(Most characters are of the Perception universe.)



Chapter 1

"Look out, Dr. Pierce!"

It was early morning on the college campus and a voice from behind Daniel shouted out his name as a Frisbee came sailing near his head. Daniel ducked just in time as the student yelled out his apologies. Picking up the Frisbee that had dropped to the ground, Daniel did a flicked wrist with the Frisbee, sending it flying back through the air before landing perfectly back into the hands of the student who gave him an appreciative wave.

Daniel Pierce couldn't help the smile that came to his lips as he nodded before proceeding on to the lecture hall. Then ruminating thoughts once more entered his mind.

Tossing a Frisbee? Friendly acknowledgements? Smiling? Where did these playful mannerisms come from?

It was so unlike him to feel so...happy. But somehow he couldn't help it. As he looked around, he took note of the scenic brick walkways, whispering fountains, iris gardens and collegiate Gothic buildings of the campus. Whatever the hell was wrong with him? What made him view this place like it was a picture perfect postcard?

He stopped walking when he realized what had caused him lately to feel so...so optimistic.

This feeling of…blissfulness had infiltrated his mind ever since Kate Moretti stepped back into his life. Even now, he could picture her in his mind. The way she always greeted him with that hesitant smile of hers. He always looked forward to that smile; it was so soft and warm that it tugged at something deep in his chest.

Not that they meant anything personal to one another. The only time he saw Kate was when she needed his expertise in the field of human behavior to solve an FBI case. Sometimes he wondered if he were more interested in solving the case or just being around her.

In fact, there were times-though few they may be-that it seemed as if something passed between them. Something besides a professional interest. His musings were interrupted as Daniel heard a male voice calling out to him.

"Pierce! Hey, Daniel Pierce, wait up a second!"

Oh no, Daniel internalized, for he recognized that voice. Daniel proceeded walking once again, but knew the English Professor would soon be upon him. Daniel could hear Wesley Nash directly behind him now, with Nash's ever-present briefcase banging against his leg.

Oh great, Daniel thought sardonically, now he'll be forced to make small talk. Daniel's reflective smile had all but disappeared.

"Hey, Pierce, how are your classes going?" Nash asked Daniel as he walked in tandem with him.

"Just great, "Daniel responded, picking up the walking pace in order to get to his classroom faster.

"I didn't see you at the staff party last Friday," noted Nash with a smirk. He already knew Daniel abhorred any type of social gathering, and Nash just loved making others feel uncomfortable.

"As a sign of respect," Daniel replied casually, "the dean decided not to invite me."

Nash didn't know whether or not Daniel was kidding, but it made the situation uncomfortable for him, not Daniel, "Oh yes, well, there's that…"

"Yeah," said Daniel, hiding a grin, "there's that."

Please let there be silence, Daniel thought as they continued walking. No such luck.

"By the way, Pierce," Nash asked, "did you get the new psychology books yet? Must be nice that the dean once again decided to award your department with additional funding, "

"Funny you should mention that, "Daniel commented, "just yesterday I had a student complaining that we needed someone with a personality to proofread aforementioned textbooks because they were too boring and confusing."

Nash snorted, "Yeah students can be a whiny bunch!"

"I was actually thinking she had a point," Daniel admitted, "You ever try reading some of those core textbooks? Dry as a desert."

Wes Nash gave Daniel another look.

Daniel's mind clicked internally and he heard Natalie Vincent's voice: "Daniel, stop with the contradictions. You need to try harder to relate to people," she encouraged him as she walked alongside him on his other side. The feminine vision of his hallucination gave him a stern look. She always seemed so real.

"It seems like a waste of time," Daniel responded to her, not meaning to say it outloud.

"What seems like a waste of time?" Nash looked confused.

Daniel was about to open his mouth when his internal mind clicked again, "Be nice, Daniel!" Natalie warned him, "Otherwise, you'll regret it later on!"

Instead he sighed. Perhaps it was best he changed the subject.

"So...are you attending the faculty meeting at noon?" Daniel asked.

Nash had assumed Daniel meant the meeting was a waste of time, "I hear what you're saying, Pierce," he agree, "I just hope the damn meeting doesn't drone on! I've got an important appointment right after that and I don't want to be late!"

A sudden gust of wind pulled the sides of Nash's jacket opened and moved what little hair he had left on his head.

"Well, " he announced, suddenly anxious to depart, "I'm going to cut across the quad to get to my classroom, so Pierce, I'll talk to you later!"

Daniel let out a sigh of relief as they parted ways. Nash gave a departing wave as another swoosh of wind came up. The last image Daniel had of Nash was of him struggling to hold onto his heavy briefcase with both his hands.



Half an hour before noon Daniel had finished his morning lecture and was walking through the grass on campus towards the faculty lounge for the meeting. He didn't know if it was due to his previous conversation with Nash, but he was feeling somewhat down again. In other words, Daniel was feeling his usual brooding self. As he continued on his way, he looked up at the still gray sky, which seemed to match his mood.

Tea, I need tea, he thought as he entered the building early for the meeting. Ascending the stairs, he figured he was early enough that he would be able to make some tea for himself.

When he opened the door of the faculty room, a foul odor assaulted his senses. What is that smell? Daniel wondered, as he left the door open to air out the room. As he walked further into the room, the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight up as he encountered where that smell was emanating from.

In one corner of the room laid a crumpled form.

Daniel could make out the top of a male's head, stained red. The almost bare scalp had a cleft an inch wide exposed on the white bone of the skull. A file cabinet with the top drawer fully opened stood next to the fallen body. Shards of glass from a shattered clock were spewed all over the ground.

Cautiously walking around to the other side, Daniel instantly recognized the dead body as that of Professor Wesley Nash.



Hello! My first Perception fanfiction and I am beyond excited! (AND I'm super nervous, too) I just love this show and it inspired me to write this story! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and I hope you will review this, even if just to say 'hi'!

Please, please review!