Eric wakes in the middle of the night, his mouth dry. He rolls over sleepily, reaching for the bottle of water on his bedside cabinet, what he sees beyond it, in the doorway, startles him to full consciousness. Tim Speedle standing in the doorway. Tim Speedle who died two years ago. The sight shouldn't startle him, he's seen Tim a lot the last few days but always at a crime scene to guide the way, never at home like this.
"You didn't take the medication the shrink gave you." Speedle smirks at him, leaning against the doorframe.
"No," Eric smirks back "Evidently."
"My presence here serves as evidence that I am a hallucination because you didn't take the pills?" Speedle asks evenly, leaning against the door frame.
"You're saying you are a hallucination?" Eric asks, his hopes soaring despite himself.
Speedle shrugs "I don't feel like a hallucination."
"I didn't take them because I wanted to see you more," Eric admits softly after studying Speedle for sometime. "I miss you so much, it hurts so bad…"
"Like I said earlier Delko, just because you can't see something doesn't mean it's not there." Speedle replies, moving closer.
Eric sits up, holding the sheets tightly to himself. Speedle may be a hallucination but it feels real, it feels like he's really here and it makes Delko nervous. He's almost certain that he can faintly smell Speedle's aftershave even.
"It's ok Eric." Speedle smirks, coming closer "I just told you, I've been with you since I died, I know everything."
Eric's eyes widen at that, he forgets that this is meant to be a hallucination; he's filled with shock and dread that his best friend has found him out. He splutters for a while as Speedle sits down, Eric could swear he could feel the mattress sink from his non-existent weight.
"It's ok Eric. It's not like I can tell anyone." Speedle continues, a softer, kinder expression in place, though there's still a hint of a smirk. "Besides, I thought that since we had this time to ourselves." Speedle trails off as he places a hand on Eric's thigh, an action that's far more forward that he would have probably dared to do in life. More importantly, there's no mistaking that Eric can feel it.
"But…but you're dead." Eric whispers, staring at the hand "Alexx performed your autopsy; H held you as you died."
"You're right, I'm dead." Speedle nods, replying evenly, as though saying nothing out of the ordinary.
"But I can feel you, hallucinations can't be felt." Eric continues, deeply confused by the situation
"Well, that's why I said I don't feel like one. I'm definitely me; what's happening is a little more supernatural than hallucinations." Speedle says calmly, studying Eric closely.
"Are you saying you're a ghost?" Eric asks slowly, disbelievingly,
"I know, I know how silly it sounds." Speedle chuckles, stroking Delko's thigh slightly "I was a scientist but you're the Catholic boy, aren't you meant to believe in the afterlife?"
"Heaven and hell, sure," Delko stutters "But ghosts?"
"If it's too much to handle, don't think of it like that." Speedle suggests "Just call it a second chance to make things right."
Delko's expression softens considerably as he decides "I don't care how you're here, as long as you are…and it means that I'm not crazy."
Speedle smirks and is clearly about to comment out with a sarcastic comment when Delko covers his mouth with his hand.
"Shut up Speed." He says with a smile before yawning loudly.
"Sleep Eric," Speedle advises gently "H has you starting early tomorrow.
Eric lays back down slowly "You'll be here in the morning?"
"I'm here all the time," Speedle tells him, lying down too and holding him close to him "Now and forever, think you can handle that?"
"Hmm," Eric grunts faintly before falling fast asleep in Speedle's arm, sleeping peacefully for the first time in two years.