Title: Collateral Damage

Rating: T

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Pairing: None.

Summary: He'd prefer her angry, ready with some profane curse words to throw his way. Maybe then it wouldn't hurt as much. One-shot. Rated T because Deb opens her mouth.

A/N: Woop! There goes my Dexter-fiction virginity lol. I really don't know what this is though. I'm thinking its may brain's way of trying to cope with the hiatus. I wrote this a while back and I only just now realize the premiere is due in only half an hour(!) so I guess I better post it before it's too late. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

Collateral Damage

By: TheBluePiglet

I may never be able to fully grasp the complexity of human emotion, but I'm still responsible for the pain I give cause for. Of that I'm aware, which is why I think my father created the code in the first place. Ensuring I'd restrain my doings to people deemed worthy by the system and spare the innocent from my congenital needs. Never hurting a soul not already tainted by darkness.

Some people might call it having a heart, but I believe it's more of a way to avoid unnecessary collateral damage. Then again I never did understand the ever popular usage of the term 'heart' concerning sentimental matters, or the concept a vital muscle being home to our feelings in general.

To me the heart is but an organ pumping blood throughout our bodies by continuous, rhythmic contractions. Were someone to thrust a knife into one the pericardium-sac would immediately start filling with blood and prevent it from expanding, and in most cases leading to a rather quick death. It really isn't more complicated than that.

Other people however, normal people I suppose, tend to use a hypothetical stab to the chest as a synonym for raw emotional dread. And I for one have no clue as to why. All I know is that if they are anything alike, the lack of a dark red stain forming on the left side of my sister's torso confuses me even further.

This time I've really fucked up.

She's got that look in her eyes, the same one every time she allows her eyes to wander my way. It's the one I can't ever seem to decipher, the same one she wore when first learning about Harry's affair. Is it betrayal? Or hurt? Disbelief maybe? I can't make any sense of it, but the lump residing in my throat tells me I'm feeling guilty for it.

It's like something's missing. Like something's been stolen from the deepest parts of her very soul, and it's been that ways ever since that night. The night she caught me doing something appalling enough to burden even a conscience as unconventional as mine.

I'm not referring to the killing itself though, for that I carry no regret. Travis Marshall was a religiously deranged sociopath, a threat to all people with the misfortune to meet him. If anything killing him was an act of heroism. Well, at least had it not been carried out by someone doing it for his own indulgence.

Travis deserved to die, much like everyone else who's been forced to make amends for their sins through the Dark Passenger. It's all perfectly justified. But exposing my own sister to the truth about who she believed to be the one constant component in her life? Now that's something entierly worthy of my remorse.

"Dexter…?" Her voice is bemused and unsure. I'd prefer her angry, ready with some profane curse words to throw my way. Maybe then it wouldn't hurt as much.

"Deb." I manage nothing above a whisper. I wasn't prepared for this, it's not consistent with the plan.

"Mother of fuck Dexter! What is going on?" That's more like it.

"Put the gun down." I slowly raise my hands in surrender, careful not to startle her.

She hesitates.

I turn to face her fully. "Deb, it's me."

"That's the fucking problem!"

"Put the gun down, Deb," I try again. "It's okay."

She throws me an incredulous look. "Okay? Okay? You tell me how this is fucking okay!?"

"I-I snapped." It's a poor lie, but it's the best I can do considering. I have to stall her, buy some time before I decide how to play this.

"You snapped? The hell is that supposed to mean?"

"He threatened Harrison, he left me no choice!" So apparently that's where I'm going with this.

"So you just wrapped him up like a God damn taco and what, plunged a knife through his chest?" She eyes me warily, her suspicion obvious.

"I don't know what to tell you." I honestly don't.

She allows her aim to drop a few inches and nods towards the body still occupying my table. "Is he dead?"


"Holy shit, Dex. Holy mother of fucking shit. This is so bad."

It wasn't supposed to happen. Debra was never supposed to become part of the secret. Certainly not like she did, under those circumstances, for both her sake as well my own. Yet here we are, and I can't even begin to imagine what it must really be doing to her.

She won't talk to me, not that I blame her, but I can tell our current situation is beginning to take its toll on her.

She hardly ever leaves her office anymore, save for occasional conferences or other work related errands. I haven't seen her eat since the night of the incident and her clothes are starting to fit loose. She seems to have given up on crime scenes completely, does her presence not happen to be necessary, and the dark circles framing her eyes speak of restless nights and fatigue.

It's I who am the sole reason to her struggle and as I watch her suffer in silence, her dread unknown to the outside world, it's slowly dawning on me that a confrontation is inevitable.

The cat is out of the bag and it needs to be tamed, one way ore another.

I may never be able to fully grasp the complexity of human emotion, but I'm still responsible for the pain I give cause for. Thus if the recipient of that pain is the last person in this world who deserves it I'll do anything in my power to relieve her of it.


And that's what scares me the most.


A/N: Season premiere in thirty! Anyone else like totally stoked? Oh, and reviews makes for a very happy Piglet. :3