead man! Up, and walking around. He looked right at you! You couldn't have imagined that, could you?'

He staggered to his desk, pulling out the chair and taking a seat. Resting his palms in his eyes again as his fingers wrapped around to grab his hair and pull in an attempt to wake himself up. Carefully, he pulled away and grabbed the glasses from his pocket, shoving them into the lower drawer of his desk.

Ash's eyes were felt glaring towards him, and Blake looked back with a venomous stare. Promptly, it made the detective look away and focus on the work at hand. The look on Blake's face was one he'd seen before. He was his usual, pissy self. His complexion was off, though. He looked visibly shaken. Something was up, and he knew full well it was Norman's contraption that he had been toying with. If Blake would just get up, he could take a look himself when he wasn't paying attention. Though the effect it had on a hardened, cruel man such as Blake wasn't pleasant, Ash knew he was far more level-headed then his brutish lieutenant.

"You don't look so good, Carter." Ash mused, eyes quickly darting from his angry glare back to his computer.

"Not feeling well?"

As much as Blake wanted to rail against the man for his sudden interest in his well-being, he knew he couldn't afford to lose anymore of his sanity at the present moment. It was a big enough leap for him to do that, let alone re-collect himself. He sighed and bit back his tongue as his hands fell to the desk.

"You could say that, yeah."

"If I were you, I'd just knock off early. Nothing left to do today anyway except busy work. I'm sure Perry could care less…"

'Since when the hell does he care? I admit, that sounds pretty good. I can't think straight, can't focus…I need some time to figure this shit out. Seeing a dead man walk up to you while you're his wearing fancy-ass glasses isn't exactly part of my daily fucking routine.'

"I haven't called off in years…" Blake retaliated, both against himself and Ash across the way.

"Exactly. Which is why Perry shouldn't flip his shit when you tell him you need to leave early. You'll even get a full day's pay out of it. Besides, you've been sitting there for fifteen minutes…You haven't gotten anything done."

Looking towards Ash with a curious expression, he set to say something…Stopped himself, and then finally it came out.

"Since when do you care so much? Trying to get rid of me?" Blake smirked, actually starting to feel normal again.

"Yeah actually, looking at you is irritating the piss out of me- I think you're gonna puke your guts out at any minute and it's making me nervous. That, or die. And I'd really rather not have to deal with it. Got it?"

Smiling again, Blake actually chuckled and began to get up from his chair.

"Good point. Be right back…"

Ash watched as Blake began to walk over towards Captain Perry's office. He knew better then to try anything now, Carter was a quick bastard and he'd be over at his desk in no time. The minute he walked out the door, though, he'd see what the big damn deal was. He was leaning into the office, door open part way as he looked to be talking to the Captain briefly. And just like that, he closed the door and walked his way.

"Right, I'm leaving. Don't work too hard…" Blake glanced up at him as he rifled through his drawer, grabbing his car keys.

Nodding, the detective in grey went back to typing nonchalantly. Carter then dressed into his coat and took a sigh that ended in a grumble as he went to leave. He got halfway when he suddenly stopped, pivoting on his feet as he turned right around. Ash watched as the lieutenant made his way back to the desk and grabbed the ARI from the last drawer. With a simple glance, he locked eyes with Ash for a brief second; it seemed like the same gaze one might see when a wolf is protecting it's kill. Trying to act unaware, he ignored it and went back to work. Silently, however, he was fuming.

'Think I'm fucking stupid, don't ya?' Blake thought in retaliation. He smiled vaguely to himself as he walked out to the elevator. It was a silent ride, the smell of mildew creeping in over the bottom tiles below him. It took longer then normal, or at least it felt that way. Then the doors opened and he found himself strolling out the door in a sort of auto-pilot, making his way to his car in the garage. The space itself sat right next to Perry's, all that ass kissing really paid off.

Getting in, he finally let the full-body shiver take over his frame that he'd been holding off. The shiver of seeing a dead man smile at him. Study him. Like a painting on the wall…Something seriously fucked up was going on. He left the garage and made his way back home, watching the windshield wipers struggle to keep up with the rain that came down in torrents. Carter found himself thinking back to the vista and it's warm, sunny atmosphere. Living in the general area all his life, he had come accustomed to the shitty fall weather and the short summers. The way winter never seemed to want to leave and fall was more wet then dry. Still, weather like this would always piss him off.

It reminded him of when he was growing up in upper Bucks county- how different it was. The hues of the drab city a rough contrast to those of the countryside. He didn't want to admit it, in the fear that it would make him weak. Yet those were the happiest times in his life. When things were simpler, the world was seen through rosy colored glasses. He had friends, hell; he even had a fucking dog. He had two brothers, both of whom got smart and moved far enough away to escape the memory that he still lived, so that he rarely ever saw them anymore. Oh yeah, and he even used to have a sister. A sister that wasn't bound to a hospital bed as she suffered and died a slow, painful death…

'…The fuck are you even thinking about that again?' The officer corrected himself, feeling disgusted.

'It's done. She's six foot in the fucking ground. That was twenty years ago, get over it.'

Carter pulled into his driveway, opening the garage door and parking it safely inside before it shut behind him. He had a nice place with a small yard, one floor because that was more then enough. Actually, he had considered an apartment at first. He tried it for a few months when he first moved into the city, but he instantly disliked being so close to so many shit-heads in one area. Not that this was much better, but it would have to do. The lesser of two evils. He never married, and the longest relationship he ever was a few years when he was in his early twenties. However, not many could put up with Blake's attitude, as always she sent herself packing like the rest when the limit was reached.

Opening his door, he threw his keys nonchalantly on the kitchen table. Running his hands through his hair, he sighed angrily as he ripped his soaked black jacket off, hanging it on the chair nearby. One of two chairs, even though he only used one.

He made good money, so his house was furnished pretty well. His mortgage was paid off years ago, and he was single, so anymore he had too much of it to know what to do. There was nobody he knew well enough to take vacations with, so he rarely did. Many people would kill to be in his position, having money to practically burn away. Yet really, he could care less. His career was his life, and when he wasn't working he felt useless. His father was a factory worker and instilled the belief in him; but deep down inside he knew it was his own pigheaded desire to control others that made him thrive at being a cop. If he couldn't force his judgment on others he simply didn't feel alive.

Yet today, he felt better about leaving that shit-hole behind him. Really, for the first time in years he felt he needed a break from the grind of employment. Blake found himself craving alcohol to take the edge off his stress, and reached into his rather bare fridge to grab a Miller Lite. Twisting the cap off, he collapsed on his surprisingly long couch and leaned his head back, taking a swig.

'Just what I needed. Hol-ee shit. Did I need that…'

Blake knew he should flip on the TV and try to get his mind off the incident. There should at least be something halfway decent on, even at this shitty hour of the day. Yet he found himself content to gaze at the ceiling, and then back at the blank 42" television that he rarely even watched. His gaze pondered over to the array of books lined next to it on the shelf. They were filled with more fiction then non- perhaps displaying his disgust of the real world more then he'd like. Again, he was tempted to pick up one of the cheesier yet morbid classics and dive in to take his mind off the subject, but instead leaned forward and placed his elbows on his knees. Taking a deep sigh, hearing the dull ticking of the nearby clock fill the room.

Taking another swig, Blake's eyes eventually made their way towards the ARI glasses that sat on his kitchen table. They were positioned so they sat right towards him, and he suddenly felt a chill take hold of his frame as he felt watched. Could Jayden see him, he wondered?

Fuck- man, he's dead! Whatever you saw…It wasn't really him. You do know that, right?

Looking away, the unbalanced officer got up and made his way to the bathroom. He didn't really realize until now that he had to piss like a racehorse. Doing just that, he looked over his shoulder as he admired the ARI glasses sitting on the table. At least now they were to the side, so they were unable to catalogue his bathroom activities. Flushing and washing his hands, he walked past them again as he went towards his bedroom to get a pair of loose-fitting jeans and a different shirt to feel more comfortable. Really, he felt like a shower too. Still, he reasoned it was too early. He hadn't sweated that much-

You know you want to check those things out again. Why are you stalling? What could happen?

Halting, Carter took a deep breath and stared back at the glasses on his table. Hesitating, he was able to make it to them without completely turning away this time.

Even if you do see him, at least he won't give you a heart attack this time. You'll be expecting it.

Picking up what appeared to be a pair of expensive sunglasses- but he knew better- he took his good sweet time walking back over to his couch. As he sat down, his heart began to hammer in his chest. He let out a deep breath, and balanced the glasses in his fingers in deliberation.

It's just like a band-aid. Don't dick around, just do it…

Doing just that, he gasped again as he no longer saw not only his living room, or even the plateau. This time, it was an autumn forest. It reminded him of what fall used to look like at his childhood home in Bucks. Before his worthless uncle burned the goddamn thing to the ground, that is. This time he could smell the decaying, yet fresh smell of leaves in the air. There was the most gentle of breezes, a pleasant sound of birds in the air once again. Geese honked in the air above him, and he jerked his gaze up to catch them flying in a V towards some unknown location.

'How can this be so real? How did those yuppies in Washington ever figure this shit out? Why does this feel more natural then when I take them off…?'

Then came a crunching, some sticks breaking. It happened just fast enough for him to not lose it completely when the voice chimed in.

"Enjoying yourself?"

This time he was prepared, turning, he found the ex-agent making his way towards him from the forest to the left. At least this time, he didn't practically appear out of nowhere like the ghost he came to be. Blake swallowed, his heart catching in his throat as he felt it pound away in his rib cage. Analyzing the dead man a good fifteen feet from him, he looked him over from head to toe. Making sure, making positive some asshole wasn't playing a joke on him this whole time- because if they were…it was working.

The dead-man's pale blue eyes looked towards him without the smirk this time. His face even more pale then usual, an expression of pleading acceptance displayed in his features. The brown hair that covered his head wasn't nearly as fixed as he was used to seeing from his short- term partner. Now he no longer wore the black jacket, his grayish, charcoal suit fitting his frame well despite the disheveled way it looked.

Norman stumbled as he began to make his way up to Blake's seat, able to see his couch and coffee table before him.

"…So…How's it feel like to be dead, Norman?"