A/N: Sorry it's been so long! "The Dex Files" is back, minus its title character, as Deborah discovers her brother's legacy...

"Why the hell did you have to go and get yourself killed, Dex?" Deborah asked for the millionth time in four weeks. She was sitting in her brother's apartment, sorting through his stuff. Scratch that; now it was all her shit. Aside from his van and some money he'd left to Rita and the kids, Dexter had left everything to her in his will. Deb had been shocked. Not that he'd written her into his will, but that he'd even had a will in the first place. Didn't people wait until they were ready to die before writing those things?

She'd spent the last four weeks in what seemed like a nightmare, and she was still waiting to wake up. Dexter couldn't die. Without him, she'd be alone. He understood her better than anyone in her life ever had. They'd had a bond that was closer than most siblings, and they weren't even related by blood. So Deb was trying to deal by telling herself that none of this was real. Any minute, he was going to come in and say, "Hey, Deb. What the hell are you doing here?"

Except he wasn't. He would never walk into the office with donuts for everyone, or listen to her bitch for an hour and a half, or take Rita and her kids out for pizza…Deb brushed a tear away angrily. "Goddam motherfucking dust," she spat at nobody in particular. With a sigh, she continued sorting through the papers in Dexter's desk.

The bottom drawer was locked; she found the key in the drawer above, all the way in the back. Deb unlocked the drawer and looked inside. At first, it seemed like all the rest, with nothing particularly interesting. But at the very bottom was an envelope with her name on the front: To be opened by Deborah Morgan in the event of Dexter Morgan's death.

Deb snorted. "What's this?" she muttered, and tore the envelope open. She wasn't sure what to expect—maybe old photos—hell, maybe even a treasure map. But all that was inside was a letter, written in Dexter's unmistakable script. Deeply Devoted Deborah, it began.

Deb laughed again, a short humorless noise. "You're a fuckin' poet, Dex." She kept on reading. She finished, and then read it again. And again. And again, each time willing the words to change, knowing that they couldn't.

Forget everything you think you know about me…

If you're happy remembering me as the devoted brother, loving boyfriend, dedicated forensics expert, I'm beyond trying to convince you otherwise…

Harry found me at the crime scene where my mother was murdered…

Harry saw the darkness inside of me, but he loved me in spite of it… And he was trying to protect you. From me…

I have violent urges. Harry knew about those too. He thought I could learn to control them, but I can't…

I was the Bay Harbor Butcher…

If I could feel love, I'd love you…

"Holy fuck," Deb whispered. She closed her eyes and looked at the letter again. No, the words were still there. It was too much to deal with at once.

"No fuckin' way, Dex. No way. I knew you. This is some kinda sick fuckin' joke, isn't it?" But in a way, it almost made some sort of sense. Except that it was impossible. Not her brother. She held the letter up to tear it in half, into a million tiny pieces that would blow away like his ashes after the funeral. Then she stopped. She read the letter again.

The box of slides…I kept it hidden behind the cover of the air conditioner. Deb walked into the kitchen. She'd disprove this crazy little story right now. "The cover probably won't even come off," she told herself. "I'll have to find his goddam toolbox for a screwdriver…did he even own a toolbox?" But the cover slid right off, and Deb gasped in surprise. Someone had already removed the screws.

She should've known then. But nothing prepared her for the shock of what she saw next: a small dark wooden box, a little longer than a sheet of paper and about half as wide. "What the fuck?" she breathed. With trembling fingers, Deborah pulled the box out and set it on the counter. She stared at it, afraid to open it.

After debating for what seemed like an eternity, she reached over and touched the box delicately, as if it were a bomb about to go off. She flipped the cover open in a swift, fluid motion.

It wasn't empty, like she'd been hoping it would be. No, it contained something.

Glass slides. Nearly two dozen of them.

Deb barely made it to the bathroom before her breakfast came back to haunt her.

I'm planning on doing at least one more chapter, and maybe more. Thanks for all of the great feedback I've gotten on this story!