Another seemingly simple day set against the backdrop of a busy precinct, the usual paperwork, the usual drama, and the usual blindness shared by his co-workers. He enters his stage in the same way he does every other morning: ten minutes early, neatly dressed, and carrying his carry case in his left hand, his ID tag flapping at his chest as he walks at the same speed he normally does. But there's nothing usual or normal about Dexter Morgan, a serial killer with a code to kill killers, a poetic mind and a disturbing past.
"Hey, Asshole!" Deb shouted at his back as he passed her desk on his way to his office, the standard larrikin smile playing on her face while her eyes tried to hide behind the ever-present hard exterior.
"Hi Deb," He paused, smiled and waited for her cue.
"Enjoying your clean house without me there?" she put emphasis on the word 'clean' and pounced from behind her desk before punching him lightly on the shoulder.
He hadn't had time to get his apartment in order last night after she finished moving her things out, he'd been busy. Busy tranquilising a woman, preparing her basement for the ritual, busy explaining why he was doing what he was doing and why she deserved it, busy listening to her pleas and ignoring them.
He shrugged and smiled at his half-sister, "It's quiet without you." He commented.
"And you love it!" She poked him playfully and started back towards her desk.
"Are you free for lunch?" he asked.
She gave him a dirty little smile and looked down at her desk and then back up at him, "Nope, I'm having lunch with Lundy."
Dexter raised his eyebrows and nodded. "See you later then."
She nodded and plonked herself down in her swivel chair.
He turned slowly and continued on his way to the lab noting Angel speaking to a young boy at a vacant desk in a low reassuring tone.
Finally reaching his office he entered and shut the door, alone in his haven he set his things down and checked his inbox- one new case. He switched on his computer and watched it spring to life, he looked around and was pleased with the neat and orderly area where he was in complete control. Nothing was ever half done with Dexter.
She stood beside her car fumbling in her bag for her keys in the dark, it was winter and with each expiration she released a cloud of half frozen breath into the air to twist and swirl above her until it dissipated. There was something ominous and empty about the quiet night air and she wanted to get the hell off the street and out of the cold. Something just didn't feel right.
Dexter appeared behind her, his breathing slow and steady but the adrenaline beginning to pump steadily into his bloodstream in anticipation of the kill. He withdrew the hypodermic needle and pulled the protective cap off the glistening metal. He came out of the shadows and in one swift movement drew her closer to him with his left arm around her abdomen and emptied the syringe into her jugular vein with his right hand.
There was shock and fear, a man's arm tucked around her waist preventing her from escaping and then the sharp pain in her neck. And finally, darkness.
She woke and foggily tried to remember who or what she was, she blinked her eyes open in the glaring light of a single light hanging above her from the ceiling. She took a moment, hearing rustling in the corner, feeling the slight movement of air past her cheek as someone moved behind her head. She was lying flat on her back, exposed, unable to move, held down by cling wrap.
She was alert in a flash, remembering her encounter and feeling the frenzy of not knowing how long ago it had occurred or who this man was. But knowing that he was here to harm and possibly kill her.
She strained against the layers of plastic to no avail and tried to breathe normally with the duct tape covering her mouth. Her eyes darted around the relatively dimly lit room, recognising the low wooden beams above her to be the ceiling of her basement. In her own house, he'd taken her to her own house. This was premeditated, she had been miles from home when they'd met on the street- from the home where she lived alone. No one would know she was in danger, or even missing at all for days.
Suddenly his face was above her, it gave nothing away. There was no anger or vengeance in his eyes, no fear or anxiety on his face- she had no idea what he was thinking.
She tried to speak calmly but the tape prevented anything but a muffled, high pitched grunt. She took in the plastic sheets covering the walls, tape and rubber sheets. Easy to clean she guessed. That meant that this was definitely not the first time he'd done this, especially seeing as he seemed completely unperturbed by the entire situation. There'd be no way of talking him out of it if she didn't know his motivation, he had to take the tape off to give her a chance to speak to him.
Tears began to roll down her cheeks as she looked up at him desperately, so fragile and alone on the table in front of him as he towered over her.
He tilted his head to one side and painfully slowly pulled at the tape over her mouth as she struggled against it to remove it sooner.
"Why are you doing this?" She asked, her voice seemed far away and she was breathless, distraught. She'd broken out into a cold sweat and she could feel her hair being plastered to her scalp.
He paused and looked over her face with interest before turning away to open his case.
"You've done some bad things to innocent people."
"What are you talking about?" her face was streaked with tears, eyes darting for an exit.
He turned back to her and held a photo over her face close enough to see the little boy with a woman who appeared to be his mother smiling at the camera in front of a lake surrounded by pine trees and filled with ducks.
"Andrew Salisburg." He placed the framed picture on the table in between her head and a rather large butchers knife.
She tried to shake her head, she'd seen the photo once before six months ago when the police came to her house to investigate a double homicide- mother and son killed in their home in the middle of the day.
"And his mother Tammy." Dexter continued.
"What are you saying?" She practically squeaked the words as she tried to figure out how to convince him it wasn't her who had done such an awful thing.
" I'm saying that you killed Tammy and her son, you left Paul Salisburg without a wife and son."
"No... No!" She shook violently.
He leaned down into her face.
"I didn't do it! It wasn't me! Oh god...no. I knew Paul, we worked together- we had an affair, yes, and I readily admit that. But it was one drunken night and I have no feelings for him, it was stupid. He didn't want to tell his wife and I didn't see why I should get in the middle of it." She tried to catch her breath.
Dexter looked at her face blankly, going over the evidence against her in his head which he had meticulously collected before persuing her. There hadn't been a conviction because she'd had an alibi for the period before during and after the murder occurred- an alibi which he had checked into after investigating the photos of the crime scene which revealed the killers height to be approximately the same as hers, the force of the blunt force trauma the same as would be expected if she had done it. She had motive and the ability, she'd had martial arts training for three years and when he'd looked into her alibi he'd discovered that she wasn't where she said she'd been and the witness who had corroborated her testimony owed her a favour.
She fitted the description, but she was either an excellent liar or innocent.
"Where were you on the day of the murder?"
She swallowed and looked into his careful eyes. "I was having a lunch with an old friend at La Cuccine on 105 and 8th Street."
"No you weren't." He said slowly and deliberately.
"You weren't there. So where were you?"
She blinked and relaxed in surprise that he knew her alibi had been a lie.
"No I wasn't there, and I didn't see my friend."
"He lied for you."
"So where were you?" Only the smallest amount of doubt lingered in his mind. Harry's code resounded in his head- he couldn't kill her if he was innocent. But he'd had enough evidence to make him believe she was the guilty party, what if that hadn't been enough? It was a dangerous question.
"I was with a different friend."
Dexter turned his head to look over his shoulder, he picked up his scalpel.
"No no, wait! I'm sorry, I've just... I can't tell anyone this." She would have shaken her head if she could, she closed her eyes tightly.
He put the scalpel down and waited.
He was going to kill her if she didn't tell him, that trumped all her reasons for keeping quiet about this for so long and lying to the police.
"My friend, Major Jason Mitchell, he's in the navy. I took the a half day off work to go with him to the hospital." She hesitated. "He was there to donate a kidney to my brother-in-law Frank. If the navy found out that he only has one kidney they would have taken him off active duty, he would have been confined to a desk job. It wasn't what he'd wanted and we'd all agreed to stay quiet about it. He was the only match we found for Frank. What else could I do? It wasn't me, I didn't kill them there's no way I could have! I couldn't kill anyone! Especially not a little boy and his mother. Please you have to believe me, how can I prove it to you?" She started crying again.
He lifted the scalpel from table. "No, no! Please, please listen to me, I'm telling you the truth!"
Dexter put the scalpel back in its correct place and sat down heavily on the stool next to her.
He'd been wrong.
And now he had a woman who was innocent, who had seen his face and knew his motivations as well as his techniques. He didn't want to kill her, it had been his mistake- he'd been so eager to kill again... It wasn't like him to miss anything this big.