Dexter & Faith
A/N: This mixes up some things from the books and the TV show. I'm assuming readers have seen and read both, but if you haven't, you should, because spoilers will follow.
For this story, Doakes is dead, Lt. LaGuerta is alive (per the show), Rita is alive so Astor and Cody are around, they both have their own 'passengers' but they call them 'shadow guy', and both keep pestering Dexter to teach them about Dexter's little hobby (per the books). However, their ages are from the TV show, about ten and fourteen and Deborah does not know about Dexter's bloody peccadilloes and she's a detective, not a sergeant.
The first chapter is a stand-alone story, and I believe there will be at least two more stand-alone chapters to follow, eventually. Even though this is called Dexter and Faith, Faith won't show up until Part Two.
Disclaimer: Neither Dexter nor Faith of BtVS is mine, nor would I necessarily want them, they would be difficult company.
He had a lot of guts.
'Tonight's the night' reverberated in my head like a gong. It's been nearly six weeks since I last fed my dark passenger, and he was getting restless, which perturbs me, so tonight, Mr. Hubert Wash, is your final date with destiny.
Okay, that was pompous as hell, sorry about that; how's this: My name is Dexter Morgan, and tonight Mr. Hubert Wash, who unquestionably deserves it, will die by my hand, causing a frisson of sublime pleasure in the very core of my being.
That's still a little pompous, but it's not quite so over the top.
- One Year Previously -
I was sitting in my new lounge chair, Rita was at work, the kids at school, and I was fully relaxed on my day off, reading Marquis de Sade, when my phone buzzed in my pocket. Yes, I really do read literature, not just forensics manuals and biographies of serial killers – of course I do have kind of a one track mind so my choice of literature... Never mind that, I answered the phone.
"Hey big brother, get yer ass down to fucking Margaret Pace Park, northeast corner, right on the water. You're sure as shit gonna wanna see this steaming pile!" My foul-mouthed sister, Homicide Detective Morgan.
"Ah, it'll be at least thirty minutes," I said, but she'd already hung up.
Miami traffic that morning seemed angrier than usual, a sweet little old lady in a well-maintained white Ford Bronco flipped me off for an imagined traffic transgression, a motorcycle gangster on a Harley-Davidson mimed shooting me when I didn't give him enough space to suit him, a couple of teenagers in a 1956 Buick played chicken with me until I allowed them in – then they yelled and cursed at me anyway; but the piece-de-resistance was the accident caused by two men shooting at each other with automatic weapons. Uniformed officers had the two spectacular boneheads handcuffed side by side, they occupied themselves by exchanging looks of outraged hatred. They had missed each other at twenty feet, one with an AK47 and the other with an AR15 that had been contrived to full auto; there wasn't a dead body in sight nor any blood, they even managed to miss innocent bystanders – a completely useless expense of bullets to my way of thinking. Their cars though, were both stitched from front to back with neatly spaced bullet holes; that was going to delight their insurance companies.
Forty minutes later I parked where a uniform was angrily trying to wave me off, he backed down when I held up my laminated ID. Well away from any possible blood was Captain Mathews, Lieutenant LaGuerta, and a retinue of hangers-on, talking to the press. I espied Thomas Gonzalez, Miami's leading champion of the 'If it bleeds, it leads' school of journalism – so that's the kind of crime scene this was going to be, lucky me. I ducked under the tape with my kit and walked across an expanse of grass to where a cluster of homicide cops and forensic technicians were studying the victim. I couldn't see the dead person yet, but what else would they be studying so intently?
When I got near enough I saw a formerly corpulent corpse that had been gutted all over the grass. This was different from the usual blood-drenched, stabbed or shot victims often found littering the byways of Miami that so upset the tourists at beautiful semi-tropical sunrises. Still, a closer look suggested suicide.
"Looks like a suicide," I said, admiring the surprisingly neat pile of intestines glistening so beautifully in the sun's loving rays like a pile of ready to cook sausage, with insects. Okay, not appetizing, but as I stared at the 'steaming pile', I realized how much I loved my job, I mean, how else would I get to examine such captivating eviscerations and get paid for it too?
"Shit in your hat, bro!" said Deb with her natural charm and warm sisterly welcome. "Where the fuck've you been!?"
"Stuck in traffic. There was a..."
"Fuck that, now you're finally here, look closer, ya fuckin' see that?" She pointed towards the victim's face. I bent down to look, pulling on a pair of gloves.
"Hmmmm," I said.
"Hmmmm? Is that all you've got to say?" asked Vince Masuka.
"I just got here, let me catch up. Does anybody have any doughnuts?"
"Hell Dexter, I did, but you were so fucking late that Masuka and Quinn ate them all, you're just shit out of luck. Get to work, Dex."
I was bereft at the thought of Masuka eating my doughnuts, so to cheer up I looked closer at the corpse. "It looks like somebody has stuck a plastic statuary into his mouth, possibly postmortem."
"A statuary?" Deb said incredulously, is that what you call it? The fuck, Dex!"
"Well come on Detective, we know it's not genuine, it couldn't be tumescent if it was, not with the blood supply cut off like that. Besides which, the testicles don't remain in such a nice neat package during a radical teste-penectomy."
Vince chuckled creepily near my right ear.
"I don't even wanna know how you know that!" said detective Quinn, while surreptitiously fingering his crotch.
"It's just an educated guess, Quinn, based on my study of anatomy." Actually, it was not a guess at all, but it's better for all concerned if Quinn and my sister didn't know that.
Angel Batista said, "Maybe it's just a cherry-flavored joke sucker."
By the time I thought to join the laughter, it was too late, everyone else had already stopped laughing. I'm not good with jokes, although some of the comments suggested it wasn't that good a joke anyway.
"Do your thing Dex," said Batista, waving has hands around vaguely, "what does the blood tell you?'
I stood next to the dead body, sank to my knees facing the way he must have been facing before death, holding a pretend knife in front of me. Looking at the body, then at my hands, I mimed stabbing straight into my belly and moving the non-knife from left to right. I studied the pile of guts in front of the man and looked closely at his wounds and blood spatter and made an estimate of how the small and large colon would slither through the gaping slash. Hmmmm, not quite right. So I tried again, this time moving my imaginary blade up, back to the middle, left, right. I watched as, in my imagination, my guts spilled out in front of me – it couldn't have been a pleasant experience. Then I dropped the air knife and fell backward, making certain I avoided falling on any evidence.
"Either he committed seppuku, or somebody went to a lot of trouble to make us think he committed seppuku," I said from my position flat on my back on the grass, looking up at the faces of my colleagues who were in a circle staring down at me. "What about it Vince, what do you think?" I said, getting to my feet.
"What the fuck? Just because I'm Asian you think I know all about Japanese suicide ritual?"
"Well, that and the fact that you're a forensic homicide technician."
"Oh, yeah, that. Well, it looks like what you said."
"Thanks for that penetrating insight."
"What's this sep-a-coo shit?" asked Deb, "I thought it was fucking hairy-carry."
"No, that's a vulgarism..." but I was interrupted by Vince.
"Actually, it is Hara-Kiri when spoken, but seppuku when written. So Deb's right."
"Right fucking on!" Deb exclaimed, punching her fist in the air.
"It don't mean shit what you call it since he's fucking dead," said Quinn.
"And anyway," I said, having continued to study the dead man while my colleagues discussed the lexicography of Japanese suicide, "I now think my first supposition was incorrect, someone else did it to him, so it's not any kind of ritual, written or spoken; it's murder."
"How the fuck d'ya figure, Dex?"
"The knife is a good ten feet away. Do you really think, with his large colon already on the grass in front of him, his small colon following painfully, his blood gushing forth, his heart rate down to almost nothing, the pain so excruciating he probably couldn't think of anything at all except wishing that he'd tried harder to find someone to administer the coup de grace, that he would have the either strength or the will to throw the knife over there while sticking a plastic dildo in his mouth?"
They looked at me and nodded knowingly. Damn, it was so easy to guide even experienced detectives. I continued, "And furthermore, the knife cut is in two directions: up and down, then left and right. I don't think it's possible for a person to do that to himself. One or the other, but not both."
Unless of course, he was working hard to set up somebody, somebody he really hated, hated so much he was willing to kill himself to frame the guy. If he made the ultimate and exquisitely painful sacrifice just to put someone on trial for his own murder, then I would be considerate enough to make sure his extravagant self-inflicted suffering bore fruit. At least if his tormentor was guilty by Harry's code, of course.
"Maybe the guy who put the plastic dick in his mouth tossed the knife after the guy killed himself."
"Or maybe the guy killed him, dropped the knife behind him as he backed hurriedly away from the gusher of blood, then put the statuary in his mouth. Anyway, we need to study the evidence. Let's get him to autopsy, and get the evidence back to the labs."
"You heard the man," said Sergeant Batista, "collect the evidence and get gone."
"I didn't mean for anyone to rush, Sergeant," I said.
"No, no, just do your jobs everyone, quit standing around and gabbing like a bunch of anciano jubilado detectives."
The Coroner finished his thing and waved his two assistants forward to do theirs. As they started bagging the body and the evidence, one of them said, "Wow, he sure had a lot of guts." Deb shook her head in annoyance.
In the fullness of time, the investigation discovered a connection with a certain Mr. Hubert Wash. It seemed the plastic penis was part of a collection of whimsical trophies that had been commissioned by Mr. Wash in honor of his twentieth wedding anniversary; even a psychopath like me knows that's not appropriate for such an occasion, but there you go, that's the kind of man we were dealing with. So anyway, Wash is a Miami developer who gains gratification by running roughshod over people's feelings, farms, and ancestral homes in his haste to build huge tracts of substandard housing to sell to the nation's retirees in exchange for very large profits. Mr. Tyrell Jackson, the unfortunate victim in the park, had objected long and vociferously to having his family's farm condemned and paved over for a set of model homes in one of Mr. Wash's developments. He made himself such a pest that Wash had to sick his premier team of legal rottweilers on him, but even that wasn't enough so Mr. Wash resorted to the underhanded and illegal to rid himself of his vexatious bane. In the end, Wash prevailed and prospered while Jackson suffered financial catastrophe. After that he had nothing left to do but off himself, so he attempted a spectacular fake murder to implicate Jackson in his final moments. It almost worked.
Now Mr. Wash has been a very bad boy, guilty of murder, numerous murders in fact, more than enough to satisfy Harry's code. But the cops only know about the last one, which funnily enough, wasn't a murder at all but a suicide. But the victim tried hard to frame Hubert, oh with a tangled web indeed, a web I saw through but I didn't see fit to mention it to anyone else as I had an alliance with the dead. The jury was ready to convict, almost certainly would have if it had gotten that far. But there was another witness, one who was very important to back up Mr. Jackson – who, after all, was dead. The live witness's testimony was critical and she unfortunately died in a car wreck the day before the trial was to begin; an exceptionally convenient event for Mr. Wash. And yes, I am positive that he was responsible for that too, as he is very very good at arranging 'accidents'. Almost as good as Devious Dexter.
So the case, which wasn't a case in the first place, fell apart, and now Dubious Dexter will take over from the Florida legal system and complete the job on behalf of Mr. Jackson. My largess and generosity amazes me, I would be sure to point this out to Mr. Wash once I had him strapped to my table to see if he appreciated my ethical commitment as I kill him.
-Back to the Present-
That evening I tracked Hubert Wash to south central Miami, near the water, not far from Margaret Pace Park, perhaps not coincidentally. I followed him from his house to a 'happening' street with plenty of restaurants, exclusive stores, theaters, and upscale food trucks. He had just got himself a poblano crab taco from a street vendor and, after gulping it down, wandered back to a dark alley to – ha! – relieve himself. Just as he was occupied in zipping his pants up, I quietly stepped up behind him with my syringe of M99. But I didn't notice a shard of stiff plastic in the shadows, and stepped on it, creating a very loud noise in the quiet alley. I tried to inject him in a rush, but he had the reflexes of a feral cat and turned swiftly, his elbow knocking my hypo to the side. I attempted to hang on to it while blocking with my left and trying for a few kicks and knee strokes, but he was fast and deadly. I had to drop the needle and start to fight him seriously, and damn but I was not in shape, at least not compared to a few years earlier. We traded punches, holds, locks, flips, paralyzing holds, nerve pinches, and several moves I didn't have a name for. We had managed to roll out of the alley and towards the crowds, but we weren't far from a main highway in a deep cut. Just as I heard several people shout at us, including a cop, he managed to twist my shoulder painfully, I replied with a violent twist and kicked him with my feet and he disappeared down the embankment. I rolled over on my stomach, surreptitiously removed my gloves and ditched them down a convenient storm drain, and looked over the edge to see where my victim got to. All I could see was his back disappearing down the next block. Well shit.
"Hey, hey! What's going on here?" an officious voice landed on my awareness. I rolled over and softly screamed. I self-diagnosed a subspinous luxation of my right shoulder during the fight.
The officer said, "Hey, is that you Morgan?"
"Yeah," I managed to croak out.
"Hang in there Dex, we'll get an ambulance here right away. Did you recognize your attacker?"
Got to love that cop mentality, as soon as he recognized me, I was automatically the victim, not the perp. "No," I gasped, "it was a surprise to me, I think a random mugging."
"Okay, I'll get a sweep going."
He started barking instructions into his radio. I sincerely hoped he would not succeed, the last thing I wanted was for Wash to be arrested. 'And why did you attack Mr. Morgan?' I imagined a detective asking him. 'Oh, I didn't attack him, he attacked me with intent to kill! He was going to inject me with something, I'm sure the syringe is still down the alley, and do something nefarious I'm sure...' His righteously aggrieved tone of voice reverberated in my imagination. Oh yes, Dastardly Dexter strikes in public, wonderful, just fucking wonderful, as my sister would say. The results of such an interview would probably be an end to my pleasant lifestyle and certainly an end to my rewarding and bloody avocation.
I would've liked to get up and join the hunt – from the shadows of course – but it turns out a dislocated shoulder precludes most movement. Not at all like on TV where heroes and heroines snap their displaced arms back into their shoulder sockets with a slight grimace and no help.
Eventually an ambulance arrived. I asked the EMT to reduce my dislocated shoulder right then and there, knowing that the sooner the better for such an injury. I offered to instruct him exactly how to do it, but no, it was injections and straps and trundling me to Jackson ER, where they apparently fixed it while I was still under.
I woke up the next morning in a nice hospital room, the sun shining on my face, Deborah slumped in a chair, while Israel Salguero – a lieutenant from Internal Affairs – standing quietly in the corner, watched me intently. If I had feelings his gaze would've unsettled me.
My arm was taped up, but not in a cast so I guessed I'd be up and about in short order. I found the button to raise the head of the bed and slowly came up, waking Deb in the process, but not affecting Salguero in the slightest.
"Jesus Christ Dexter! What the fuck happened to you?!"
"Good morning Deb, why yes I do feel much better this fine sunny morning, and how is my delightful young sister?"
"Quit horsing around and tell me who did this so I can catch the fucker."
"I was mugged."
"That's it? That's all ya got?"
" 'Fraid so, it was a case of Dourly Dreaming Dexter wandering away from the crowds. Embarrassingly, I was looking for a place to relieve myself, and when I zipped up my pants, BAM, the fight was on. Luckily, I'm harder to take down than I look, but the other guy was really good, and honestly, I discovered that I'm out of shape. I'm going to find a dojo or something as soon as I get out of here."
Lt. Salguero had questions for me, but it was soon obvious that he was just following up for form, not specific suspicion, so I could answer his questions with ease. I think I answered him with a 'light' heart, but I don't actually know what that means.
"If you don't mind my asking, where's Rita?"
Deb said, "She went downstairs to get some coffee and freshen up, she wasn't taking this too well."
"Hmm." I said. Just a few moments later Rita came bustling in the door.
"Dex! You're awake! Are you alright?" She ran to me, obviously ready to mother me to death.
"I'm fine Rita, really, don't worry." But she couldn't help herself, she couldn't do anything but worry. She loved me enough for the both of us, and that was enough for me.
I let Mr. Wash reflect and relax, knowing that a few weeks without suspicious characters leaping on him in dark alleys would probably give him time to calm down. Still, Diligent Dexter is inexorable, or so I like to think, and precisely one month to the day from our aborted encounter I managed to surprise him. It happened that his wife and son were gone that week, I checked thoroughly, and he was home alone. That is, he thought he was alone. When he finished watching the evening news he toured his house, checking that all the windows and doors were locked and the alarm was set. Then he wandered into his bedroom, content and sleepy, and, if he had time to think about it, was horrified to be injected with M99.
When he woke up, he was strapped to my table, naked under the wrap, in a plastic cocooned room. He looked around wildly, as they all do, and I could see the recognition in his eyes when he realized he was in his own pool house.
"Good evening, Mr. Wash," I said politely, "it's nice meeting you like this, finally."
"YOU! You're the fuck what attacked me last month! What the fuck is this? Why me?" He tried to work up his anger at me, but he was too frightened. I am, of course, an expert in judging the emotions of people bound naked and helpless to a table.
"This is your last look at life," I said grandiosely. "You rode roughshod over a lot of people, and killed several," I pointed to a half-dozen pictures taped to the plastic, "and one of them, Mr. Jackson, figured out how to entice me from beyond the grave, as it were, to do you in."
"But those were just little people! None of them counted! They deserved it! How else was I to finance my lifestyle?"
"I doubt that any of them would agree with your assessment. Do you want it fast or slow?"
I stood up and ran my fingers over my knife collection. Decisions, decisions. "Fast or slow? I could peel away some skin, explore your musculature with my knife while you tried to scream through a gag. Or I could just stab you in the heart. I'm feeling unusually generous – your choice."
"Okee dokey." I picked up a wicked looking new blade, a triple blade really, with fancy curlicues of steel, held it over his chest with both hands, closed my eyes for a moment, breathed in, breathed out, breathed in, breathed out, opened my eyes, and stroked my hands steadily downwards. The knife point pierced the flesh between his ribs, perfectly, with precision, and the blade slid smoothly into his chest, parting tissue, muscle, fat, blood vessels, and finally, heart tissue. I watched the life go out in his eyes, breathlessly, pleasure riding up my spine.
Finally it was over, I could breath again.
Well, it wasn't really over yet, I had several hours of delightful cutting and sawing and stuffing in doubled extra heavy-duty garbage bags, and a trip to the Gulf Stream, but I won't bore you with those details.
I started thinking on the trip back, about how Mr. Wash damn near beat me back in that dark alley. I think it's time to practice my katas again. The dojo I used to frequent went belly up a few years ago, and since then I've been practicing in the park, but without any supervision I had slacked off.
As soon as I got back to the house, I stepped into my den and flipped up my laptop. I entered our zip code plus the word 'dojo', and started reading. I always enjoyed peoples reviews, some of them were so full of righteous anger that I could almost feel them vibrating angrily through the Internet. Others exuded such fulsome praise that I could easily imagine money changing hands as they accepted gratuities to offer good reviews. But some reviews seemed honest, and those I paid attention to. The most good reviews went to Take Back The Night Martial Arts. I wrote down the number and printed out a map, then turned off the machine, catfooted into our bedroom, undressed and slipped into bed beside Rita's hot bod. She turned over and snuggled up against me without waking up.