Dark Avenger
By Angelfirenze

Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith, Alan Moore, et al., and Jeff Lindsay own the characters, Showtime owns the execution of the show, Dexter's plot. Warner Bros. owns the execution of Constantine's plot, as well. Taking Back Sunday. "Tell All Your Friends.". Victory Records, 2002. Thursday. "A City By the Light Divided.". Island Records, 2006.

Summary: "You're - we're - no, you're - 'cause it's gonna be at your work - gonna to be visited by the two Seers, the fallen archangel Gabriel, and Last Scion lives two blocks over?" Jonah couldn't swallow the awe in his voice, not that Dexter could blame him, but Deb raised her hand and gave a beseeching expression.

"Hello? 'Last Scion'? Religious idiot here."

Notes: Yes, it has been a longtime for this one, but - as per my usual thing - I got writer's block in the worse way.

Anyway, I had just rewatched Dogma and Constantine when starting this one, plus S2 of Dexter and started S3 in anticipation of buying am finally re-watching S4 and S5.

Notes, Second: I would feel scooped, but I've decided to go what will likely be an entirely different route than Dexter's canon will/might, because - having not seen that part yet - I could be wrong. Hopefully, it'll keep me writing now that I've finally gotten the impetus to do so for this story back by buying S4 (about time I had the chance...).

Notes, Third: I am a Deb/Anton shipper. That is all.

Timeline: AtS, ep. 2.10; Dexter, ep. 4.12; post-Dogma. post-Constantine. Spoilers for Dexter, seasons one through four;

Father (Scavengers of the Damned)

"I know you've never had much faith - you've never had much reason to, but that doesn't mean we don't have faith in you..." Beeman, Constantine

Dexter sat on the couch in Deb's apartment, a snowy television screen before him, as he slowly flipped through his and Rita's wedding album. Had it only been a year ago? His more vivid memories from that year included befriending and then killing Miguel Prado for murdering innocents who got in his way for any reason.

Killing Freebo - realizing Miguel had betrayed him, used him...but first of all, killing Oscar Prado completely by accident and in self-defense and feeling remorsefor the first time in his life - being caught by the Skinner and breaking his own hand to get free...but marrying Rita had been...the only good thing that happened that year, it now felt. That and finally coming to terms with being a father. A father wolf who would have gnawed off his own paw to get free, to return to his pack...wolves mate for life.

The break in his hand had been horrendous and incredibly painful, but so unbelievably worth it because he, no longer lone, had his pack for life. Was it all now just...nothing?

Dexter raised that hand, his left, now, and stared at it almost without comprehension.

Metatron had told him to come back here for some reason and Deb had simply shrugged and gone to spend the night or however long with Jonah and the kids in their new home, which Dexter had conceded to buying in the same region, if not neighborhood, street or - certainly - address. She figured it seemed a bit natural that this might be his waystation, as she'd called it, considering it'd been his for so long and so many people had used it to send him a message of some kind.

Dexter hadn't given her complete disclosure and, thankfully, she'd declined to ask for more, but she did now know how Brian had gotten Dexter's attention before anyone else had known he existed, not to mention the fact that Ramón Prado had been the one to trash it out of anger that he felt Dexter had destroyed his family before they'd come to a sort of peace.

But Dexter gave his head a bit of a shake. It didn't matter. All that mattered was -


"Why do you always make that weird noise?" Dexter asked calmly as Metatron materialized behind him, his wings spreading fully to bend slightly at both ends of the room. Sure enough, when Dexter turned around, Metatron was detracting them, a pained grimace on his face, and Dexter suddenly felt the blood pumping through his own unseen wings and winced slightly.

Funny, he'd never had sympathy pains before accepting this Calling.

"Does it bloody well matter? I'm concentrating on not setting whatever I land on afire, thank you very much."

Dexter couldn't help grinning. "Lucifer's the one who scorches the ground he walks upon. I've seen it by now, myself. It's kind of mesmerizing - the sizzling. It was a wonder Constantine could concentrate on anything at all, though - you know - what with his wrists bleeding out and whatnot.

"I should ask how that actually feels, blood draining out of you. I haven't felt that since I was seven and I was in shock so it didn't really register."

Metatron rolled his eyes as, finally, his wings were out of sight. "I still have to break through a tear in reality from the ethereal planes, which you good and well know - can we get to the bloody point, please, or is the upstart trainee going to hold things up even further? What's your business with John Consantine, anyway?"

Dexter held up his hands in a concilliary gesture. "I just have a feeling...or is it Dodson?" Dexter frowned slightly. "Angela or Isabel, I should ask for specifics. Isabel's an angel and Angela's a Seer. I..."

Dexter felt his face fall. "I told Rufus I was never good at this small talk or pretending to care about people I haven't actually met. He never listens to me. He's as bad as Vince and Angel are about socializing, if only about a different kind."

"He feels he can help you," was all Metatron told him gently before adding. "He helped the former Last Scion, though I will admit you're rather more difficult. Bethany Sloane at least was raised in a faith. Have you spoken to her at all yet? Or Elizabeth?"

Dexter frowned, sighing heavily. "Elizabeth's two. But I tried with Bethany, like I was told, which you probably know anyway, but as soon as she - Bethany - realized she was talking to me, being Dexter Morgan Whose Wife Was Murdered by the Trinity Killer, she backed off - though she is the only one who doesn't seem to think Harrison has something wrong with him, what with being found at the scene and all. His fingernails are evil, you know - a ten-month-old's thin fingernails that I happened to forget to clip. Silly me. Are you asking me to hound her? A little backwards, no?"

Metatron gave him a long-suffering look, "I'm asking you to let her in, once she realizes how important it is. What your mortal neighbors say matters little. You've exercised this discipline before, Dexter."

"That wasn't discipline, that was alienation - acting!" Dexter objected before smacking his hands over his mouth, wincing in anticipation of the searing sensation as something on him was burned, but nothing happened.

"The Lord understands your desperation, Dexter. I'm not here to reprimand you, nor will you be disciplined, despite your valid reasons for believing so. Your business in Los Angeles isn't quite finished."

"What is it with that city?" Dexter asked now in relief, but already knowing the answer. "Does the name have to be so literal?"

Metatron sighed, "Gabriel is having serious problems adjusting to humanity - no, I do not, nor does the Lord expect you to ease his pain, that was the entire point."

"He's still trying to counsel Constantine and act as a vessel of God despite being cast out," Dexter sighed, frowning and running his hands through his hair. "You're not about to say I'msupposed to be John Constantine's counsel..."

"Close, but not quite." Metatron was plainly leading him somewhere and he was nearly there...

Dexter gave the other angel a quizzical look, "Angela Dodson's? But she's still a cop with the LAPD."

"She's taken a leave of absence to deal with the Spear of Destiny. Surely, you know all about hiding things and finding ways to do so."

Dexter was incredulous now. "Yeah, Metatron, bodies, not the - "

"Murder weapon used against the Lord, our Savior, thus making it a Holy vessel and one of the most coveted objects in the universe."

"I keep my tools with me, in my..." Dexter's eyes widened, "Metatron, you're asking me to hide the Spear of Destiny with my kill tools. I - I can't - what do you want me to do? Get pissant murderer blood on it? It's a blessed..."

Dexter's face fell again, "But the Lord and - as a result - you, yourself, have no qualms whatsoever giving me this most magnanimous responsibility...because...because I'm just so good at hide and seek. Thank you, Dad."

Metatron sighed, "Dexter. Detective Angela Dodson's coming to Miami to see you. She will be transferring to yours and your sister's workplace, as well, for the interim. Constantine may or may not be with her. Neither you nor he are people persons. More than likely Dodson will be playing referree more often than not. Constantine's got rather a mouth, in case you hadn't been informed.

"Either way, you will be her counsel in additionto cleaning up after Angel, and you will tolerate Constantine and Gabriel if he decides to drop by. Whatever else happens is up to them, they are human with the exception of Angelus, after all. Such is the Calling you accepted, to aid your Brother and Sister Champions."

With that, Metatron turned on his heel and tore a burning hole through the air in Deb's living room, leaving Dexter blowing a breath of overwhelming unease out of his mouth in anticipation for the Greatest Show of All Time.

For now, though, he needed a nap.

...If I'm just bad news, then you're a liar...

Dexter sat around his kitchen table later that night with Deb and Jonah, discussing what Metatron had told Dexter earlier that evening. Astor, Cody, and Harrison were all asleep in their rooms, but they spoke in hushed tones nonetheless.

"You're - we're - no, you're - 'cause it's gonna be at your work - gonna to be visited by the two Seers, the fallen archangel Gabriel, and Last Scionlives two blocks over?" Jonah couldn't swallow the awe in his voice, not that Dexter could blame him, but Deb raised her hand and gave a beseeching expression.

"Hello? 'Last Scion'? Religious idiot here."

"The Last Scion is said to - is almost directly descended from Jesus Christ," Jonah clarified and Deb's eyes narrowed.

"Almost dir - " Suddenly comprehension dawned on her face and she sank into her chair. "Right, because Jesus was, like, just over my age when He bit the - when he died. So Mary and Joseph were like, actually - "

"Please don't finish that sentence," Jonah asked plaintively and Deb lifted her hands in acquiescence.

Dexter snorted and Deb punched him in the shoulder, irritated when he didn't so much as flinch. "You know, you could at least pretend it still hurts."

"Because your ego just can't take not causing me any when inflicting bodily pain," Dexter smothered a small smile and Deb smiled back, glad to see something approaching humor on Dexter's face after so long.

After everyone was apprised of the coming events, Jonah went off to his room and Deb got herself and Dexter a beer from the fridge out of habit.

"More for me, then," she noted upon remembering he couldn't drink anymore.

But Dexter had other things on his mind - being Deb's happiness, which he'd seen slip further and further away since Brian kidnapped her several years before.

He gently took the longneck bottle away from her mouth, holding his other hand up in supplication when she protested, and placed it on the table.

"Deb, why...why'd you break up with Anton? You two were so happy together. That's the happiest I've ever seen you and when he was missing was the most passionate, which is - saying something."

Deb's eyes widened as her hand traveled to her scar without her knowledge and she stared down at the table, tears coming to her eyes. "Dex, isn't - isn't it obvious? I mean, what a fuck-up I am and - "

"Didn't I tell you, you're not the fuck up? I - " Dexter exhaled, himself, backtracking. "Look, neither of us is a fuck up. You're...you're just humanand I...well, I've never been, but the point is that I think you're making a mistake, believing you don't deserve any happiness or forgiveness.

"I had never seen you so happy, not ever. And, then here's Lundy, may he rest in peace, whom you never even call by his first name and you were brought together solely by the case to find me, which - of course - I couldn't let that happen, but I never thought my cohorts would allow Lila to take Doakes' life to spare mine."

Deb was crying again, now, silently, as she traced the watermark left by her bottle. "Yeah, that was...that was supposed to be some kind of miracle put forth by the Powers That Be? Doakes is deadand everybody thinks he's - you!"

Dexter took a deep breath. Deb was getting good at changing the subject, but he wasn't going to let her. "Stop deflecting. Doakes is resting in peace, his sins forgiven, his soul washed clean. All earthly devisings no longer affect him and I killed Lila for what she did to him, as I already told you. She's in Hell where she belongs. Let me get back to my point and stop trying to derail me."

"Good, let the fucking bitch rot. And since when in the hell were you some kind of matchmaker?" Deb asked in what would have been a biting tone, except it completely lacked her usual snark.

"Since you brought me together with the love of my life, even if none of us knew it at the time. She - Rita - "

"May she rest in peace," Deb cut in, wondering if she should bless herself or something, but knowing she had never been baptized or anything like that, so she just let her hands flutter aimlessly in her lap under the table.

Dexter nodded, "May she. I became a matchmaker the moment I realized...you've made a huge mistake. No, let me finish, Deb," he said more forcefully, not allowing Deb to turn his words into more self-effacing garbage against herself. "You never told Anton about...about Brian, did you?"

Deb started to backpedal, but Dexter couldn't let her. "Deb, Anton was taken by the Skinner. His flesh desecrated, his body all but forfeit, fear the only company he had...and the only one who would ever understand that who was in his life? Was you."

Deb had frozen now, her wide eyes on Dexter as his words sunk in. Finally, she spoke. "He...I...I told him he was like Valium and he...said I was like Red Bull."

Dex couldn't help but smile a bit. "That's...so accurate. What'd you tell Lundy?"

Deb's face contracted on the left side as she thought back to that day on Dexter's shitty marina when Lundy insisted on eating lunch and told her she was very fidgety.

"I told him he was like Dad - oh, God, I'm Electra..." Deb finally brought her hands up to cover her face, shaking her head back and forth before Dexter gently brought them back down.

"Dad pretty much ignored you in favor of teaching me the Code. You never told him how much you missed being around him, wished he would spend half as much time with you as he did me and it doesn't matter what the end product is - me never taking innocent lives.

"Harry more or less took ours because, for all intents and purposes, we were idolaters for a long time. Nothing he intended, I'm sure, but no human being is perfect and that's exactly what we thought he was. It makes complete sense that you would search for someone like him in anyone, because what else did you have at the time?"

Deb blew out a frustrated breath, "Then why would I fuc - mess up something so good with Anton just because Lundy comes sauntering back into town looking for that son of a bitch who had the nerve to call himself Jonah and Rebecca's father when really he was his family's jailer?"

Dexter frowned slightly, "Because old habits do die hard, Deb. We used to base every single thing we thought upon what Dad taught us. Finding out he wasn't the man we thought was like a slap in the face, wasn't it? But we don't hold him up to sunlight anymore, do we? His wings have melted and now he's down in the candlelight where the rest of us are, just human, where he always belonged.

"Don't sell your own happiness just because you're afraid, Deb. We're not like Dad. We're entirely independent people with completely different experiences. You didn't want to be with Anton because he was a CI and accessible. You wanthim for who he is and because he makes you happy.

"I started out with Rita because she was a cover, yes, but it grew into so much more than that. She and I grew into the family I never thought I'd be able to have. One Harrythought I'd never be able to have because he thought I was a monster."

Deb's eyes widened as she recalled Dexter's tears as he told her about when he'd tried to do what Harry Morgan had so wanted and take down Juan Rinez and all Harry could see was the monster he'd spent years cultivating. Deb had told Dexter, herself, that he was not Frankenstein and that Harry, like God said, had been wrong. Dexter had mentioned that Frankenstein was the doctor and Deb had punched him in the shoulder, then, as well.

"If you're making a mistake now, Deb, it's believing that you're without forgiveness, that you can't salvage the happiness you had with Anton for what it was: pure, true, contentment that could have grown into complete love...could still...if only you'll let it."

Deb snorted, "Please, Anton's probably had a parade of girls through his bed by now - "

"So?" Dexter asked, taking her by surprise. "You once asked me did my dick dance? But I went back to Rita and she forgave me - one of the things youtold me to do, I should mention, along with kicking my ass about my doubts regarding being a good father to Harrison. Once we went into couples' therapy, we even began to realize things about each other that never would have occurred to either of us had we just let things fester. She knew I was imperfect, flawed, kept strange hours when she met me...it didn't stop her.

"She told me not long before...before she died that what mattered to her was that the time we did spend together, I made count. It's part of the reason I feel so...empty now. The kids are entirely different. I can make the time I spend with them count because they're easier for me to understand than adults, possibly because part of me is still that boy in my mother's blood. Just three years old."

Deb sniffled, then, her eyes burning as tears began to surge, but she forced herself to listen.

"It's living in the adult world that's always been a challenge for me, always will, because adults have such complicated expectations...but I have to try.

"To give up would be to just sit there, watching Dad puke and tell me to stay away from him over and over and over. Do you want to stay in that hospital room, watching Lundy's body fall dead at Christine Hill's hands, forever?

"Or do you want to try to move on and be with the one person you've known without a doubt has made you happy, completely and utterly, for who you actually are?"

"Where the hell do you get this shit?" Deb asked, shoving herself back from the table and putting both her beers in the fridge. "I...well, hopefully, I won't be back until tomorrow morning or something. Dipshit."

Dexter smiled slightly as he watched Deb leave the house for Anton's. Yes, finally doing something again, something normalthat actually felt right.

...She's the song that you tried to sing, and the note that you couldn't hit, so you locked her up in a music box and turned the key on all of us...