The garage was less then a mile from Steve's house. Convenient, but stupid for someone in the business of serial killing, thought Sherlock. He scanned the area as he quickly climbed over the chain link fence and cautiously approached the building.
Steve's garage was a unit in a long building of other rental garages. Each unit had a large rolling door and a regular door on the side. His unit was about halfway down and right under a large lamp illuminating the yard. The place was silent and empty save for the car parked right in front of the unit in question. The car could only be Steve's.
Sherlock quickly walked toward the unit door keeping as close to the building as possible. Once at the side door, he tried the handle. Locked, of course. He didn't have his lock picking kit, so he had to improvise with some rusted wire he spied on the ground a few feet away.
Slowly and quietly, Sherlock opened the door and slipped inside.
The Dark Passenger and I leaned against the wall waiting patiently for our new friend to awaken. This was the calm before the Need is fulfilled. Suddenly, the hair on the back of my neck rose and I was immediately alert.
The Dark Passenger strained its senses beyond this small room and detected something. While very faint, there was a noise out there in the garage. We were not alone.
I stepped silently across the plastic floor and grabbed my butcher knife off the tray. Working in unison with the Dark Passenger, I quietly pulled the plastic sheet away from the maintenance door and slowly opened it.
I peered out into the dark of the garage, but I can't see anything beyond the narrow bar of soft light from the room behind me. The Dark Passenger, however, knows someone is there.
Sherlock crouched behind the classic car parked inside the garage when he heard the door in the back open. He could see a silhouetted figure standing in the doorway and the unmistakable gleam of a butcher knife.
Clutching a large crescent wrench he took from the tool bench, he made his way down the side of the car and stopped at the front fender. He paused and waited.
The figure moved and took a couple of steps toward the other side of the car.
Perfect. Like a cat, Sherlock vaulted over the fender and slammed his foot into the man's gut knocking him back through the plastic covering and into the maintenance room.
I took two steps away from the door and had no time to react. I always considered myself ahead of the game, especially with the Dark Passenger giving me the upper hand in these situations, but whoever attacked me is my equal.
I found it rather odd that I thought about this as his foot caught me square in my stomach and sent me flying back into the maintenance room. I staggered back and lost my footing on slippery plastic floor. As I fell flat on my back, the Dark Passenger unfurled its wings and howled in anger.
I lifted my head and looked at the tall man wearing black slacks and a nice button up shirt. He strode over to me with long, sure steps and stood over me with a wrench in his hand clearly ready to use it at a moment's notice.
I was shocked and amazed. The man is Sherlock Holmes.
He glared down at me with a hardened glaze, and I recognized that look in his eye. Oh how I know it well. That is the look of the hunter enjoying the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of catching the prey. The Dark Passenger snarled at this other like itself that had bested it.
Sherlock kicked the knife out of my hand and pressed his foot on my chest. "Dexter Morgan," he said matter-of-factly as he narrowed his eyes at me.
"The one and only," I said and managed a small smile. I felt as if I could be myself in front of this man and it would be okay. Strange, I know.
Sherlock looked up and surveyed the room. He didn't seem disturbed in the least upon seeing a man tied to a table with plastic wrap. He simply took in the scene as if it were an everyday thing to see. If I didn't know better, I would say he simply didn't care.
He looked back down to me and a smile played across his face. "I see! Oh do I see!" Sherlock exclaimed with a grin. "How absolutely fascinating! You set up the pictures of Steve's victims in this place where Steve killed them. You are a serial murderer and your victims are other serial murderers, aren't they?"
I nodded with a grimace and started to think of a way out of this situation, but I could see that he was genuinely excited by the discovery.
Sherlock laughed, yes, he laughed. Call me Clearly Confused Dexter.
"I can say I have yet to come across anything like this," Sherlock said. "But it is a unique way of serving justice."
"I can say I wasn't expecting this sort of reaction."
"Ah yes. You would expect revulsion, I assume." He shrugged his shoulder as he looked over at Steve on the table. "What did you drug him with?"
"M99," I said with confusion quite clear in my voice. What can say? I was at a complete loss. He was actually curious about my work?
"Etorphine," Sherlock said as if he were reading out of a text book. "Sedates instantly upon injection and lasts approximately twenty to sixty minutes." He nodded in approval.
"Yeah," I said and lifted my head. "Do you mind?" I motioned that I would like to sit up.
He turned his pale eyes on me and I felt like I was under a microscope. The Dark Passenger saw the other buried deep behind those eyes and knew it to feed on justice. After a moment, Sherlock nodded and moved his foot off my chest.
I sat up and held my stomach a moment that not only served to sooth the pain a bit, but also allow me a chance to figure out what I'm going to do. I cannot be arrested, but I certainly can't kill Sherlock. That would violate Harry's Code. Then there was Steve Dayton still wrapped to the table, what about him?
"What do you do with the bodies?" Sherlock asked with curiosity.
"I dump them in the Gulf," I said. "Listen, Steve there is going to wake up soon, and he hasn't seen my face, so…"
"You want to know what I'm going to do," Sherlock said and raised eyebrow slightly.
"Yes," I said flatly. The Dark Passenger writhed like a trapped animal and I hated that feeling.
"Simple." The consulting detective spun on his heel and began ripping the plastic off the wall.
The Dark Passenger fell just as silent as I was speechless. I sat there watching him pull apart the kill room with my mouth agape. For the first time in my life, I was surprised. Genuinely surprised.
After a moment, Sherlock paused and looked at me. "Don't just sit there! This has to be gone or the plan won't work."
"Plan?" I asked feebly as I climbed to my feet while holding my stomach.
He rolled his eyes with a sigh as if he expected me to know what he was thinking. "You are going to take Steve back to his flat. He hit his head on the coffee table and that is the last place he will remember. I will go back there and call the police. They will find the photos of his victims and he will be convicted. No one has to know about you as long as you didn't do something stupid like leaving your fingerprints at his flat."
I shook my head and held up my hands. "Gloves."
"Good." He continued tearing down the plastic and I followed suit.
As we took apart my kill room, I smiled. Sherlock turned out to be a friend after all. It just made sense that we would be, I suppose. He is the same as me, though I wondered how he fed his Need. The Dark Passenger didn't feel murder was a part of his ritual. I had to know.
"Why are you doing this?" I asked him.
"I have a need to solve crimes," he said as he rolled up a length of plastic. "Not just any crimes, however. Most are extraordinarily boring. They have to be interesting and I cannot rest until I solve them. Nothing else matters until then. Besides, who really wants criminals roaming the streets? You have the same kind of need, although your methods are bit…harsh. I settle for imprisonment. Still I understand the need and I'm willing to overlook this because in the end," Sherlock looked at me with an intense gaze, "they are put in their place."
Later I found out that Sherlock did exactly what he said he was going to do. After we cleaned up my kill room, I took the unconscious Steve back to his house. Sherlock went to Steve's home to 'follow up on a hunch', saw him lying on the living room floor and called in the police. They found the photos and Steve Dayton was arrested sure to spend life in prison. Steve Dayton may have escaped my justice, but I know his imprisonment slaked the Need of Sherlock's Dark Passenger.
My Dark Passenger had met one of its own and they are kindred spirits. I had finally found acceptance. Sure it's with one person, but that's all a monster like me needs.
Sherlock leaned against a patrol car just outside Steve Dayton's house. He found himself contemplating the consequences of letting someone like Dexter Morgan remain free to continue killing. Dexter's victims were murderers, does that make it justice? Perhaps, Sherlock decided, for who was he to criticize Dexter? He who breaks into flats, steals and manipulates anyone around him to get what he wants. No, Dexter was a kindred spirit that Sherlock could not deny.
Suddenly, his thoughts were broken by the chime of a new text message.
River Park Hotel. Now.
Sherlock can't hide his growing smile. Irene. At last.