A/N: Undusted can be seen as a spiritual sequel of On my Watch, so it would help to read it but it's not necessary.
Many thanks for HazardousRaptor for beta-reading this fic and for the continuous encouragement. More importantly, thanks for her great fic Uploaded.
Sadly, I don't own Heavy Rain.
Funny how you desperately desire things to happen, then shockingly, they don't turn out the way you've expected. For the past few years, Lieutenant Carter Blake only wished for the case of the Origami Killer to close and cease it's constant damage to the department's reputation—actually, his reputation being the lieutenant in charge. Now that the killer was as a dead as his victims, Blake found himself in front of a pile of paperwork that, for sure, wouldn't process itself.
Although in the public eye this case had ended, it was yet far from being closed when it came to the proper documentation and tying loose ends. An example was the police brutality charges that Mars' physiatrist has pressed against him and the FBI profiler following their unfriendly interrogation session at his extravagant clinic. Now that Dr. Dupré has decided to press charges, Blake wished if had enjoyed an early revenge and broke more than a nose at the clinic that reeked of hypocrisy. He never liked shrinks anyway. They weren't even real doctors since they knew nothing and did nothing, yet sucked money like hungry leeches.
As a matter of fact, the violent lieutenant didn't have a problem with being accused of using force where wasn't due—it wouldn't be the first time. With Perry's blessings, his intimidating nature had always been his Trojan horse into the fortified core of any case. He never felt remorseful since his end always justified his means. According to his realistic sense of morality, only a hypocrite would care about the rights of a murderer while the scent of the victim's blood was still fresh in his nostrils. Thanks to this cowardice attitude, the crime rate wasn't dropping in this country no matter how many policemen sacrificed their lives.
In face of those charges, Blake worried that the fancy FBI agent might drag him down with his honesty and inability to simply deny the "baseless" incident. To be precise, Jayden has already started dragging him down when he made himself a celebrity and opened people's appetite for lawsuits. Stupid stoner, Blake growled inwardly as he continued typing his fabricated statement of their visit to the clinic. He hoped Jayden would co-sign it without lecturing him about professional ethics. When he would ask him to sign the statement, the agent better give his knightly virtue a sniff or two of his blow and put it to sleep, otherwise he would be the one put to sleep by a flammable fist.
Blake found his mind presenting him with live fragments of Jayden's interview that was re-aired last night. He remembered feeling disgust with all that praise given to a hypocrite man who was a mere cokehead. Back then, he wanted to ram his fist into the TV screen when Norman was talking about how he'd been able to identify the killer as Scott Shelby—another hypocrite who rendered his trust to waste on the sidewalk of his life.
There was jealousy for sure. An FBI "coke-bag" had, flagrantly, stolen the spotlight from the local police force, and from Blake which mattered the most. True, Jayden did crack the case in days… but the veteran lieutenant and his boys were going to do it sooner or later. It was natural to nail anything as long as you keep trying. Like that pushy ant in kids' books, he mused. They were there from the start and the FBI errand boy only picked up after them, with Lady Luck on his side.
Jealous or not, what drove the older man over the edge of coolness was how Jayden managed to carry himself so proudly in front of others and then humiliated himself in front of the dusty substance. With his humanity linking him to the despicable act, it revolted Blake to imagine himself capable of such deception. Would he someday sink that low? How would it feel? He feared chasing the thought and, immediately, dropped the effort.
Somewhere to his right, someone walked into the station, causing a commotion to rise but Blake paid it little heed. Eventually, he was dragged into it when Larry called, "Carter, your celebrity buddy has arrived." Sarcasm was underlining the statement that triggered bullying laughter in the background. Blake's early agitation peaked to anger that caused several physical signs including a twitching eye and stiffening fingers that soon retreated into hot fists.
Out of the blue, a volcano had erupted when Blake stood up, snatching a pen holder from the desk and sending it flying towards the opposite wall to shatter into pieces. Miraculously, sheer silence suppressed early noises that were running amok throughout the station. Pairs of shocked eyes focused on the man of action who seemed, for an unsure moment, as shocked as them. The loaded silence only broke when a calm Blake spoke ever-sternly, "He is not my buddy." He paused for a heavy second as he turned to face a bewildered Jayden who grew solemn upon hearing the declaration, "I don't get along with hypocrites." Feeling his anger properly channeled, he sat down and went back to typing as if nothing had happened.
At the front door, Jayden stood for a while, frozen under the prying eyes that kept trying to feed their selfish curiosity on his emotional turmoil. Everybody was searching his ghostly expression and rigid posture for an answer that could justify Blake's outburst. Of course he figured it out once he locked eyes with the lieutenant's detesting ones. Those eyes were shooting his sense of self-worth (what was left of it anyway) fatal daggers of truth—raw and naked. He couldn't dodge the pain they'd inflicted so viciously. The man in front knew of the ignoble addictive wimp that lingered in the shadow of his logical mind.
Feeling the place suffocating him, he was about to exit the uninviting precinct but felt discouraged with the crowd of reporters blocking the entrance now. Ever the narcissist, the egomaniac psychiatrist accused him and Blake of roughing him up to revel confidential information, and was being hunted everywhere. I didn't even touch him, he whimpered mutely. Naturally, being a TV star only put more gasoline on the eager fire.
Back in the hotel and as soon as he exited the elevator, a swarm of reports filled the lobby—their points of origin were impossible to identify. Witnessing how the quiet and peaceful hall turned into a chaotic one in less than a second . . . something he thought physically impossible, but not anymore. A floodgate was opened and Jayden was left mentally drained after swimming through a torrent of questions and inquires. He had dragged this little band of stalkers all the way here from the hotel. Persistent bastards, he gritted his teeth.
A lawsuit of police brutality didn't actually scare him—he didn't touch the guy to begin with. True, and despite the fact that he was a law enforcement officer, he had only stood there watching. With no popcorn though, he made it clear to his consciences. During the incident, he felt simply paralyzed. I could have been traumatized myself seeing that psychopathic asshole go berserk, he defended himself against his other half.
Back then, he knew in his heart that Blake was doing something right- but wrong at the same time. Legally forcing Mars' doctor to disclose information about his patient's condition would have required time. With the abundance of rain, time was better wasted doing some real work instead of getting a warrant to satisfy Dr. Dupré's ego.
As an alibi, the agent could claim that he'd vainly tried to stop the mad lieutenant. He could even claim that Blake lined him up along with the shrink before he started lecturing them with his fist. Luckily, he'd accumulated enough bruises during his attachment to the local police force—enough to support this particular defense. Plus, everybody knew about the tension between him and the ever-upset cop which had originated from their different approaches to criminal investigations.
Something else assured him about the harmlessness of this allegation. He knew how unusually pressing the circumstances were that drove Blake to do what he had done. He also knew that Perry was aware of Blake's "unique" approach to police investigation. He had an old reputation for adhering to "the end justifies the means" code of conduct instead of that of law enforcement personnel. Plainly, Blake wouldn't have made it a habit over the years if Perry wasn't there to get his back in hard times. It was a fair exchange of interest based on an equation that held a pathologically violent Blake on one side and an egotistic Perry on the other.
However, Jayden felt that he was evading admitting the real reason for his worries that was likely related to his addiction. All the way to the station, his mind was playing imaginary scenarios of what could happen if some extra passionate reporter decided to dig out the skeleton in his closet. A few punches delivered by his partner that he, supposedly, tried to stop wouldn't end his career or damage it even, unlike an addiction scandal. To reveal that Agent Norman Jayden, a top FBI profiler who just cracked a national case and saved the life of a little child, is blowing happy Tripto up his nose . . . it would be terror manifesting in its supreme form.
he felt his mind processing too many thoughts for his worn brain cells. Feeling in less control of this flock of wild ideas, he was being pushed towards the edge of composure by the unrelenting stares, which were becoming puzzled with each passing second he chose to waste standing like a scarecrow that long lost it's prestige. Putting everything into looking as calm as possible, he commanded his reluctant legs to move onward to the men restroom.
Once he was inside, he felt safely away from the relentless curiosity. Yet, his fragile sense of safety could shatter any moment somebody decided to walk in. He needed a more isolated place with a solider sense of security if he to collect his thoughts and regain his composure. One of the bathroom stalls seemed inviting and he didn't waste a second to hide himself in and close the door shut behind.
In the quiet of the confined stall, Jayden sat on the toilet seat, worn down by the anxiety and apprehension that had yet to release him. He dropped his head down, pressing it with his hands as if to stop the whirling thoughts from bursting out. He couldn't focus on anything with the look in Blake's eyes back to haunt him and deny him peace of mind. The scorning dark pair of eyes were allied with a more innocent one that, though unintentionally, delivered the same message of self-disgrace.
The disturbed agent threw his head backward in an attempt to escape the accusing eyes, but they weren't so easy to shake off. How could they? Given the fact that they were mere duplicates of those of reason, which he'd shook long ago. Feeling trapped, he reached to his escape route and pulled Triptocaine out. Horror-stricken eyes fell upon trembling hands.
He felt leaden, unable to move and take a dose of his tempting drug. He felt watching eyes observing him from every direction. He swallowed hard, but still he couldn't regain command of his lost hands.
He couldn't tell for how long he froze there, imprisoned by the colorless walls of the narrow booth that hemmed in. It was only when the restroom door swung open that he managed to escape the medusas' gaze. However, he only escaped just to fall victim to an indistinct fear that plunged at him.
He stood up abruptly and reached to open the door but went rigid again. Luckily, this time he had the aid of reason. His hand simply failed to follow his command to get the door handle- in need of hiding the dishonorable vial that was defiling it. Eyes locked with the despicable item, he felt timidly disgusted and fed up with the endless chase of blue serenity. It was as if a veil had been removed from over his eyes. It was as if he began to see the futility of his obsession with the ashen powder—a clinging dust that only stung his eyes and dirtied his path.
The profiler didn't see this change in perspective as some grand revelation that would lead to salvation. In fact it was more of a dark epiphany that confirmed his continuous sinking into a nether existence. What'd changed then? He just came to realize that this sedative was no longer as efficient in masking the truth as it used to be. Feeling nothing—dull and hollow—he mechanically turned around, lifted the lid and threw the worthless piece of glass into the toilet before flushing it casually.
Blake assumed that he had done a great job controlling his anger before opening the bathroom door. He would've, gladly, sent the opposing panel flying only if he didn't want to attract unwanted attention. His early fury might've vented out a little back when he sentenced the innocent accessory to a fragmentary death. Still, it wasn't a proper release.
Earlier and although he pretended not to care, Blake was typing with one eye while another traced Jayden as he crossed the station to the restroom. Once he disappeared behind the closed door, the irritable cop tried to focus on typing but his fingers start to rebel, refusing to heed his command, and itched to form the usual fists. The image of Jayden drugging up in the precinct was simply outrageous. It was enough motive to remove him from the task at hand to address a more pressing one that led him where he was standing now.
All stalls doors were closed leaving a crusading Blake with no option but to keep guessing till he guessed right. Luckily, he was given a hint when he heard the flushing sound. He didn't waste a second to express his anger starting with the guiltless door.
Face to face with the door, Jayden was relatively ready to emerge and meet the bulling eyes of the station; not enthusiastically but patiently nevertheless. He was encouraged with a strange sense of apathy and dullness, which assured him that this place was no more relieving than any.
His theory was validated when the door attacked him, swinging inward with a brute kick from a familiar figure. He wasn't given the chance to process the image thanks to the impact that sent him stumbling over the seat. Suddenly, everything turned brilliant white; with sparkling flashes dancing in his vision and painful ache spreading throughout his face and up his spinning head. First thing he was aware of was the warm metallic rivulet that ran down his sore nose. However, he lost the little focus he'd mustered when rough hands grabbed his collar and hurled him outside.
He felt the same hands that threw him out catching him not to fall (in no act of charity though), before pushing him towards the opposite wall. His head bounced painfully when he was pinned against the cold tile. Settled where he was, he seemed to regain concentration with the feeling of many hands roughly missing his garment.
A ringing in his ears prevented him from decrypting the loud words that his assailant was shouting. He dedicated whatever awareness he had to, weakly, vend off the violating hands that kept slapping away his own whenever they became much of a hinder. With the growing of his humiliating helplessness, a foreign anger was growing, feeding his muscles with an equally foreign strength. Acting on an impulse of self-defense, he pushed his attacker away with a muffled roar, ". . . off me!"
Blake was too engrossed in his search for the pocketed drug that he was caught by surprise when the dazed agent pushed him with unusual strength. He would've lost his footing if he didn't catch the stall frame for balance. With a suspicious look on his face rather than an angry one, he observed the wild man in front who was gasping with speeding breaths. His eyes seemed lost for a moment but it regained some of its concentration when his shaking hands reached for the washbasin rim to support equally shaking legs.
For a moment, Jayden was busy controlling his breathing—a task he succeeded at later—before he shot Blake a resentful look, which unsettled the elder man. In retaliation to this anxious feelings and in order to regain control of the situation, Blake found himself breaking the silent moment, ordering, "Give me the drug you've been sniffing if you don't want me to strip-search you."
Interestingly, the younger man seemed to keep up the fight with a venomous reply, "I don't have any since I quit, you asshole!" he halted to draw some needed breath before continuing, "And what were you thinking charging like a bulldozer? You broke my nose, you psychopathic fuck!"
Blake was surely angry that someone was undermining his authority, yet something about the younger man's unforeseen outburst seemed amusing. A disheveled and heated Jayden, with a bleeding nose, seemed more . . . colorful. Naturally, he looked more fitting in this line of work.
Blake felt his early anger long quelled seeing the profiler as bestial as this. It was as if some hidden objective had been accomplished. Whether the little shit had drug on him, and whether he was abusing it inside . . . it didn't seem of any importance; unlike the unraveling scene in front of him.
Suddenly satisfied, the amused cop let out a triumphant snicker as he walked leisurely to the door. Before he exited the restroom, he finally commented, "Good it's broken, Norman. I bet you can't sniff now, can you?" the last part was said with a teasing backward glance that soon disappeared behind the closed door.
Following this encounter that left him alone once again, Jayden was puzzled with Blake's cool reaction. He was sure that he will start regretting badmouthing the 'angerholic' man once his fist added extra fractures to his already broken nose. He couldn't help it though since he was driven by some deep and brutish temper to shout out his frustration like this. It was oddly liberating to allow early negativity out in the form of blind fury without thinking of consequences—just like back in the covered market. It was primitive and immature, yet cleansing and redefining.
With mental and emotional balance relatively restored, he exited the restroom not bothering to fix his messy clothes or even wipe his bloodied nose. Once outside, he caught a glimpse of Blake; seated and occupied with some typing as it appeared. A mischievous smile crept in as a payback plan formulated itself. A straying thought warned him that he was attempting a more dangerous tease but he paid it no heed.
Determined to get back at Blake for the sore nose, he walked into Perry's office. He needed to talk to him about the end of his assignment here and how he was needed back in DC—that's why he'd came today anyway. Of course, he was prepared to "protect" himself if Perry decided to bring up the police brutality charges. Needless to say, he would satisfy the man's curiosity to no end when he would inquire about the reason behind his untidy appearance.
Blake was in a relatively high mood as he finished typing the fictional statement. He was planning to seek out Norman to sign the paper but forgot about it completely when he saw him passing by his desk towards one of the fire exits. He'd just emerged from the Boss's office; still as disheveled as he'd left in the restroom. A devious expression was on his face that drew Blake's attention to it and away from the unsigned document in his hand.
It was when the profiler disappeared behind the small door that Blake remembered the unsigned report. "Fuck! The little prick left." he cursed but soon shrugged it and settled the matter, Anyway, I can get his signature tomorrow.
Later that day, Perry emerged from his office, bored and about to leave early as usual. As he passed by Blake's desk, he stopped and glanced at him with a grimacing face before scolding, "What's wrong with you, Carter? Have you lost your mind?" Taken back, Blake only replied, "What's wrong, Boss?" and an explanation came, "Roughing up others as long it served an investigation is acceptable, but violating an FBI agent in the bathroom . . . what're you thinking!"
At this point, Blake was stunned and, luckily for his skyrocketing blood pressure, he didn't notice the station hushing as ears were sent to spy on the not-very-private conversation.
Perry didn't seem to notice the reddening Blake fuming with rage and embarrassment as he dragged on, "Thank God that you came to your senses before something had happened. The last thing we need now is sexual harassment complaint." He paused before concluding, "Anyway, he already flew to Washington and away from you." With that, he made his way to the front door, abandoning his staff to the wrath of the vengeful demon that he had just summoned.
Hearing that Norman had already departed back home, Blake's anger withdrew magically inside, like a blazing fire that was abruptly starved of oxygen. He sat for a while savoring all possibilities for revenge; which lacked creativity since it mostly revolved around kicks and punches; plus sinking a certain brunette head in badly maintained public toilet.
It was only when he'd noticed a serious drop in staff number and the accompanied noises that Blake realized it was time to go home. He would go home and continue plotting his sweet revenge against the fancy FBI profiler. His fire would certainly flare at the faint scent of oxygen- but he must be patient. With enough patience, the flames of vengeance would lay dormant, awaiting its grand splendor, till the right type of air came along.
"You're dead, Norman." Blake declared with his reflection on the monitor as a witness of his new resolution.
I am already writing a one-shot sequel to Undusted XD