Title: Unique

Word Count:~32,000

Spoilers: Season 5 Supernatural, Season 4ish Dexter. This story takes place somewhere midway through season 5 of Supernatural. I've taken liberties with Dexter to get it to match up, but it's set approximately between season 3 and season 4.

Summary: It's been a crazy week for Miami Metro: Three teenage girls found with their throats torn out. A fourth is missing. And then there's the rash of decapitations. There's no link between any of them save for a common crime scene, and nothing's adding up. It's been a good week for Dexter - a break from the ennui of the routine of his perfect suburban life. Besides, he's a little better at putting two and two together than his colleagues are and the total of this latest spate of weirdness keeps coming up Dean Winchester.

It's a prize Dexter can hardly resist: a notorious mass murder who has eluded the law time and time again - to say nothing of convincingly faking his death several times. Dexter intends to fix that. It'll stick this time: he'll see to it.

There's just one problem, and it's about to bite Dexter in the ass: Nothing is ever simple when it comes to the Winchesters.


Prologue (i)

Saturday

Timing is everything: that's how Harry put it, when he was counseling patience and planning. The right place at the wrong time, the wrong place at the right time...that's how so many of those like me get caught. Parking tickets and sloppiness. Harry wouldn't approve of my approach tonight. I admit I'm enjoying the novelty...if not the wait.

There's a man on my table, just waiting for my knife. He's unconscious, prolonging my anticipation, like a present left wrapped on Christmas morning.

I'm standing just outside his line of sight as he blinks awake. I want to see how he reacts. Will he fight it? Scream? He responds to the restraints first, testing them, but he accepts them almost immediately. This isn't the first time he's waken to restraints. It's only after that he sees what I've carefully placed in his view: a gallery of his many victims...the ones I could quickly find photos for, anyway. The latest are given the most prominent position, along with his brother's pretty, blonde, and late girlfriend, Jessica Moore.

Dean doesn't respond to the photos. His eyes search the room, though his view is restricted. I can tell when he catches sight of my tools, and it's not what I expected either.

He laughs. Hard thing to do in his position; the gag is unforgiving. But he persists. It's not the response I'd have pegged him for. He's something different, some new and wonderful thing. Laughter is a common enough reaction to stress, even for those who are decidedly... uncommon. Disgusting and blubbery laughter, panicked giggles, hysterical cackling, I know them all. I see it in the witnesses and surviving victims. It burbles forth from many who have crossed my table. But not like this. I step forward and pull the gag down out of his mouth.

He stares up at me, right into my eyes, and only laughs harder. Just bitter and wheezy laughter. It's... extraordinary. I usually love these moments, just me and my prey. It's about layers and revelations; I reveal the coward or the monster under the murderer under the man. I see them as they truly are, and they see me, as no one else will. Just for that one perfect minute.

It's the only true intimacy. It's lacking tonight. I wonder who he is, underneath it all. The first words out of his mouth aren't enlightening.

"Oh, you got to be kidding me," he says. He tugs at the tape, even though he must know it is pointless.

"Were your victims so amused?" I ask.

His eyes flick up at the pictures I've laid out, and he stops laughing. There are a lot of them. He and his brother have been 'busy, busy bees,' though I doubt it has been in any of the ways Rita could conceive.

Something flashes across his face- regret, maybe. It's gone before I can decipher it. Maybe that was his intent.

"Your pattern. It's so inventive. The fire I get. Even the brand on your arm- it fits." I lightly wag my knife at him, emphasizing my point. "Except it doesn't. You're so mutable in the killing, so ritual in the clean up. That's almost...unique." I twist the word in my mouth, tasting it. He is unique. I'm impressed, despite the sloppiness. I regret not being able to take my time with this, to arrange it to perfection and give him the send off he deserves.

"What the fuck do you care?" The laughter has dropped out of his face, but he's still not showing fear- still playing coy.

"Professional courtesy," I say. How apt. I never appreciated it, in the office.

"Well, as much as I'd love to swap tips with you? We're not in the same line of work."

Why does he still bother with the bravado? There's nothing to be won here. Not for him. I pick up my bone saw and examine it in the light. It's sharp and clean and ready. Dean watches me, still defiant.

"I think we are. We both kill monsters-" I see his face tighten at that – "Sometimes." I bite off the word, and follow his gaze back to the photos. He's looking at the photo of the pretty blonde woman he stabbed in the bank.

"She never hurt anyone," I say. I see something at last. Frustration and resignation. Not exactly what I'd expected, but nothing to make me doubt, either.

"Man, just kill me already."

"No denials, Dean?"

"You're not going to let me walk out of here, even if I could prove anything to you."

It's true enough, but I'm still curious. He has no illusions about this. He's not going to plead or beg or fool himself into thinking that he could stay my hand. But something compels me to answer him, explain myself. I step forward and run my knife up right against his cheek. He doesn't flinch. Everyone flinches as the blade presses near their eye. It's a reflex, not something you can control. Usually.

Interesting.

I lean down until his face is only inches from mine. I whisper into his ear, like it's a secret just for the two of us. And it is.

"I saw you."

He stares back at me, his mouth in a hard line. His eyes bore into mine, and there's something dark and defiant there- a challenge, but not one directed at me. "You saw shit," he says. "I bet you think of yourself as one of the things hiding in the dark. You have no idea." His tone is conversational and dismissive, as if he's only speaking for my edification, but all the same, I smile. He does see me. I slice down his skin and collect the blood that pools there, preparing the slide before examining it. There's a beauty to the pattern it makes. I turn back to Dean.

"Is that a warning or a threat?" I ask lightly, disappointed he's said something so predictable.

"Neither. Both," he says, and his voice is so weary that for a minute I wonder if I imagined the bravado a second ago. "Do us both a favor and just get it over with- I want to get to my brother before he gets to you." The last he says with forced flippancy. He's going through the motions, and like a lover faking orgasm. I'm not sure whether to be offended or flattered that he's making the effort.

"Don't you care?" I ask, genuinely curious. I am seconds away from ending his life and we both know it. "You'll be dead." I'm stating the obvious. He's put me off balance, this man. He's never what I expect him to be.

"Been there, done that," he says. He's faked his death several times, I know. There will be no comeback this time. I'll make sure of it.

"Not like this."

He laughs. There's something wrong with it, some sharpness that still eludes me. "I'm not afraid of dying," he says at last. It seems true. He makes no reaction as I come closer. He smiles, but there's no humor in it. No hope.

"It'll never end." It's almost an afterthought. Softly: "I've got angels watching over me."

I gently replace the gag. "Not anymore," I say. I ready the machete. Soon he'll just be another set of anonymous trash bags at the bottom of the sea.