Courage

By: Lena (Airelle Vilka)

Author's note: Oh ye gods of old, forgive me for writing a songfic. But seriously, the song came unbidden, and it fit so well that I couldn't help but let nature take its course. Okay, back to swabbing the decks of my little Dexter/Lumen ship. Eeeeee I love them so much. *slinks away* Oh, also this may seem a bit disjointed because it's free-writing. The song I used is "Together Again" by Evanescence.


She lies awake, eyes open in the dark, monsters swimming behind her gaze. Something primordial has awakened inside, and she is learning to live with it. No other existence is available to her anymore. She thought it would be over, with the blood of Jordan Chase on her hands. Clearly not.

Never thought that I'd be leaving you today
So alone and wonder why I feel this way

You know that feeling you get sometimes, when you are suddenly aware of everything around you, things you normally wouldn't notice? The feel of your clothes on your body, the pull of hair on the skin of your scalp, the chafe of bedsheets on your legs? The human brain usually filters out a thousand sensations. But her Dark Passenger, born of sweat and terror in a dusty basement, is hyperacutely aware. It begins with the ticking of a watch, the smell of chlorine, the taste of dirty fingers in her mouth. It continues with the hiss of hydrogen peroxide on her wounds, the warmth of swamp water, the smell of a car. It ends with the slick knife handle as it plunges down, the itchy sweater that comprises her murder outfit, the feel of—him.

Her heartbeat quickens. She tries to squelch the memories, but too late. She remembers how he looked at her, the façade shattered. How they had pleaded in silence with one another for acceptance. She could never imagine anyone so powerful and yet so vulnerable, so uncertain of his own humanity.

Dexter. She mouths his name, afraid to speak aloud as if it would summon him. Her lips are chapped in the coldness of the Minnesota winter.

Dexter, Dexter, Dexter.

There are no winters in Miami. Only heat, only stifling, only unending, only suffocating heat. She shivers. Her Dark Passenger whines, a high, keening wail of longing for him. For his unbearably gentle hands, for his weight on top of her, for his intense eyes, never leaving hers the whole time they make love.

Love? Really, Lumen, really? she thinks, and buries her face in the pillow.

So wide the world
Can love remember how to get me home to you
Someday

She tries to reason with herself. He is a monster. He has killed sixty-three people, more than any serial killer on record. Except the people he killed weren't people.

She can't possibly love him, she argues. After all, you don't leave people you love that easily. You don't get them to open up to you, and then take off while they cough in the dust of your departure.

Snow falls outside her window, gentle and silent. Things haven't changed much here, and she expects they never will. Her parents didn't ask questions when she returned home, and she has hidden the scars on her back. They itch sometimes, as they do now. She wonders if there's a correlation between the itch, and thoughts of him.

Her ceiling is painted with stars. Her father did it for her eighth birthday. A night sky, a crescent moon. She doesn't even remember the last time she saw a real crescent moon. It always seems to be gibbous.

We'll be together again
All just a dream in the end
We'll be together again

Dust motes hang in the air, in the white light streaming from the window. This is her fourth night awake, and she shows no signs of exhaustion. Monsters don't sleep, after all. And when they do, what do they dream of?

At least she doesn't have nightmares anymore. She remembers the hotel room, her ability to sleep with Cole Harmon next door. All because Dexter was watching over her.

She knows he'd never let anything happen to her. His great beast would defend its fledgling. It would spread its dark leathery wings and cover her until her teeth grew long and sharp, until she no longer needed his protection.

So many fears were swimming around and around in my mind
Who would have dreamed the secrets we would find

She remembers the moment she told him she was leaving. Her heart shrivels up in her chest every time she imagines his broken, haunted look. She is so afraid for him.

For him. Not of him. Deep inside, she knows she didn't run from him, but from the reflection of herself she saw in his eyes. She saw her monster and ran, like a coward, leaving him to his own darkness. Why? Why did she do something so stupid?

And to compound it, she lied. She told him her Dark Passenger had vanished. And at the time, she had desperately wanted it to be true, had even believed it was true. But now, she knew it wasn't. She was irrevocably changed, and had pushed away the only person who accepted the new Lumen, the only person who even knew that the new Lumen existed.

I've found a world
Where love and dreams and darkness all collide
Maybe this time
We can leave our broken world behind

Her Dark Passenger thrashes in its wintery prison, calling out to its mate, hundreds of miles away, the howl carried on the wind. He is probably hunting tonight. It seems like that kind of night.

She almost smiles. She has become better at listening to her monster. Dexter would be proud.

Tears run in little rivulets down her cheeks and onto the pillow. She can't wait too much longer. Something will happen soon, and it will either involve a loaded gun in her mouth or a plane ticket to Miami in her hand.

And if there's one thing about predators, it is self-preservation.

We'll be together again
All just a dream in the end


Fin